Meet Our Pre-Published Authors
The Seymour Agency is proud to continue to search for talented new authors and fresh voices to bring into the industry. Meet some of our gifted, soon-to-be-published clients. For more information on how to qualify, contact us in Canton, New York
Maria Wen Adcock
Maria Wen Adcock
Maria Wen Adcock is a first-generation Chinese-American writer who grew up in Michigan and moved to New York with dreams of working in media.
She founded BiculturalMama.com, an award-winning parenting blog that celebrates mixed families like her own – a combination of Asian and American cultures. As an established blogger, Maria has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, Bloomberg News, Newsday, Huffington Post, and a YouTube Asian Food docuseries.
A passionate supporter of diversity, she is a Board Member and Supervisory Editor of Multicultural Kid Blogs, an organization with 200+ diverse global parenting bloggers. Prior to blogging, she worked as a marketing executive for magazines such as InStyle, Real Simple, and Entertainment Weekly.
Maria is an active SCBWI Long Island member and oversees its largest writing critique group. She resides in Long Island with her husband and two children. Maria looks forward to sharing her heritage with young readers through her books.
Facebook Author Page:
Instagram Handle: @BiculturalMama
Twitter Handle: @BiculturalMama
Mike Ajnsztajn is a serial entrepreneur and participates in an international network of investors, Angels, Venture Capital, and Private Equity funds. He is the founder and ACE Startups, the largest startup accelerator in Latin America In addition, he is also the Founder and Chairman of the Board of GVAngels, one of the largest and most active angel investing groups in Brazil.
Mike is fluent in five languages and grew up in Brazil, in a family that was an amalgam of nationalities; a Polish father. Egyptian mother and German sister. Mike married an American Jersey girl; his family is the real Tower of Babel.
After graduation from business school, Mike worked for large multinational companies and had the opportunity to live many years in Paris and China.
He decided to abandon a prominent executive career to return to Brazil and spend a few months with his father, that was diagnosed with terminal cancer, before becoming an entrepreneur and starting his first business.
Nowadays, Mike divides his time between Sāo Paulo and New Jersey, where he lives with his wife and a smart border collie.
TJ Amberson hails from the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her husband and nutty cocker spaniel. Some of her most recent novels include the Nereth trilogy, Fusion, and Love at Lakewood Med. When she's not writing, TJ might be found enjoying a hot chocolate, pretending to know how to garden, riding her bike, playing the piano, or surfing the Internet for cheap plane tickets.
With a love of many genres, TJ Amberson writes sweet romance for adults, and historical fantasy and contemporary fantasy/sci-fi adventures for teen and mature tween readers.
Website and Blog:
Julie Augensen is a children’s author, writing adventurous fiction and branching into nonfiction picture books. Her stories range from humorous to folk tale. As a reluctant reader, she hit her reading stride in middle school when she discovered the Laura Ingles Wilder series. She lives in Tampa, FL, with her husband and a teenaged son. As a lover of pink, all things girly, dark chocolate, and a decaf caramel latte with almond milk, Julie is pursuing a writing career and she is a senior at USF earning a Studio Art degree. Julie is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
Thornton Blease wants to live in a world where horses, dragons, and mermaids roam free, and everyone can reach their fullest potential.
As a teen, Thornton won 26 gold keys and three National titles from Scholastic's Teen Art and Writing Awards and has been published in Scholastic's Teens' Best Writing. As a young adult, he is a judge for the same awards.
He has a BA from Sarah Lawrence and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from The New School.
Conferences allow him to travel the country to hone his craft and encourage children, especially those with (dis)abilities to read and write. Thornton is a proud and active member of the SCBWI. 12X12 and GLVWG. He has also attended the competitive Southampton Children's Literature Conference, VCFA Writing for Young Peoples Retreat and Highlights.
Thornton has been published in Scholastic's Teens' Best Writing, The Underground, River of Words, Rewriting the Past Anthology, and CSA Journals.
Growing up in rural Stewartsville, NJ, Thornton jokes about being born in an animal hospital/shelter. Not quite. But he has learned about love, devotion, sorrow, and cruelty from his experiences at the clinic. He lives with his rescue cats, dogs, horse, and donkeys.
Stephanie Bleser is a middle grade and picture book author who loves coffee, eating out, and all things outdoorsy (minus the bugs). When she isn’t writing, she works as a civil engineer. She lives outside of St. Louis with her husband and two kids.
If you would like to know more about Stephanie, please visit the following links:
Rachel Brittain is a writer from Arkansas. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Andromeda Spaceways, The Conium Review, Parentheses Journal, and as the title story in My Name Was Never Frankenstein. When not playing around in fictional worlds, she can be found writing for Book Riot and cuddling every animal she meets.
KL Burd has always made a home in multiple cultures. Growing up on various continents as an Army brat in an Immigrant Caribbean home, KL loved to read books from all genres and backgrounds from Fantasy to Contemporary to Mystery and Horror. However, his absolute favorite was Sci-Fi. The only problem: as a young Black man, KL never saw himself in any of his fantastical heroes.
Years later, as a husband and dad in a mixed-race household, KL’s dream is that his boys will not only love books like he does but can identify with their favorite protagonists.
KL writes so that underrepresented kids, especially young Black boys and girls, can see themselves in every type of story imaginable.
