Jennifer De Leon is the author of Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From(Atheneum/Simon & Schuster 2020) and the editor of Wise Latinas (University of Nebraska Press). An Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Framingham State University, and a GrubStreet instructor and board member, she has published prose in over a dozen literary journals, including Ploughshares, Iowa Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review. She lives in the Boston area.
Mason Deaver is a nonbinary author and librarian from a small town in North Carolina where the word "y'all" is used in abundance. They are the author of I Wish You All the Best, which was named one of the Best Books of 2019 by—Indigo, Autostraddle, Bitch Media, Book Riot, & Buzzfeed, and the forthcoming novel The Ghosts We Keep.
Alaya Dawn Johnson’s first novel for young adults, THE SUMMER PRINCE, received three starred reviews, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and was a Kirkus Best Book of the Year. LOVE IS THE DRUG, brought her deep speculative imagination and social commentary to the world of modern Washington, DC. and won the prestigious Nebula (Andre Norton) Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy. Her most recent novel, TROUBLE WITH THE SAINTS, is out from Tor as of July 2020. Her short story collection, RECONSTRUCTION, is forthcoming from Small Beer Press in November of 2020. In Mexico City where she has made her home since 2014, Johnson has recently received her master’s degree with honors in Mesoamerican Studies from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. With her new band Cananea, she’s finally getting a chance to explore her creativity musically, writing and singing songs that are a mix of the personal and the unabashedly speculative, just like her fiction.
Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine-American who loves meteor showers, summer, astrology, and pizza. She lives in Utah with her Puerto Rican husband and their five kids, two adorable dogs, and one majestic cat. An inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grant recipient, she’s also a graduate of Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Writing for Children’s and Young Adult program. She’s a PB, MG, and YA author. Yamile is also part of Las Musas, the first collective of women and nonbinary Latinx MG and YA authors. She’s represented by Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary.
Mark Oshiro is the award-winning author of ANGER IS A GIFT (2019 Schneider Family Book Award) and EACH OF US A DESERT, both with Tor Teen. Their middle grade debut, THE INSIDERS, is out in 2021. When not writing, they run the online Mark Does Stuff universe and are trying to pet every dog in the world.
Ben Philippe is a New York-based writer and screenwriter, born in Haiti and raised in Montreal, Canada. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University and an MFA in fiction and screenwriting from the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas. He also teaches film studies and screenwriting at Barnard College. He is the author of the William C. Morris Award-winning novel The Field Guide to the North American Teenager and Charming as a Verb.
Nova Ren Suma is a two-time Edgar Award finalist and the author of A Room Away from the Wolves and the #1 New York Times bestselling The Walls Around Us, among other novels. She is co-editor of the story & writing craft anthology FORESHADOW: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA, forthcoming from Algonquin in October 2020. She has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania and Vermont College of Fine Arts. She grew up in the Hudson Valley and now lives in Philadelphia.
Ashley Woodfolk has loved reading and writing for as long as she can remember. She graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and worked in children's book publishing for ten years. She wrote her first novel, The Beauty That Remains, from a sunny Brooklyn apartment where she lives with her cute husband, her cuter dog, and the cutest baby in the world: her son Niko. When You Were Everything is her second novel. Forthcoming is her first series: Flyy Girls.
Linda Camacho was always a fan of escaping into a good book, so the fact that she gets to make it her career is still surreal. She graduated from Cornell with a B.S. in Communication and has seen many sides of the industry. She’s held various positions at Penguin Random House, Dorchester, Simon and Schuster, and Writers House literary agency until she ventured into agenting at Prospect. She's done everything from foreign rights to editorial to marketing to operations, so it was amazing to see how all the departments worked together to bring books to life. Somewhere in between all that (and little sleep), Linda received her MFA in creative writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Now at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency, Linda continues to work with colleagues and clients who inspire her every day in both the children’s and adult categories.
DongWon Song is an agent at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency representing science fiction and fantasy for adults, young adult, and middle grade readers as well as select non-fiction. They were formerly an editor at Orbit and a product manager for the ebook startup, Zola Books and has taught as an adjunct instructor in the publishing program at Portland State University. They live in Brooklyn, NY.
I was drawn into the world of literature by default when my sister's growing collection of books in our tiny room began to overflow onto my bed. Born to Pakistani immigrants in Sri Lanka, and knowing how to express myself only in English for the first fifteen years of my life, I found comfort in reading about other culturally displaced people, unable to communicate in their native tongues, and hesitant to assert themselves in environments where there were few examples of people like them. Moving to Pakistan and absorbing what it meant to be an educated and empowered girl coming of age in a traditional Islamic society contributed greatly to my desire to seek similar narratives, especially from other women. I took the next step in my immigrant journey by moving to the United States to study Economics and Middle Eastern Studies at Wellesley College. I then studied modern Persian Literature at the University of Chicago, where I helped edit our department’s academic journal. After a stint at Sourcebooks as an Editorial Intern, I joined the team at Talcott Notch Literary, and the rest is history.
Being an author today is an entrepreneurial endeavor, and I see my role as my clients’ primary advocate as they navigate each and every stage of the publishing process – from digging deep into developing their craft, to representing their interests zealously even after they find homes for their books. I am also committed to highlighting marginalized voices with bright careers ahead of them and compelling stories to tell; stories that demonstrate the true range of perspectives that exist in this world, and address urgent and often underexplored issues with veracity and heart.
When I’m not reading, you’ll probably find me running after my two small children, secretly learning another foreign language, playing Scrabble, watching a Bollywood movie, or singing in the bathroom (the acoustics, am I right?)
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