2018 Participating Authors

Participating Authors | Housing and Travel | Programs and Special Events | Registration | Sponsors  I  FAQ I 

Check back often as we finalize author participation at the Symposium!  Below is a sample from 2018.

Opening Session  
ROSHANI CHOKSHI is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. Her short story, "The Star Maiden," was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award. 

Leigh Bardugo is a #1 New York Times–bestselling author of fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over one million copies sold, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, and The Language of Thorns—with more to come. Leigh has osteonecrosis, a degenerative bone disease, and has included disabled characters in her Grishaverse books.
Brandon Sanderson is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Reckoners series: Steelheart, Firefight, and Calamity and the e-original Mitosis; the internationally bestselling Mistborn trilogy; and he was chosen to complete Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. His books have been published in more than twenty-five languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Brandon lives and writes in Utah. To learn more about him and his books, visit him at brandonsanderson.com or follow @BrandSanderson on Twitter and Instagram.
Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.
Tochi Onyebuchi holds a B.A. from Yale, an MFA in Screenwriting from Tisch, a Masters degree in Global Economic Law from L’institut d’études politiques, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. His writing has appeared in Asimov’s and Ideomancer, among other places. Tochi resides in Connecticut where he works in the tech industry and is currently writing the epic sequel to Beasts Made of Night.
Closing Session  
Jesse Andrews’s debut novel, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, was published to critical acclaim and starred reviews. His adaptation of the book for the big screen won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. He also wrote The Haters, and his most recent YA novel Munmun received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. Kirkus called it, “Brilliant, savage, hilarious.” He lives in Berkeley, California. Visit Jesse at www.jesseandrews.com.


Brendan Kiely is the New York Times bestselling author of All American Boys (with Jason Reynolds), The Last True Love Story, and The Gospel of Winter. His work has been published in ten languages, received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, the Walter Dean Myers Award, the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award, was twice awarded Best Fiction for Young Adults (2015, 2017) by the American Library Association, and was a Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014. Originally from the Boston area, he now lives with his wife in New York City. Tradition (forthcoming May 2018) is his fourth novel.

Cynthia Leitich Smith is the best-selling, acclaimed author of the Tantalize series, the Feral series, and the YA contemporary realistic novel Hearts Unbroken. She is an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and is on the honorary advisory board of We Need Diverse Books. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Andrew Smith is the author of several novels for young adults, including WingerStand-Off100 Sideways Miles, and the Michael L. Printz Honor Book Grasshopper Jungle. He lives in a remote area in the mountains of Southern California with his family, two horses, two dogs, and three cats. He doesn’t watch television, and occupies himself by writing, bumping into things outdoors, and taking ten-mile runs on snowy trails.
Morris Program  
Candice Montgomery is an LA transplant now residing in Seattle. By night, she writes YA lit about Black teens across all their intersections. By day, she teaches dance and works in the land of early childhood Deaf education. It is the goal of her stories to integrate the spaces of race, love, the body, gender, and sexuality, all while being a witness of life. Visit her at candicemontgomery.com, and find her on Twitter @CandiceAmanda
Lucia DiStefano, a former high school English teacher, currently works as an editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach. Borrowed, her young adult novel, won the 2018 YA Sheehan Book Prize (Elephant Rock Books YA). First-generation Sicilian and daughter of an olive farmer, she admits to experiencing recurring pasta dreams. Hailing from central Connecticut, Lucia lives near Austin, Texas with her husband (and more cats than her lease allows).
Gloria Chao is an MIT graduate turned dentist turned writer. She currently lives in Chicago with her ever-supportive husband for whom she became a nine-hole golfer (sometimes seven). She is always up for Dance Dance Revolution, cooperative board games, or spontaneous dance parties. She was also once a black belt in kung-fu and a competitive dancer, but that side of her was drilled and suctioned out. Visit her tea-and-book-filled world at GloriaChao.Wordpress.com.
Caitlin Seal is a writer and compulsive reader living in Northern California. She graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in International Politics and Economics, and quickly learned that she preferred making up her own governments to working with real ones. When not writing she GMs tabletop games, practices aikido, and hunts for portals in old wardrobes. She started writing when she was six and her parents were kind enough to encourage her even though her stories involved things like haunted jukeboxes luring people to their deaths.
Tanaz Bhathena is the debut author of A GIRL LIKE THAT, an incredible #OwnVoices YA novel that has received two starred reviews. Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school. You don't want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is it that eighteen-year-old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieced together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that. This beautifully written novel reveals a rich, new world to readers; tackles complicated issues of race, identity, class, and religion; and paints a portrait of teenage ambition, angst, and alienation that feels both inventive and universal. Tanaz Bhathena was born in Mumbai and raised in Riyadh, Jeddah and Toronto. Her second standalone novel, The Beauty of the Moment, will be available in February 2019.