A professional communicator for more than 30 years, Nancy writes fiction and non-fiction, speaks, leads retreats, and provides soul care. A treasure hunter for beauty everywhere and in everyone, she’s president of InSpero, Inc.(www.inspero.org), a non-profit arts organization committed to bringing hope and healing to the city of Birmingham and its churches through its creative community. Her series of ten “Beholding-is-Becoming” Bible studies are available in print and soon to be online. She has master’s degrees in theological studies and marketing communications. She loves macro photography as a way to slow down and see God in the details. She and her husband have two slowly launching adult children.
In these disorienting times, Nancy’s fiction and non-fiction help people to recalibrate, find their way home, and “re-find” their voices and courage.
Rebecca A Corio
Rebecca A Corio
Originally from the Midwest, Rebecca now splits her time between beautiful Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest. A lover of the outdoors and all things furry, the two locations offer opposite ends of the spectrum for her to enjoy. Which she does every chance she gets.
A passionate romantic, Rebecca is always ready for, with what she calls those Pixie dust moments. She believes in Love at First Sight and Happily Ever Afters. To know love, even for a moment, is worth the risk. She loves writing characters who have lived a little. People who have loved and lost. Known joy and sadness. Men and women that readers can identify with. And just as she does as she’s writing, Rebecca hopes her stories bring laughter, tears, and have her readers reaching for their loved one for a midday rendezvous.
Kess Costales is a queer Filipino author and poet based in Toronto. She has an Honours Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Criminology from the University of Toronto. She also has a particular fondness for ice cream and cute animals, especially cats.
You can usually find her daydreaming about romance and the fantastical if she’s not writing or reading. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and WordPress (@kesscostales).
Creatively speaking, Tamara DeStefano is a jack of many trades. She began writing early in life, winning numerous illustrated poetry and short story contests. Then in her twenties she penned her first romances.
Set in contemporary, historical and futuristic settings each tale contained a dash of humor, a pinch of sex and, well…a bad word or ten. As she matured (we’ll use the description lightly) she expanded on her creative talents to include stories for middle grade and early readers, which, of course, she dialed back to a G-rating.
An accomplished artist, along with illustrating her own picture books, Tamara also uses her vivid imagination, and an addiction to acrylics, to create colorful still life paintings, whimsical animals, tongue-in-cheek pop art and even romance novel cover art via Photoshop – which do NOT have G-ratings.
Tamara lives in Georgia with her two dogs. She’d love a little gentle stalking!
You can follow her on Instagram @tamaradestefanoart and on Facebook as Tamara LeBlanc.
Alina attended Florida Southwestern University in Naples, FL and is continuing her education in Political Science. Alina’s career kicked off when she became the assistant to the most successful Marketing Director in a Corporation made of 35 restaurants. At the age of 26, Alina became the youngest Director of Sales in Naples, FL. Within her role as Director of Sales, Alina joined the Next Gen Committee for The Shelter for Abused Women and Children. Within that committee she received a behind the scenes look at the high demand for advocates of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking.
In 2020 Alina was promoted to Human Trafficking Specialist. Alina feels honored to be a part of such an amazing organization. Part of Alina’s new role is assisting the Chief Operating Officer in creating and implementing an 18-month Rehabilitation Program for survivors of sex trafficking.
Alina is a graduate of the Associate Leadership Collier class. She has served as a committee member on the Domestic Violence Taskforce and Fatality Review Taskforce for Naples, FL. Alina currently sits on the committee for the Drug Exposed Newborn Taskforce and is a proud member for the Victim Advocate Team on behalf of the Attorney General’s Office, 20th Judicial Circuit.
Lori Dubbin was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She has been active in the local community as a past President of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), Kendall Chapter, and as a board member of the Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center. Lori also spent nineteen years as an early childhood educator at Temple Beth Am Day School in Miami, Florida.
Lori is an active member of SCBWI. In January 2020, she received the SCBWI Florida Regional Rising Kite Award for second place in the Picture Book category for her manuscript, Over the Rainbow with E. Y. “Yip” Harburg: The Man Who Wrote the Words the Whole World Sings.
Lori attended the public schools in Miami and graduated from Goucher College. She enjoys doing crossword puzzles. Sometimes she steps away and comes back to figure out the missing words. She approaches writing nonfiction picture books the same way, but with a lot more research and revision. She and her husband, Sam, have three grown sons.
Cari Dubiel juggles writing, librarian-ing, mom-ing, and bassooning in Northeast Ohio. She is the Head of Editing for Writing Bloc, a cooperative writing community, and a past Library Liaison to Sisters in Crime.
Cari won the 2017 Hugh Holton Award from the Midwest chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. Her short story collection, ALL THE LONELY PEOPLE, was selected for wide distribution by the Indie Author Project and Library Journal.
Liz Edelbrock is a middle grade author, semi-retired marketing professional, and super-mom (not necessarily in that order). Previously, Liz worked with companies such as Match.com and PetSmart on their branding and communications.
Nowadays you can find her scribbling funny and spooky middle grade adventures at her kitchen table because that's where the coffee is. Liz's favorite things include travel, tacos, and finding the humor in every situation. She splits her time between Texas and Colorado where she lives with her editorial assistant (a Goldendoodle named Mollie), two fantastic kids, and a husband who likes TV more than books. She loves him anyway.
