Introducing you to the authors that will be showcased for 2023 Symposium.
The 2023 authors will be continued to be updated.
Margaret A. Edwards Award Recipient
Jason Reynolds is the recipient of the 2023 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens for “When I was the Greatest,” “The Boy in the Black Suit,” “All American Boys,” “Ghost” and “Long Way Down.” The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), announced the award today during the ALA’s LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience held Jan. 27-30, in New Orleans. In his writing, Jason Reynolds presents teens with authentic mirrors and windows to the world. Each of Reynolds’ books creates opportunities for discussion and reflection among teens.
Opening Session Author Panel: Meet Cute in St. Louis: Rom-Coms for Today’s Teens
Edward Underhill (he/him) is a queer trans man who grew up in the suburbs of Wisconsin. He began writing (very bad) stories as a kid and wrote his first (also very bad) novel in his teens. In college, he earned a master’s degree in film music composition. After a few years living in tiny apartments in New York, he moved to California, where by day he writes music and by night he writes stories, which aren’t as bad as they used to be. When not doing either of these things, he’s probably gardening or hanging out with his cat. He is the author of Always the Almost.
Lynn Painter writes romantic comedies for both teens and adults. She is the author of Better Than the Movies, Mr. Wrong Number, The Do-Over, and Betting on You, as well as being a regular contributor to the Omaha World-Herald. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and pack of wild children, and when she isn’t reading or writing, odds are good she’s guzzling energy drinks and watching rom-coms. You can find her at LynnPainter.com, on Instagram @LynnPainterKirkle, or on Twitter @LAPainter.
Mason Deaver is born and raised in a small town in North Carolina, an award-nominated, bestselling author and designer living in Charlotte. Their debut novel, I Wish You All the Best, was named a Junior Library Guild Selection and an NPR Concierge Book. Besides writing, they're an active fan of horror movies and video games. You can find them online at masondeaverwrites.com.
Crystal Maldonado is a young adult author with a lot of feelings. She is the author of romcoms for fat, brown girls. By day, Crystal works in higher ed marketing, and by night, she’s a writer who loves Beyoncé, glitter, shopping, and spending too much time on her phone. Her work has been published in Latina, BuzzFeed, and the Hartford Courant. She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and dog. Follow her everywhere @crystalwrote.
Alexene Farol Follmuth is the author of the young adult rom-coms My Mechanical Romance and Twelfth Knight. As Olivie Blake, she is the New York Times bestselling author of The Atlas Six, Alone with You in the Ether, One for My Enemy, and Masters of Death. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, goblin prince/toddler, and rescue pit bull.
William C. Morris Author Panel
Terry J. Benton-Walker grew up in rural Georgia and now lives in Atlanta with his husband and son, where he writes fiction for adults, young adults, and children. He has an Industrial Engineering degree from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Georgia State. When he’s not writing, he can be found gaming, eating ice cream, or both. Connect with Terry on Twitter at @tjbentonwalker, Instagram at icecreamvicelord, or at tjbentonwalker.com. Blood Debts is his first novel.
Ari Tison is a Bribri (Indigenous Costa Rican) American and African descended poet and storyteller. Her poems and short works have been published in Yellow Medicine Review, The Under Review, Rock & Sling, and POETRY's first ever edition for children. She was the winner of the 2018 Vaunda Micheaux Nelson award for a BIPOC writer with Lerner Publishing. She currently is the annual broadside editor for Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop where she gets to collaborate with the Minnesota Center for the Book Arts to bring incarcerated voices into the world. Saints of the Household is her debut novel.
Closing Session Author Panel: Gateway to Exploration: The Quest for Stories
Margaret Owen was born and raised at the end of the Oregon Trail and has worked in everything from thrift stores to presidential campaigns. She is the author of the instant Indie Bestseller Little Thieves, which received five starred reviews and was a Kids' Indie next pick and YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection. Her debut, The Merciful Crow duology, was an NPR Best Book of the Year, a Tor.com Best of the Year, and a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection.
Kelly Andrew lost her hearing when she was four years old. She's been telling stories ever since. Kelly lives in New England with her husband, two daughters, and a persnickety Boston Terrier.