Nina Crews has written and illustrated many energetic stories for young children including One Hot Summer Day, The Neighborhood Mother Goose and Below. She uses photographs and photo collages to create distinctive illustrations. Her work has been recognized by the ALA Notable Committee, Cooperative Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild, and Bank Street College of Education. Her latest book is Seeing Into Tomorrow: Haiku by Richard Wright. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and son.
An Na (Chair) is the author of four novels, including The Place Between Breaths, The Fold, Wait for Me, and A Step from Heaven, which was a National Book Award Finalist and won the Michael L. Printz Award. Her honors include the International Reading Association Award and the Parents Choice Gold Award, and her books have been named as ALA Best Books for Young Adults and New York Times Notables. She teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts in the Writing for Children and Young Adults MFA.
Megan Stockton is a poet and publisher living in Detroit, Michigan. She is a co-editor at Weekday, an annual literary journal, and is a member of Problem Press, a collaborative writing and publishing project. Stockton’s writing has appeared in Monster House Press, BigBig Wednesday, The Stool, Bearings: Works About Boundaries, Hypocrite Reader, and is forthcoming in Flint Magazine. She is currently working on her Masters of Creative Writing at Eastern Michigan University.
Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of the contemporary young adult novel The Education of Margot Sanchez. The novel was recently nominated for a 2017 Best Fiction for Young Adult Fiction by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Named a “2017 Face to Watch” by the Los Angeles Times, Lilliam is also a 2016 Pushcart Prize winner and a 2015 Clarion alumni with a Leonard Pung Memorial Scholarship. She has been awarded fellowships from PEN Center USA, A Room Of Her Own Foundation, and received a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation and the Speculative Literature Foundation. Lilliam’s work has appeared in Tin House, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today, to name a few. Lilliam lives in Los Angeles.
Amanda Panitch is a young adult author living in New York City. Her books,Damage Done and Never Missing, Never Found (Random House Books for Young Readers), have been called “disturbingly wonderful” (Entertainment Weekly onDamage Done), “a real page-turner” (New York Daily News on Damage Done), and “a tense, clever thriller” (Publisher’s Weekly, starred review of Never Missing, Never Found). Both were named Best Books for Teens by the New York Public Library. She is currently at work on her third book.
Fatima Farheen Mirza is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow. She has taught creative writing and fiction courses at the University of Iowa and at the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio. Awarded the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship in 2016 and The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research/Creative Achievement from The University of California, Riverside, she has also received residencies from The Marble House Project and The MacDowell Colony. Her debut novel, A Place for Us, was the first title published by Sarah Jessica Parker’s imprint, SJP for Hogarth. The book was an instant New York Times bestseller and was named a best book of 2018 by the Washington Post, NPR, People, BuzzFeed, and more.
Sheila Maldonado is the author of the poetry collections, one-bedroom solo (Fly by Night Press, 2011) and that’s what you get, forthcoming from Brooklyn Arts Press. She is a CantoMundo Fellow and a Creative Capital awardee as part of desveladas, a visual writing collective. She has served as an artist-in-residence on Governors Island for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and as a Cultural Envoy to Honduras for the US State Department. She teaches creative writing for the City University of New York and holds degrees in English from Brown University and poetry from the City College of New York. She grew up in Coney Island and lives in Washington Heights. She has taught and read and written with virtually every grade level of NYC student and is forever a city kid herself.
Aliya S. King is a freelance writer and author. Born and raised in East Orange, New Jersey, Aliya has held editorial positions at Billboard, The Source, and Ebony. As a freelance writer for nearly twenty years, her profiles, news stories and features have appeared in Elle, Nylon, Ebony, Vibe, Ms, Essence, Black Enterprise and many others. In 2007, Aliya co-authored the New York Times bestseller, Keep The Faith, with Platinum recording artist Faith Evans. She also co-authored Original Gangster with Frank Lucas, on whom the film American Gangster was based. Her first novel, Platinum, was published by Simon and Schuster in 2010. The sequel, Diamond Life, was published by Simon and Schuster in February of 2012. She is currently squeezing blood from a rock to get her third novel done.
Alicia Anabel Santos is an Afrolatina Lesbian Storyteller, Speaker, Performance Artist, Producer, Playwright, Teaching Artist and Activist. Her stories celebrate and honor women throughout Latin America. She was born in Brooklyn and is a proud Dominican Writer. Iyawó is the Founder of the New York City Latina Writers Group which just celebrated its 10th anniversary. For ten years she has created and nurtured safe spaces for emerging and established writers to nurture their creativity. She has been a guest speaker, traveling to more than thirty universities throughout the United States, lecturing on subjects which intersect identity, religion, sexuality, feminism and social justice. In 2011, she self-published her memoir, Finding Your Force: A Journey to Love and her one-woman show I WAS BORN was selected as part of the ONE Festival in New York. Anabel has been a guest on NPR’s Tell Me More and her work has been seen in LATINA Magazine. Having worked for renowned magazines, such as Glamour, Domino and BusinessWeek, it was an article published in Urban Latino Magazine, “Two Cultures Marching to One Drum,” that would change the direction of her life. In 2008 she joined Creador Pictures as Writer/Producer of its first documentary, AfroLatinos: An Untaught History. She attended New York University, has a daughter in graduate school and lives in the Bronx with her partner.