Social media links:
Melissa Escobar graduated from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California, with an MFA degree in illustration, focusing on children’s books. She has illustrated three educational paint-by-number books for children who are blind. She is now working on writing and illustrating her own stories. She is an active member of SCBWI and was a PBChat mentee in PBChat 2019. At any given time, she has at least three dragon, unicorn and dragonfly story ideas happily gamboling in her imagination. Her favorite color is blue, she loves 80’s music and adorable animals. When not working on her projects, she enjoys life in the Bay Area with her husband.
Heather Fishwick is a writer of middle grade and young adult fantasy novels. She studied English and Latin literature at the University of Warwick, and recently returned to student life (long distance) to study for a master’s degree in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults. She also writes on Wattpad, where she is part of the Stars Program, and runs a blog reviewing children’s books. She currently lives in Northamptonshire, England, with her husband and two children.
From an early age, Karyn knew she loved school and the stories of childhood. Becoming a writer never crossed her mind—that was the business of gods who birthed fully formed worlds—what she wanted to be was a professional reader. When that job fell through, she became a teacher, which led her to the Head Start program and the Peace Corps. A few years later she briefly became a student again, to study library science. In Children's Lit her professor gently read to the class. Everyday clothes and close-cropped graying hair couldn’t hide the prof’s identity: she was a fairy godmother. She sat on top of her desk, tiny feet dangling, granny glasses perched low, and spun tales into being. That's when Karyn knew she wanted to be on that desk sharing stories of her own with kids.
A tween at heart, Karyn loves writing stories that intertwine the humor and heartache unique to early adolescence.
Karyn is very lucky to have hiked the foothills of the Himalayas, climbed Mount Mulanje, and made homes in the Cascades and Caribbean National Forest, but her favorite peaks are the cloud mountains of home, Southwest Florida, where she and her husband live with an assortment of tailed companions.
Erin Ewens was raised in Michigan. She earned an MBA degree, leading to a career in the hospitality industry.
Several years ago, she embarked with her husband and children on an international adventure, moving to Singapore and then to Switzerland, where she currently resides. She is inspired by different cultures, and hopes to weave a global footprint into her writing.
Erin’s love of writing grew while documenting the daily mishaps and heart-melting moments of motherhood. As an African-American, she is a champion of multicultural representation in the media.
In her spare time, Erin loves baking, crafting and spending outdoor time in the mountains.
Laura Genn is a YA fantasy author, fueled by caffeine and a lifelong love of words. As a former bookish child and fangirl teenager now turned overexcited adult, she’s dedicated to crafting stories that kids like her can get lost in.
When she isn’t writing, Laura is probably snuggling her three-footed cat, playing an RPG, or reading YA. She has a B.S. in Strategic Communication and works as a copywriter. She lives in a cave of treasure, somewhere in Pennsylvania, with more dragon accessories than people.
Darrin Grimwood is an English Canarian-based screenwriter and novelist, working in the horror, sci-fi and fantasy genres. He started writing chillers in the tropics fifteen years ago when he was commissioned by The Film Consortium to write Soul Hunters, a human cloning sci-fi thriller. Since then he's worked steadily as a screenwriter, selling zom-com, Euston We Have a Problem to Hammer Films and cult slasher Cornered! (starring Mr Eighties himself, Steve Guttenberg) to MAZEfilms. He has recently diversified into YA fiction and comics, publishing sci-fi thriller The Deleted with Dark Horse Comics. Darrin is also a playwright and his psychological thriller Black Aspirins was produced for the London stage.
Kyle L. Grubb is a writer of original YA fiction and was born in Coventry, UK. He began writing at the age of eleven after being shunned by Hogwarts and unable to find obliging radioactive spiders.
Left to a muggle life, Kyle graduated with a First Class Master of Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Warwick and now writes biography entries in third person.
To learn more about Kyle and all his latest writing endeavors, visit his website at kylelgrubb.com or subscribe to his blog ‘Supposed Prose’.
Anna Hamilton grew up in Southern California. Before graduating from high school, she had written several short stories, one of which was featured in the local newspaper. Shortly after high school, she married and had three beautiful boys. When her youngest started kindergarten she found a new love—reading romance! Everything changed when Anna and her family moved to Northern California a year after losing her mother. She took writing more seriously and completed her first novel.
She is incredibly fortunate to be represented by the ever patient and extremely knowledgeable Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency. She has learned that perseverance, commitment, diligence, and believing in a dream are key characteristics in order to succeed. A favorite inspiration for Anna is the fortune she received in a cookie that reads, “You will become an accomplished writer.”
Currently, Anna is working on a romantic suspense series, The Warriors Code. The series is centered on an ex SEAL Team now working for the CIA.
Anna also writes Historical Romance as Harper McLaine.
If you would like to know more about Anna, please visit the following links:
Kiersten Hathcock is the founder and CEO of Mod Mom Furniture. She left a marketing career with A&E and The History Channel in 2003 to spend more time with her kids. Kiersten wounded up building an internationally known furniture brand out of her 400 square foot-garage by trusting her intuition.