Leslye Walton was named a William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist for the publication of her novel The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. The book received several accolades, including the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the Pacific Northwest Book Award. Born in the Pacific Northwest, Leslye Walton has a master of arts in writing. She lives in Seattle with her Chihuahua, Mr. Darcy, and writes full-time.

Author Luncheon  
Ally Condie is the author of the bestselling novel Atlantia and the critically acclaimed Matched trilogy, a #1 New York Times and international bestseller. The series has been published in more than 30 languages. A former English teacher, Ally lives with her husband and four children outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, writing, running, and listening to her husband play guitar.   allycondie.com Twitter: @allycondie
Julie Berry (julieberrybooks.com) is the author of The Passion of Dolssa, All the Truth That’s in Me, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, Secondhand Charm, The Amaranth Enchantment, and the Splurch Academy series.

Lamar Giles is the author of Overturned, which was a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers; Fake ID, which was an Edgar Award finalist and a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers; and Endangered, which was also an Edgar Award finalist. Lamar is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books. He resides in Virginia with his wife.

Jarrett J. Krosoczka is a New York Times bestselling author, a two-time winner of the Children’s Choice Book Award for the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year, an Eisner award nominee, and the author and/or illustrator of more than 30 books for young readers. His work includes several picture books, select volumes of Star Wars: Jedi Academy, the Lunch Lady graphic novels, and the Platypus Police Squad novel series. Jarrett has given two TED Talks, both of which have been curated to the main page of TED.com and have collectively accrued more than two million views online. He is also the host of The Book Report with JJK on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live, a weekly segment celebrating books, authors, and reading. Jarrett lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife and children, and their pugs, Ralph and Frank.

Disability Program  
Leigh Bardugo is a #1 New York Times–bestselling author of fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over one million copies sold, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, and The Language of Thorns—with more to come. Leigh has osteonecrosis, a degenerative bone disease, and has included disabled characters in her Grishaverse books.
Shane Burcaw is a twenty-something young adult with Spinal Muscular Atrophy and a wicked sense of humor. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he runs a blog and nonprofit organization dedicated to providing medical equipment to people with muscular dystrophy diseases. He and his girlfriend are the duo behind Squirmy and Grubs, a YouTube channel that offers a behind the scenes look at their interabled relationship. You can follow all aspects of his personal and professional life on his Instagram: @shaneburcaw
Kody Keplinger grew up in a small Kentucky town. During her senior year of high school she wrote her debut novel, The DUFF, which is a New York Times bestseller, a USA Today bestseller, a YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers and a Romantic Times Top Pick. It has since been adapted into a major motion picture. Kody is also the author of Lying Out Loud, a companion to The DUFF; Run; Shut Out; and A Midsummer’s Nightmare, as well as the middle-grade novel, The Swift Boys & Me. Her most recent book is That’s Not what Happened. Kody currently lives in New York City and writes full-time. You can visit her online at www.kodykeplinger.com.
Nonfiction Program  
Dashka Slater is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in Newsweek, Salon, The New York Times Magazine, and Mother Jones. The recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Slater is also an author of many books, including THE ANTLERED SHIP, a Junior Library Guild selection and Parents Choice Recommended book that received four starred reviews, and ESCARGOT, winner of the Wanda Gag Read Aloud Award.
  Lawrence Goldstone
Deborah Hopkinson
  David Bowles
Book Blitz  
Gordon Jack is a high school librarian and lives in San Francisco with his family. The Boomerang Effect was his first novel and and a YALSA Quick Pick for reluctant YA readers. You can visit him online at www.gordon-jack.com and on Twitter @gordojack.
Jo Schaffer was born and raised in the California Bay Area in a huge, creative family. She is a YA novelist, speaker and a Taekwondo black belt.
She’s a founding member of the nonprofit organization that created Teen Author Boot Camp, one of the nation’s biggest conferences for teens where bestselling authors present writing workshops to nearly a thousand attendees.
Jo loves being involved in anything that promotes literacy and family. She is passionate about
community, travel, books, music, healthy eating, classic films and martial arts. But her favorite thing is being mom to three strapping sons and a neurotic cat named Hero. They live together in the beautiful mountains of Utah. www.joschaffer.com
Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Ingrid Palmer writes young adult fiction in the small Colorado mountain town where she lives with her husband and two sons. When not writing books or enjoying the great outdoors, Ingrid works as a freelance editor. She has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and is a graduate of the Denver Publishing Institute. ALL OUT OF PRETTY is her debut novel. Visit Ingrid online at www.ingridpalmer.com or follow her on Twitter @IngPalmer 

