Speakers

Tony AbbottTony Abbott is the award-winning author of more than a hundred books for young readers, including Firegirl, The Postcard, and the “Secrets of Droon” series. He lives in Connecticut with his family.
 
 
 
 
 
Katie AdamsKatie Henderson Adams is an editor at Liveright, a division of W. W. Norton & Company. She edits literary fiction and non-fiction, and she lives in Manhattan with her husband and two young sons. @katieanyc
 
 
 
 
 
Ellen AdlerEllen Adler has been the Publisher of The New Press, a not-for-profit publisher that operates in the public interest, since 2006. She joined The New Press Board of Directors in 2001 and became Deputy Director in 2003. Authors she has worked with include Arlie Russell Hochschild (Strangers in Their Own Land), Susan Burton (Becoming Ms. Burton), Peter Edelman (So Rich, So Poor), Lauri Lebo (The Devil in Dover), and Martin Duberman (several books including his acclaimed memoir Waiting to Land). Adler has spent her career in publishing; before joining The New Press in 2003 she was the President and C.E.O. of Berlitz Publishing Company, Inc. Earlier positions include stints at Doubleday, The Dial Press, and Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Adler has served on various boards of directors and was a trustee of Columbia University Press from 2011 until 2015. She continues to serve as an adviser to Columbia University’s Associate Provost and Director of the Press.
 
Arvin AhmadiArvin Ahmadi grew up outside Washington, DC. He graduated from Columbia University and has worked in the tech industry. When he’s not reading or writing books, he can be found watching late-night talk show interviews and editing Wikipedia pages. Down and Across is his first novel.
 
 
 
 
David Barclay MooreDavid Barclay Moore was born and raised in Missouri. After studying creative writing at Iowa State University, film at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and language studies at l’Université de Montpellier in France, David moved to New York City, where he has served as communications coordinator for Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone and communications manager for Quality Services for the Autism Community. He has received grants from the Ford Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, Yaddo, and the Wellspring Foundation. He was also a semi-finalist for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. David now lives, works, and explores in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow him online at DavidBarclayMoore.com, on Twitter at @dbarclaymoore, and on Instagram at dbarclaymoore.
 
Tonya BoldenTonya Bolden‘s work has garnered much praise, including the Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, James Madison Award, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and the Young Adult Library Services Association Best Book for Young Adults list. Visit her online at tonyaboldenbooks.com. @tonyaboldenbook.
 
 
 
 
Raúl ColónRaúl Colón was born in New York City and moved with his parents to Caguas, Puerto Rico, where he studied commercial art. In 1978, Colón made Florida his home, working at an educational television center designing everything from puppets to short animated films. In 1988, the artist settled with his family in New City, New York, and began a freelance career. Today, Colón continues to be a versatile and acclaimed illustrator whose work has appeared in important national publications. An award-winning illustrator of more than 30 books for children, Colón has received a Golden Kite Award, a Pura Belpré Award, and both a gold and silver medal in The Original Art show. He is a two-time winner of the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books.
 
Akwaeke EmeziAkwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and artist based in liminal spaces. Born and raised in Nigeria, she received her MPA from New York University and was awarded a 2015 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship. She won the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa. Her work has been selected and edited by Chimamanda Adichie, and published in various literary magazines, including Granta. Freshwater is her debut.
 
 
Betsy GleickBetsy Gleick is Algonquin’s Editorial Director. She comes to Algonquin after a long career as a journalist, both as a writer and an editor at Time and, most recently, as Deputy Editor at People.
 
 
 
 
 
Sam Graham-FelsenSam Graham-Felsen was born and raised in Boston. He has worked as chief blogger for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, a journalist for The Nation, and a peanut vendor at Fenway Park. He received his MFA in fiction from Columbia University, and his writing has been published in The Nation, Mother Jones, New York, the Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune, and Buzzfeed. This is his first novel.
 
 
 
Beth GutcheonBeth Gutcheon is the critically acclaimed author of ten previous novels: Death at Breakfast, The New Girls, Still Missing, Domestic Pleasures, Saying Grace, Five Fortunes, More Than You Know, Leeway Cottage, Good-bye and Amen, and Gossip. She has also written several film scripts, including the Academy Award-nominated documentary The Children of Theatre Street. She lives in New York City.
 