After 4 years of crafting and selling over 300 kids’ furniture items, Kiersten braved ABC’s Shark Tank and won an investment deal. Today, her furniture line is produced in Colorado and sold across the world. In addition to designing furniture, she writes for trade magazines and travels the country as a keynote and TEDx speaker.
She just finished writing a memoir about how she survived and healed from abuse using intuition. Unlike most memoirs about intuition written by professional mediums, Kiersten is not a professional medium and never wanted to be one. She was simply living her life when kids in spirit starting sharing messages with her.
Her book chronicles are about late-in-life intuitive awakening. They tell a story about a reluctant, undercover medium who volunteers her time helping law enforcement officers solve cases. Little did she know that by embracing her intuitive side, she would go on to uncover secrets from her past that explained why the kids were coming to her.
Those same kids would go on to help her survive and escape an abusive relationship in 2017 and guide her to healing. Today, Kiersten lives in Flagstaff, Arizona with her husband and kids.
Represented by Tina Wainscott
Bethanie Baker Henderson
Bethanie Baker Henderson
Bethanie worked in marketing and market research in the publishing and insurance industries and at a casket company before committing her time to writing picture books. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and has worked with youth ages K-12 in her community church and school district. She has a B.A. in Psychology and a concentration in English from Columbia University, as well as an MBA from the University of Michigan.
She enjoys learning about new underwater discoveries, space exploration and everything in between. Bethanie lives with her husband, two remarkable daughters and their cat in eastern PA.
Steve Hickner has worked at many of the fabled studios in animation: DreamWorks, Disney, Amblimation, Aardman, Hanna-Barbera and Filmation. His extensive career includes experience with both the production and artistic sides of the process, serving as Producer on such films as: American Tail II: Fievel Goes West, We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story, and Balto.
His director credits include Bee Movie and The Prince of Egypt. In addition, he has contributed to such feature films as Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, The Little Mermaid, The Great Mouse Detective, Madagascar, Shrek Forever After, Peabody and Sherman and Home.
His television credits include the childhood favorite, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Steve has contributed to theme park and location-based entertainment projects in China, Dubai, London, Singapore, Malaysia, and Hollywood.
He recently collaborated with Steven Spielberg to write and direct the Comcast sphere film, The Power of I. He has been a guest speaker at many colleges and universities, film festivals and animation events. He is the author of Animating Your Career, and Animation Rules!
M.E. Hillard is currently a librarian who started out in retail merchandising. Her first job was as an assistant buyer at Lord & Taylor, where her glamour job involved office space in the basement of the Fifth Avenue store. After twelve years of mergers, consolidations, and moves around the country, she went to graduate school and got a Master of Library Science degree. She has been in the information business ever since, working for public libraries small and large. Originally from the Connecticut shoreline, she has never lost her love of quaint small towns, big cities, and fashion, so she indulges that in her writing.
A life-long lover of mystery fiction, M.E. Hillard completed her first novel while taking some time off to care for an elderly relative. She currently lives and works in Florida, where she has acquired a houseful of misfit pets and a violent palm tree allergy.
Kyan is an award-winning Singer/Songwriter and Author. Her love of instruments from handpan to acoustic guitar, and her four octave voice make for an incredible reading and keynote. Studying with Bobby McFerrin and earning her Masters in Creative Writing, she innovates with word and sound. Westside Voice wrote “she enchanted both young and old”.
She created the Lullaby Club online, where her stories, songs, and ASMR relax the whole family. Her social media LIVES reach thousands and she’s been featured on Public Radio, as well as being a popular artist-in-residence at schools, hospitals, and conferences. She painted her blue convertible with magical images from her stories and songs with the help of friends, and is beloved as the singing nurse.
Having worked hospice and behavioral health, she knows the edge where a child jumps from a window and a grandmother reveals her secret cinnamon bun recipe with her last breath. Her own NDE gave her a love life to cloud nine and a bravery to advocate for the planet and LGBTQ community.
She lives on the shores of a great lake with her cat Vega, and they both turn mermaid on Saturdays, because life is too brief and beautiful, not to!
Email: [email protected]
Sahtinay Issac has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and an MBA. She spent most of her career life working with software companies around the globe.
She grew up in the United Arab Emirates before making Florida her permanent home. Having experienced life on both ends of the globe, she is an advocate for diversity and inclusion. Most importantly, Sahtinay is a proud mother of two little girls, who have been the main source of inspiration behind the stories she writes.
Aimee Jackson became best known as, “Not the Perfect Cook ™,” television personality, Christmas lover, cookbook author, recipe developer, writer and speaker. Most importantly, Aimee wants you to know she is Terry's wife, mom and bonus mom. Aimee is also dog mom to Rusty; the most energetic, loving, ever-present, velcro dog, alive. Rusty is a Vizsla, but he does not know that. Rusty believes he is a human, so your confidence and discretion in his presence would be greatly appreciated.
Aimee writes devotions and much is based on her “Sitting with You” series. Based on Job 2:13, “Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights. No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words.” Sometimes we do not have the words to offer to our hurting loved ones, but we can promise to sit with them. You can find Aimee on Facebook Twitter, Instagram or on her website.
