Participating Authors 2016

participating authors at YALSA's symposium

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Check back for more authors and information on how they are participating in the Symposium!

Andrews%2C%20Jesse%202 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. Jesse is also a musician and screenwriter. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Visit Jesse at

Jonathan Auxier is the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Gardener, Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard, snd Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, which the Wall Street Journal called “as delightful a magical story as readers . . . will hope to find.” He teaches children’s literature and lives in Pittsburgh with his family. Visit him at

Leigh Bardugo is the #1 New York Times-bestselling and USA Today-bestselling author of Six of Crows and the Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising). She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.

Pittsburgh native Joshua David Bellin has been writing novels since he was eight years old (though the first few were admittedly very short). He taught college for twenty years, wrote a bunch of books for college students, then decided to return to fiction. He is the author of a two-part YA science fiction series that includes Survival Colony 9 (2014) and Scavenger of Souls (2016). Freefall, a YA adventure/romance set in deep space, is due out in 2017. Josh loves to read, watch movies, and spend time in Nature with his kids. Oh, yeah, and he likes monsters. Really scary monsters.
Roshani%20Chokshi Roshani Chokshi comes from a small town in Georgia where she collected a Southern accent, but does not use it unless under duress. She grew up in a blue house with a perpetually napping bear-dog. At Emory University, she dabbled with journalism, attended some classes in pajamas, forgot to buy winter boots and majored in 14th century British literature. She spent a year after graduation working and traveling and writing. After that, she started law school at the University of Georgia where she’s learning a new kind of storytelling. THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN is her first novel.
Kristen%20Elizabeth%20Clark Kristin Elizabeth Clark is also the author of Freakboy, which received three starred reviews, was a YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults title, a Project Reading Rainbow List Top Ten title, and a Bank Street Best Book of the Year. She lives and writes in Northern California.

Dhonielle is a former librarian and secondary school teacher. Together with Sona Charaipotra, she cofounded CAKE Literary, a boutique book packaging company with a decidedly diverse bent, and has co-written Tiny Pretty Things and Shiny Broken Pieces. Visit Dhonielle online at
Zoraida%20Cordova Zoraida Córdova was born in Ecuador and raised in Queens, New York. She is the author of the Vicious Deep trilogy, the On the Verge series, and the Brooklyn Brujas series. She loves black coffee, snark, and still believes in magic. Send her a tweet @Zlikeinzorro or visit her at

Alexandra Diaz is the author of Of All the Stupid Things which was an ALA Rainbow List book and NM Book Awards finalist. She has two different books coming out in 2016: The Only Road is an immigration novel for middle grade readers which she also translated into Spanish, and Good Girls Don't Lie is a teen pregnancy novel for young adults. She teaches creative writing and circus arts to children and adults, though not necessarily at the same time. Any excuse to travel is a good one but can be found virtually at
Bonnie Doerr Bonnie J. Doerr is the author of middle grade eco-mysteries. Island Sting, was the 2011 EPIC Children’s award winner, and Stakeout, a finalist for the Green Earth Book Award. Tangled Lines, third in the stand-alone series, was a 2016 summer release. A free 19-page Tangled Lines Discussion and Project Guide is available by request. For more time than she cares to calculate, Doerr was a literacy and science teacher. Her work has been sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for its use in environmental education and included in Milkweed Editions literary field guides. She lives in a log cabin in North Carolina surrounded by woods and wildlife.
Laure%20Eve%2001%20-%20edited Laure Eve was born in Paris and currently lives in London, where she works in book publishing. She is also the author of Fearsome Dreamer and The Illusionists. You can find her ultra-witty, real-life musings on Twitter @LaureEve and on her website.
Alison%20Ashley%20Formento%20Twigs Alison Ashley Formento writes for children, teens, and adults. She is the author of the young adult novel Twigs (Merit Press/Adams Media), featured in PW as a notable new release for teens, and multi-award-winning nature picture books This Tree Counts!,This Tree, 1, 2, 3, These Bees Count!, These Seas Count!, and These Rocks Count! (Albert Whitman). Alison has written for several national publications including The New York Times, The Writer, and Parenting. She loves meeting readers at schools, libraries, and festivals, and donates a portion of her book sales to

Jonathan Friesen is an author, speaker, and youth writing coach from Mora, Minnesota. His first young adult novel, Jerk, California, received the ALA Schneider Award. When he’s not writing, speaking at schools, or teaching, Jonathan loves to travel and hang out with his wife and three kids.

Stephanie%20Garber Stephanie Garber loves Disneyland because it’s the one place on earth where she feels as if the fantastical stories she loves to write about could actually come to life. When she's not writing young adult fantasy, she teaches creative writing at a private college in northern California, where she’s known for turning assignments into games and taking students on field trips that involve book signings. CARAVAL is her first novel for young adults. She would love to hear from you on social media.