 
 
Deborah HeiligmanDeborah Heiligman has written many books for children, including National Book Award Finalist Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith and The Boy Who Loved Math. She lives with her family in New York City.
 
 
 
 
 
Lauren HilgersLauren Hilgers was born in Austin, Texas, and graduated from Pomona College in 2003. In 2006 she moved to Shanghai, China, and spent six years writing about the country, covering topics ranging from tomb raiders in rural Henan Province to political scandals in Beijing. Her writing has appeared in Harper’s, Wired, Businessweek, the New Yorker, and the New York Times Magazine.
 
 
 
Veera HiranandaniVeera Hiranandani earned her MFA in fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She is the author of The Whole Story of Half a Girl (Delacorte Press), which was named a Sydney Taylor Notable Book and a South Asian Book Award Finalist. She is also the author of the chapter book series, Phoebe G. Green (Grosset & Dunlap), and The Night Diary, forthcoming in 2018 (Dial). A former book editor at Simon & Schuster, she now teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College’s Writing Institute and The Writer’s Rock.
 
 
Dara HornDara Horn, one of Granta’s “Best Young American Novelists” and the winner of two National Jewish Book Awards, is the author of the novels A Guide for the Perplexed, All Other Nights, The World to Come, In the Image, and the forthcoming Eternal Life (January 2018). She lives in New Jersey with her husband and four children.
 
 
 
Uzodinma IwealaUzodinma Iweala received the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the Academy of Arts and Letters, the New York Public Library Young Lions 2006 Fiction Award, and the 2006 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for Beasts of No Nation. In 2007, he was selected as one of Granta‘s Best Young American Novelists. A graduate of Harvard University and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, he lives in New York City and Lagos, Nigeria.
 
 
Peter JosephPrior to launching Hanover Square Press, Peter Joseph worked at Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, most recently as Executive Editor, where he acquired and edited hardcover fiction and nonfiction for the Thomas Dunne Books imprint, as well as crime fiction for Minotaur Books and paperbacks for St. Martin’s Griffin and Macmillan’s Picador imprints. Over the years he has worked on books by such bestselling and award-winning authors as Peter Ackroyd, Richard A. Clarke, Wilbur Smith, Robert Littell, Dario Fo, Barbara Leaming, Henry Marsh, William Shatner, Greg Graffin of Bad Religion, Senator Robert C. Byrd, Senator Arlen Specter and Senator Bernie Sanders. @peterajoseph.
 
Aram KimAram Kim was born in Cincinnati, raised in South Korea, and currently lives in New York City. A graduate of Yonsei University in Seoul and the School of Visual Arts in New York, Aram is the author and illustrator of Cat on the Bus, called a “beautifully designed visual work” by School Library Journal and included in the ILA Children’s Choices 2017. Aram Kim’s new picture book, No Kimchi For Me!, is the sweet and funny story of a little girl who doesn’t enjoy kimchi until her grandmother shows her how yummy it can be.
 
 
Megan LynchMegan Lynch is Vice President & Editorial Director at Ecco, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, where she has worked since 2014. She acquires and edits a wide range of literary fiction and select narrative nonfiction. Prior to Ecco, she spent over a decade working at Riverhead Books.
 
 
 
 
Alice McDermottAlice McDermott is the author of seven previous novels, including After This; Child of My Heart; Charming Billy, winner of the 1998 National Book Award; At Weddings and Wakes; and Someone–all published by FSG. That Night, At Weddings and Wakes, and After This were all finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. Her stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, and elsewhere. She is the Richard A. Macksey Professor of the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University.
 
Jillian MedoffJillian Medoff is the acclaimed author of the national bestseller I Couldn’t Love You More; Hunger Point, which was adapted into an original Lifetime movie; and Good Girls Gone Bad. She has an MFA from New York University. Along with writing novels, Jillian has had a long career in management consulting and corporate communications and is currently a senior consultant for a professional services firm. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with her family.
 
 
Sarah MoonSarah Moon is a teacher and writer. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, with her wife Jasmine. She is the coeditor of The Letter Q, a young adult anthology. Sparrow is her first YA novel.
 