Kevin E. Jackson
Kevin E. Jackson
Kevin E. Jackson writes middle grade and young adult fantasy novels that blend the action and adventure of modern-day blockbuster movies with positive messages for young readers. Kevin is a happily married father of five, an information technology manager for a pharmaceutical company, and an adjunct professor of IT at several universities. However, his heart doesn’t live within cyber-security processes or virtual machine computing, but in creating immersive fantasy tales based on positive, Christian themes.
With scores of unwritten stories hovering in his mind, he spent the last ten years learning the craft of writing. Kevin honed his skills within online writer’s groups then found bestselling author mentors willing to share their wisdom.
He believes in increased diversity in fantasy, so each story organically features mixed-race characters and characters of color in leading roles. He is also a musician, playing both guitar and drums, and as a result his books have songs as central plot elements.
At the core of Kevin’s writing is a love of children; he longs to see today’s young readers learn from his stories much as he did reading the fantasy masters of the past.
I was born in the Bible belt and grew up in a warm family of hearty laughers and voracious readers. I discovered the magic transport of reading at an early age and escaped on many adventures to strange new lands. Growing up in middle Tennessee, I visited often at my grandparents' farm in the rural hills, where the flat, stony banks of their creek was an incubator for my imagination. I thought up marvelous worlds and planned adventures floating down that creek on a raft, Huck style. I wrote my first story in the fourth grade. It was called Planet Kaler.
My mother was an English teacher who read novels aloud to us on long road trips. I minored in English, but with so much road trip instruction already, I got my BA in Mathematics. I spent two decades developing systems in corporate America and completing my MBA. After graduate school, I pursued what started in the fourth grade, during weekends and vacations. I spent hundreds of hours taking writing classes and studying the craft with a serious goal to become a published author.
I write middle grade sci fi about a clever, but insecure, eleven-year-old and his special dog. I live in Tampa with my husband and two special Yorkies who inspire me daily.
Twitter: [email protected]
L.L. Kaplan is an attorney and former prosecutor who spent twenty years as an FBI Special Agent. After never finding one X-file, she gave-up and retired. Now she pens crime fiction where justice prevails, but doesn’t always end in handcuffs. She also writes stories featuring talking turkeys, clever cats and other snarky sorts. When not writing, she can be found baking something killer, jogging with friends, plotting mischief or planting sunflowers. She lives in a small town on a Great Lake with her husband and one very spoiled rescued house panther.
Hannah Kates never means to get into trouble, but she always manages to do so, anyway. As a full-time author and part-time ghost, she’s chalked up misadventures all around the world. Between being shanghaied along with the French Foreign Legion, escaping Montenegrin castles, and eulogizing at rat funerals, she keeps herself busy.
Hannah specializes in middle grade horror, but you can also find her penning tales of cowboy werewolves and insidious alpine hotels. When she’s not writing, she’s usually skulking around cemeteries, giving tours through haunted cities, or playing honky-tonk piano.
Hailing from a legal profession back in India, Shachi found her new calling in life when she moved to the US a couple years back to start her married life. Shachi spends significant time volunteering for activities at the Round Rock Public Library as the host for Bilingual Hindi-English Storytime. Shachi’s writing is a whole-hearted attempt to retain the diminishing culture and tradition that could be passed to generations to come.
Shachi also spends time mentoring students which further helps her develop new ideas to serve the Children-Parent community through her book writing. She is a monthly contributor to Austin South Asian for the “Picture Book World” section and her articles have also appeared in Austin Family and BrownGirl Magazine.
Erin Kennemer is a YA fiction author of several short stories and novels. She studied creative writing at Texas A&M University and continues to owe them money to this day.
Her speculative fiction has appeared both in print and online. Currently, she writes regular advice and travel articles for Vrbo. On her off days, you can find her elbow-deep in the dirt, either gardening or burying another body. If you want on her good side, bring chips and guac.
MAY YOU GROW ONLY CURSES is her debut novel.
Andrea Kilpatrick writes middle grade fantasy adventure where kids, especially those not usually seen, explore incredible new worlds. Her own adventures began in the suburbs of Philadelphia, armed with a dog-eared library card and her loyal hamster. Andrea wandered through wardrobes and tollbooths and into magical lands full of possibilities. Now, she wanders in the real world. Recent stops include New York, Miami, San Francisco, Jamaica, Gabon and the UK. A recovering attorney, Andrea has also been a strategy consultant, social entrepreneur and leadership advisor. Currently, Andrea lives in New York where she eats far too much take out. It’s so good! She loves the ocean, a good hike and has never met a sunset that didn’t move her to tears.
Picture book author Hannah Lapehn is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and Julie Hedlund’s 12x12. She has attended conferences, including the Highlights Foundation’s Crash Course into Children’s Publishing, the SCBWI Middle of the Map Conference, and The Festival of Writing Conference in Indiana.
In late 2019, she was selected by author, Jill Esbaum, for the PBChat Twitter Mentorship Competition. Hannah likes to write stories that make kids laugh and think about others. She’s always on the lookout for creative ways to make that happen.
From the moment she first read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, E.J. Lawrence has been trying to find the Holy Grail. While pursuing her graduate degree in English literature, she spent a semester at Oxford University and thought she might kill two birds with one stone by finding both the Grail and the door to Narnia.