Linda Vigen Phillips, a retired teacher, is passionate about poetry and realistic fiction. Her first novel in verse,Crazy,(Eerdmans/2014) is loosely based on her experience with mental illness in her family. It has provided an inroad into mental health advocacy, through which Linda has helped found Providence Place, a drop-in center for persons with mental illness and their families in Charlotte. Her second novel, Behind These Hands,(Light Messages/2018) addresses a rare childhood disease called Batten that struck three students attending schools where Linda taught. Linda offers writing workshops and spends time speaking and teaching about the importance of bringing these mental and physical issues into public awareness. In her spare time, she finds every opportunity to visit her grandkids, ride her bike on a Charlotte greenway, or sit on her porch with her husband and watch the grass grow.

Krista Van Dolzer is a stay-at-home mom by day and a children's author by bedtime. She lives with her husband and four kids in Layton, Utah, where she watches too much college football and looks for her dead people online. Krista is also the author of The Sound of Life and Everything and Don't Vote for Me, as well as the forthcoming Don't Solve the Puzzle.
Vince Vawter was reared in Memphis and spent forty years in the newspaper business as a writer, editor, and publisher. He is the author of PAPERBOY, winner of a 2014 Newbery Honor. He and his wife live on a small farm near Knoxville.

Alane Adams is an author, former professor, and literacy advocate. She is the author of the Legends of Orkney fantasy mythology series for teens and tweens; The Blue Witch, the firs book in a prequel series to The Legends of Orkney for young tweens; and The Coal Thief, The Egg Thief, The Santa Thief, and The Circus Thief picture books for early-grade readers. She lives in Southern California.


Lindsay Eagar is the author of the middle-grade novels Hour of the Bees, which was an International Latino Book Award winner and was short-listed for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, and Race to the Bottom of the Sea. She lives in the mountains of Utah with her husband and two daughters.
Erin Summerill was born in England. After spending years bouncing between Air Force bases in Hawaii, England, and California, her family finally settled down in Utah. When Erin doesn’t have her nose in a book, she’s busy chasing after her four kids, two dogs, and a cat. Visit her online at erinsummerill.com and follow her on Twitter: @erinsummerill.

D.J. (“Dave”) Butler grew up in swamps, deserts, and mountains. After messing around for years with the practice of  law, he finally got serious and turned to his lifelong passion of storytelling. He now writes adventure stories for readers of all ages, plays guitar, and spends as much time as he can with his family. He is the author of City of the Saints, Rock Band Fights Evil, Space Eldritch, and Crecheling from Wordfire Press, and Witchy Eye from Baen Books. Read  more about Dave and his writing at http://davidjohnbutler.com, and follow him on Twitter: @davidjohnbutler.  David lives in Utah.

American novelist Alysia Helming is the best-selling author of the Protogenesis Book Series, the Executive Producer of the short film series Footsteps in Athens which bring to life onscreen a selection of the book’s most intriguing scenes showcasing the real-life experience of Greece, the Creator/ Executive Producer of the upcoming American TV series Meet Me in Greece, based on the author’s real-life story behind the writing of the book series and the primary shareholder and President of Protogenesis Media. When she isn’t writing, Helming is considered a ‘Clean Energy Guru’ and is also a majority investor/owner in Pristine Sun, a major solar independent power producer in the United States. To find out more about Alysia visit www.alysiahelming.com and follow her on social media @alysiahelming_novelist (IG) & @alysiahelmingnovelist (FB).