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
 
 
 
 
 
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.
 
 
 
 
Raul ColónRaul 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.
 
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.
 
 
 
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.
 
 
 
 
 
Veera HiranandaniVeera Hiranandani earned her MFA in creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She is the author of The Whole Story of Half a Girl, which was named a Sydney Taylor Notable Book and a South Asian Book Award Finalist. A former book editor at Simon & Schuster, she now teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College’s Writing Institute and Writopia Lab.
 
 
 
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.
 
 
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.
 
 
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.
 
 
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.
 
 
 
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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