Though she found many fantastic portals, none fulfilled her dream of discovering those two mythological gems. She loves all things medieval, of course drawing inspiration from history and primary documents, but also from her experiences in Europe and knowledge of outdoor survival skills and archery.
She holds an M.F.A. in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University and is regularly published in New Myths and Separate Worlds. She currently resides in Georgia, where she teaches British Literature to unsuspecting seniors.
Author Madison Lawson writes speculative fiction novels full of suspense, social commentary, and complex relationships. She is an English graduate from Texas A&M University and has all of John Mulaney’s standup about college memorized.
Born and raised in a small Texas town, Madison began escaping through reading and writing as soon as she could. This escape often cost her sleep so she could finish a book, got her detention for writing stories during class, earned her way too many A.R. points, and her first award for a creative nonfiction essay in 2017.
To stay updated, follow Madison on social media and check out her website: madisonlawson.com.
To get her talking nonstop, bring up Harry Potter, her dog (Teddy Lupin), Halsey, or her books. You probably won’t regret it.
Chris Low is a children's writer and elementary school teacher outside of Philadelphia, PA. He draws inspiration from the organized chaos of his special education classroom and the perpetually surprising wit of his own students. In addition to his middle grade book projects, Chris has published several award-winning short stories with Highlights for Children and Cricket magazine. Chris is married with two young boys and a dog who will eat literally anything. He spends most of his free time running, hiking, and negotiating with preschoolers.
Anushi Mehta is a first generation Belgian-Indian who grew up in charming Antwerp. She pursued degrees in psychology and primary teaching at Warwick University and met her husband while working in London. Now, they live in Mumbai and everyone from her two-year-old to her 88-year-old grandma teases her for always feeling cold.
After moving to Mumbai, Anushi completed an introductory course on learning disabilities and ‘Yoga for the Special Child’ by Sonia Sumar and then worked as a special educator until her son was born. Moreover, she oversees a primary school at her ancestral hometown, where she focuses on raising literacy levels.
Anushi discovered the power of voice when she began inventing stories about spunky Indian girls for her daughter. It is her dream that each of her stories feature masala chai. In addition to honing her craft with courses at Highlights Foundation and WriteMentor, she is an active participant of 12x12 and Desi Kidlit, a community of writers from the Asian Diaspora. She is involved in three diverse critique groups that span across different genres and stays current by listening to podcasts such as 88 Cups of Tea and Literaticast. Anushi’s picture book, FEAR AND I will be released in 2022.
Joseph Miller has been writing stories and creating imaginary worlds since second grade. While in college, he became an award-winning writer for the role-playing game industry, but he switched his focus from games to fiction after taking a children's literature class. He has spent the last decade honing his craft by working on numerous picture books and a variety of other stories.
Currently, he works as a reference librarian in Michigan for Schoolcraft College. There, he helps students and staff with research, collecting graphic novels and children's books for the library. His favorite pastimes include reading, playing games (board, card, computer, etc.), and watching TV shows and movies.
He is an active member of the SCBWI. Joseph enjoys providing constructive feedback to other writers. He looks forward to sharing his stories with all the young at heart. In addition to children's literature, he also writes a spiritual reflection blog based on the daily readings of the Catholic Church
Natasha Neagle is a YA author and RWA Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense Finalist, who runs on Starbucks and believes the best way to hear music is live. When she isn't writing, she's trying to spread her love for science by teaching high school Biology and Ecology. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, two kids, and a zoo of animals.
Nora Nickum is a children’s author, writing fiction and nonfiction picture books. Her stories range from lyrical to humorous and often celebrate the quirkiness and diversity of animals and nature. In addition to being a writer, Nora works in ocean conservation. She lives on Bainbridge Island, WA, with her husband and daughter. Nora is an active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
Christine Organ is a writer in the Chicago area where she lives with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. In addition to her freelance writing career, she writes about contemporary spirituality and the depths of human connection.
Her writing focuses on seeking grace in the everyday, celebrating life’s ordinary miracles, bridging the gap between the spiritual and the secular, and drawing inspiration from the soulful tales that live within all of us. Aside from her own website, she regularly writes for the Huffington Post. Her works appeared in an anthology of spiritual essays.
She obtained her and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1999. She later earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2002.
Amy Paulshock hated writing in school. A single-page essay assignment gave her fits. But she loved science. So, before she wrote a book, she became an immunologist. Then a mom. She has since changed her mind about writing, and put it all together. Now she loves to create fantastic, imaginative stories for kids—with bits of scientific reality thrown in.
Though she grew up in snowy Boston and New Hampshire, she now enjoys living in sunny Florida where she cultivates fantastical tropical fruit in her backyard. RUBY WISHES is her debut novel.
Aixa Pérez-Prado is a native of Argentina who immigrated to the United States as a child. She is a writer, illustrator, editor, presenter, translator and faculty member at Florida International University with a PhD in Social Science and Education. Aixa began her teaching career as a bilingual Kindergarten teacher in Salinas, California and has since worked as a cross cultural trainer and teacher of teachers in pedagogy for linguistic and cultural minority students in the U.S., Costa Rica and Morocco. Her research interests include multilingualism and identity, anti-bias curriculum, culturally responsive pedagogy, peace linguistics, and diversity studies.