 
 
 
 
George O'ConnorGeorge O’Connor is a New York Times-bestselling author and illustrator of the “Olympians” series as well as such graphic novels as Journey into Mohawk Country and Ball Peen Hammer. In addition to his graphic novel career, Mr. O’Connor has published several children’s picture books. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 
 
 
 
Daniel José OlderDaniel José Older is a Brooklyn-based writer whose first published YA novel, the New York Times bestseller Shadowshaper, received four starred reviews, was nominated for many awards, and won the International Latino Book Award. You can find his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an NYC paramedic, and hear his music at ghoststar.net and @djolder.
 
 
 
Emma OtheguyEmma Otheguy is a children’s book author and a historian of Spain and colonial Latin America. She is a member of the Bank Street Writers Lab, and her short story Fairies in Town was awarded a Magazine Merit Honor by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Martí’s Song for Freedom, her picture book debut, was released in July 2017 from Lee & Low Books and has received five starred reviews. Otheguy lives with her husband in New York City. You can find her online at emmaotheguy.com.
 
 
Brian PinkneyBrian Pinkney has illustrated numerous acclaimed books for children, including Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song; On the Ball; The Faithful Friend; Duke Ellington; and In the Time of the Drums. His many awards include two Caldecott Honors, a Coretta Scott King Illustration Award, four Coretta Scott King Illustration Honors, and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award. Brian lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and frequent collaborator, Andrea Davis Pinkney. Visit him at BrianPinkney.net.
 
 
Stephanie Powell WattsStephanie Powell Watts is an associate professor of English at Lehigh University, and has won numerous awards, including a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, and the Southern Women’s Writers Award for Emerging Writer of the Year. She was also a PEN/Hemingway finalist for her short-story collection We Are Taking Only What We Need.
 
 
 
Erika SánchezErika L. Sánchez is a poet, a feminist, and a cheerleader for young women everywhere. She was the sex and love advice columnist for Cosmopolitan for Latinas for three years, and her writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Salon, and the Paris Review. Since she was a 12-year-old nerd in giant bifocals and embroidered vests, Erika has dreamed of writing complex, empowering stories about girls of color–what she wanted to read as a young adult. She lives in Chicago, not far from the setting of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. Erika is fluent in Spanish, Spanglish, and cat. You can find out more about her at erikalsanchez.com or @erikalsanchez.
 
Adam SilveraAdam Silvera is the New York Times bestselling author of More Happy Than Not, History Is All You Left Me, and the upcoming They Both Die at the End. He was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start for his debut. Adam was born and raised in the Bronx, and he was a bookseller before shifting to children’s publishing. He has worked at a literary development company, a creative writing website for teens, and as a book reviewer of children’s and young adult novels. He is tall for no reason and lives in Queens, New York. Visit him online at adamsilvera.com.
 
Krystal SitalKrystal A. Sital was born in Trinidad and Tobago before moving to the United States in 1999. A PEN Award finalist and a Hertog Fellow, she holds an MFA from Hunter College. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Salon, the Margins, the Caribbean Writer, Brain Child, and elsewhere. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters.
 
 
 
Johnny TempleJohnny Temple is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Akashic Books, an award-winning Brooklyn-based independent publishing company. He won the 2013 Ellery Queen Award and is the editor of the anthology USA Noir, which was selected as a New York Times Editors’ Choice. He has taught courses on the publishing business at Wilkes University, Wesleyan University, and Pratt Institute; and is the Chair of the Brooklyn Book Festival Literary Council, which organizes the annual Brooklyn Book Festival. He also plays bass guitar in the band Girls Against Boys, which has toured extensively across the globe and released numerous albums on independent and major record companies.
 
Eric VelasquezEric Velasquez is the illustrator of numerous books for children, including his most recent picture book biography, Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library, written by Carole Boston Weatherford. He won the John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award for his illustrations of The Piano Man, written by Debbi Chocolate. Eric Velasquez is also the author-illustrator of the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award–winning Grandma’s Gift. Born in Harlem, he lives and works in Hartsdale, New York.
 


 
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