Alissa Grosso
Alissa Grosso is the author of three young adult novels, Popular, Ferocity Summer, and Shallow Pond. She lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and can be found online at
Howard%2C%20Anita A. G. Howard is the author of the New York Times bestselling Splintered series and is a huge fan of the classic Broadway musical The Phantom of the Opera. As a writer, A. G. is most at home weaving all things magical into everyday settings and scenes. When she is not writing, A. G. enjoys rollerblading, gardening, and visiting 18th century graveyards or abandoned buildings to appease her muse’s darker side. You can find her online at @AGHowardWrites or at
Amalie%20Howard-Headshot-200x300 Amalie Howard is the award-winning IndieNext author of Alpha Goddess, the Aquarathi series, and the Cruentus Curse series. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was an Amazon bestseller and a Seventeen Summer Read. She currently resides with her husband and three children in Colorado.
Lex%20Hrabe Lex Hrabe writes with Thomas Voorhies under the pen name Lex Thomas. Lex received a BA in Drama and English from the University of Virginia and has worked as an actor and writer. He lives in Virginia with his wife and two daughters. Visit Lex and Thomas online at

Jennifer R. Hubbard lives in the Philadelphia area. She is a hiker, a chocolate lover, and a night person who believes that mornings were meant to be slept through. Her short fiction has appeared in literary magazines. Her published books include the contemporary young-adult novels The Secret Year, Try Not To Breathe, and Until It Hurts To Stop.

E.K. Johnston is the author of The Story of Owen and its sequel, Prairie Fire.The Story of Owen earned four starred reviews and was a JLG selection, a Kirkus Prize Finalist, and an LA Times Book Prize finalist; it received a YALSA William Morris honor, a Best Fiction for Young Adults Top Ten placement, and spots on several best-of-2014 lists.Prairie Fire was also a JLG selection and has so far earned a starred from Kirkus, which called the book "grand, heartbreaking, ennobling and unforgettable." Her third novel, A Thousand Nights, will publish in October 2015 with Hyperion.

Christine Kendall worked for many years in the field of law firm talent management. She was honored to help coordinate the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund’s commemoration of the fiftieth-anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. Christine now lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and writes full-time.
Stephanie%20Keyes Stephanie Keyes is the author of the YA Fantasy series, The Star Child, which includes The Star Child, After Faerie, The Fallen Stars, The Star Catcher, and The Last Protector. The Boy In The Trees, part of the Blood In The Shadows anthology, released in November 2015. The Star Catcher won first place in the 2014 Dante Rossetti Young Adult Novel Awards—Mythological Category. The Star Child was a finalist in the 2015 BTS Magazine Reader's Choice Awards. Keyes was also selected as a 2015 Rutgers University One-On-One Plus Conference mentee. She's an active member of SCBWI. Steph lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with Mr. Keyes, her boys, Hip-Hop and Bam-Bam, and dogs Duncan MacLeod and Princess Riley. Steph is a hopeless romantic and Whovian who's shamelessly addicted to Nutella and spontaneous singing.

Mary E. Pearson is the author of eight novels for teens, including The Kiss of Deception, The Heart of Betrayal, and the acclaimed Jenna Fox Chronicles. She writes full-time from her home in Carlsbad, California.
Meredith%20Russo Meredith Russo was born, raised, and lives in Tennessee. She started living as her true self in late 2013 and never looked back. IF I WAS YOUR GIRL was partially inspired by her experiences as a trans woman. Like Amanda, Meredith is a gigantic nerd who spends a lot of her time obsessing over video games and Star Wars. IF I WAS YOUR GIRL is her debut novel, but definitely not her last. When she's not busy writing she can be found reblogging pictures of cats and babies, reading high literature (and definitely not fanfiction and fantasy novels), arguing with strangers about social justice, and, of course, raising her two amazing children, Vivian and Darwin.


Victoria Scott is the author of the Fire & Flood series and the popular Dante Walker series. She lives in Dallas, Texas, with her husband and daughter. Please visit her online at and follow her on Twitter @VictoriaScottYA.

Jordan Sonnenblick is the author of the acclaimed Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie, Notes from the Midnight Driver, Zen and the Art of Faking It, and the sequel to Drums called After Ever After. He lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with his wife and two children. Visit him online at

Siobhan Vivian is the author of the young adult novel The List, as well as Not That Kind of Girl, Same Difference, and A Little Friendly Advice, and the Burn for Burn trilogy, cowritten with Jenny Han. A former editor for Alloy Entertainment, she received her MFA in creative writing at the New School. She teaches creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Visit her at
Ellen%20Wittlinger Ellen Wittlinger (Haydenville, MA) is a former children's librarian who holds an MFA from the University of Iowa. She is the author of fifteen YA and middle-grade novels, including Local Girl Swept Away (Merit Press, 2016), Hard Love (an American Library Association Michael L. Printz Honor Book, a Lambda Literary Award winner, and a Booklist Editors' Choice), Love & Lies, What's in a Name, Sandpiper, and others. Her books have been on numerous ALA Best Books lists, Bank Street College of Education lists, and state award lists. She has taught at Emerson College in Boston and in the Simmons College Writing for Children MFA program. Her work has been translated into many other languages including Turkish, Croatian and Korean.

Lex Hrabe writes with Thomas Voorhies under the pen name Lex Thomas. Lex received a BA in Drama and English from the University of Virginia and has worked as an actor and writer. He lives in Virginia with his wife and two daughters. Visit Lex and Thomas online at