Aixa is also a homeschool/unschool mother of six who has led workshops for home learning both in the United States and Latin America. Her book, Habits of Mind for Homeschooling: A guide for parents and teachers includes resources and activities for families who choose to learn at home. Aixa is the founder of ‘The Thinking Café’, a website and series of workshops devoted to promoting critical and creative thinking for teachers, students and parents. Her thinking blog, thethinkingcafe.com/the-thinking-blog, explores thoughtful communication and empathy across cultures. Aixa writes in Spanish and English and translates in Spanish, English and Portuguese.
Akure Phénix is a current graduate student at Harvard University, and alumna of Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign '18. She is also a 2017 Pitchwars winner and author of both young adult & adult fiction. She is currently based in Cambridge, MA.
I'm Amanda: an introvert and writer. I like to talk and write about faith, hope, and recovery. I'm also a nurse practitioner, board-certified in internal medicine, psychiatry/mental health, and addictions, and practicing at the nationally-renowned Lindner Center of HOPE in Mason, Ohio. As a pastor’s wife, anxiety sufferer, and mental health professional, I’ve been living at the intersection of faith and mental health for the past 7 years. I decided a while ago I want to do everything I can to help others who are in the middle of something I have survived. I’m still trying to figure out where the line is between professional expert (of which I am) and authentic human being that struggles (of which I also am). I've been married to Joseph for 16 years, and we live in Cincinnati with our two kiddos and dog, Marley.
Beth Pugh is a wife and mother searching for contentment among the chaos. She writes stories with heart like baby bear soup hoping to inspire others with her words. She has been published by The Good Men Project, Scary Mommy, Sasee, The Sun Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Lexington Herald-Leader, and On Parenting at The Washington Post.
When she isn’t writing, you can find her cheering for the Chicago Cubs or curled up with an e-book on the couch.
Jason Rush lives in Oregon with his wife, Shandy, and dog, Freckles. He grew up in Colorado, where he spent his time hiking, climbing and snowshoeing in the mountains. At the age of twelve, Jason stumbled onto Stephen King’s CHRISTINE and has been addicted to horror novels ever since. It was only a matter of time before he started writing his own.
Rachel Russell is a young adult author whose work falls into the fantasy and horror genres. She works full-time as a freelance content writer for various clients.
When not writing, she tries to squeeze in time binge-watching anime and C-dramas. She lives in Kansas with her husband, two children, three cats, and a dog.
If you would like to know more about Rachel, please visit the following links:
Kaitlyn Leann Sachez is a writer of humorous picture books and an active member of SCBWI. She's a proud finalist from the 2019 Picture Book Party event.
Kaitlyn is the co-creator and co-host of the many contests including: the Spring Fling Kidlit Contest, the Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy, and Kidlit Zombie Week. Kaitlyn is also an associate literary agent, helping writers achieve their dreams of publication.
She was born, raised, and has always stayed in California's Central Valley, where she lives with her family and teaches junior high school math. When Kaitlyn isn’t writing, teaching, or agenting, you can find her eating cookies, laughing with her hilarious family, or out on the soccer field, but you'll never find her cleaning. She would definitely rather be sucked into a vacuum than use it!
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/KaitlynLeann17/
Through poetry, prose and non-fiction, Laurie is on a mission to help others discover and thrive in their unique human blueprint. A survivor, Life Coach, nature-lover and artist, Laurie writes from deep wells of experience, marking the trail on her path to deeper engagement, meaningful impact and less stress through simpler, more honest living. Laurie approaches life as she does a canvas, finding treasure in the little things, and celebrating beauty through writing, painting, baking and gardening.
Despite an insatiable curiosity and seemingly endless list of interests, her faith and her family are top priority. She and husband Grant enjoy collaborative play in woodcraft, Celtic music, and beekeeping, ever dreaming of more time with children Kelli, Katherine, Jackson and Graceann. They live in Nashville, Tennessee but dream of life in the Scottish Highlands.
Reverend Salvador SeBasco
Reverend Salvador SeBasco
Reverend Salvador SeBasco is the founder of Sheephook Ministries & Host of The Inside View Show Christian Radio Broadcasts, since 2005. Sheephook Ministries provides ministry services & ministers Christian resources to those in need.
An effective communicator of God's word, Reverend SeBasco is widely known for his dynamic teaching style. He serves as speaker and minister, and his mission is to guide people of all walks of life to applying and showing others how to apply timeless truths of Scripture to their everyday lives. As a member of the member of the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC), he also contributes written reviews for Christian Nonfiction Adult and Christian Children’s Books which publishers use inside those books, online, in social media, and on publishers’ web sites. Reverend SeBasco's expertise has been featured in media venues and speaking events throughout the United States. Unique Study Bibles he has created are available across the globe.
Since, 2010, he has been a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Prayerfully, he happily lives in San Diego, California, with his family. Prayerfully, he happily lives in California, with his family.
Reverend Salvador SeBasco Twitter: https://twitter.com/SalvadorSeBasco
Tumblr URL: sheephookministries.tumblr.com
DC Stanfa is an expert at Fun and its byproduct, Trouble. She is the author of The Art of Table Dancing: Escapades of an Irreverent Woman and co-editor of the anthology, Fifty Shades of Funny: Hookups, Breakups, and Crackups.
Her work has been featured in several of the Erma Bombeck Workshop publications, including the 2018 anthology Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Humorists Then and Now…Before We Forget, and The Unofficial Guide to Surviving Life With Teenagers, published in 2019.
Stanfa has mentored women and girls in business, as well as the arts. She facilitated a creative self-expression program for the Boys & Girls Club and taught humor writing for the Mad Anthony Writers’ Workshop, and several workshops in conjunction with Scholastic.
Stanfa co-manages the popular Midlife Margaritas Facebook page where she creates humorous memes and short videos—many of which, have gone viral.
I make a delicious, spicy meatball!
I was born into a large Italian-American family where we talk and listen at the same time. Big hugs and loud conversations are in my DNA. I grew up in rural Upstate New York, but we didn’t milk any cows. We preferred frolicking in open cornfields and swimming in the cold waters of the Finger Lakes. I’ve lived in Boston, London, San Francisco, Fort Lauderdale and just relocated to Orlando with my partner. I love Dunkin Donuts coffee. It provides the magical juice I use to write. I’m a certified Spinning Instructor and enjoy seeing my riders flourish and grow.
With twelve nieces and nephews as my audience, I made up silly stories to entertain them. I wanted to be their favorite uncle. One of them told me, “Uncle Matty, you should write these stories down.” So I have. I always remember a day when I was volunteering as a teacher’s aide in a first grade class. I read “The Giving Tree” to the children. I remember how moved they were and how the story made me cry. That’s my goal as a writer: to create children’s stories with heart. To inspire, enlighten and entertain. I always root for the underdog and characters who feel different. PAVE. THAT. ROAD!
A true bookworm at heart, Leigh Therriault is a children’s author who has loved reading and storytelling ever since she was a child herself. She began spinning her own stories during her childhood paper route and now she writes humourous picture books and mysterious MG novels. Leigh has a degree in Professional Communication from Royal Roads University and has completed four Creative Writing certificate programs at the University of Toronto, UCLA Extension, and Algonquin College. She is currently studying at the Institute of Children's Literature and UC San Diego Extension because she loves learning and cannot stop registering for writing courses!
Leigh lives in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, with her family and two wily Bengal cats who have infiltrated their house. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Canadian Authors Association. She is also a volunteer at Centrepointe Childcare Services, serving on the Board of Directors, and is Chair of the Communications Committee.
Jason R. Thompson
Jason R. Thompson
Jason Thompson is a thought leader in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, having spent the past twenty-five years building DE&I programs in sports, health care, technology, and education. Jason is currently the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) at Western Governors University (WGU).
Thompson is regularly sought out for advice and leadership on how to create, grow, measure, and sustain a DE&I program by DE&I officers.Thompson developed the initial diversity and inclusion program for the United States Olympic Committee and created the D&I scored cards to measure diversity within the US Olympic movement.
The diversity and inclusion programs developed by Jason have won several awards. Most recently the D&I Scorecard received the top honor in the 2016 International Innovations in Diversity Awards program from the Profiles in Diversity Journal. Jason was also recognized as a 2017 and 2018 Diversity Leader by the Profiles in Diversity Journal. In 2015, the USOC D&I department received the Diversity Champion Award for Excellence from the Colorado SHRM.
Jason has served on local, regional and national committees for multiple organizations, including the founding member of the Diversity and Inclusion Sports Consortium (DISC) one of the largest sports organizations in the US with participation by the NBA, NFL, MLB, PGA of America and the NCAA. He also works with Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, Oklahoma Diversity Officers and Practitioners Consortium, and the Advisory Board and the Center for African-American Health.
Delores grew up in Washington and Oregon but married a Canadian so enjoys US and Canadian citizenship. She writes and teaches college classes onsite and/or online for the Univ. of Northwestern-St. Paul Minnesota near her two doctor sons and their families. She spends the other six months each year in Northeastern Mississippi.
She started spouting rhyming stories in the third grade, loved the approval of classmates, and has been writing ever since. Two of her award-winning children’s books are rhymed adventures.
She’s written two historic novels, Wilderness Wife is a time-slip between frontier Canada and Fort Vancouver at the end of the Oregon Trail. Her second, War on the Columbia, fictionalizes a Japanese submarine’s entrance into the Columbia River to invade mainland shores in WWII.
Travel is her favorite means of learning. Delores is a major world traveler taking many mission trips plus guiding small groups to Israel. She’s writing a how-to book for traveling safely, economically, and having fun throughout Israel, even in grandma years.
Besides speaking, many of her true stories appear in Revell, Bethany House, and Guideposts compilation books.
“Like” her Facebook Author page, Delores Topliff Books.
Follow her blogs, books, and more. at delorestopliff.com, and [email protected]
As a child, Katie Venit mapped ant trails and listened to maple leaves in the wind. She wished goodnight to the stars every night and never missed a chance to smell honeysuckle. As an adult, she knows the word for that feeling: wonder. She continues to search for wonder in everyday objects and extraordinary moments.
And it’s her privilege to illuminate these small shimmers of wonder, be it through emotional lyrical prose or science-driven deep-dives.
In addition to heartfelt and STEM-loving picture books, Katie writes flash fiction and creative nonfiction for adults. She writes a regular column on science for kids for Chippewa Valley Family Magazine, which gives her the scrumptious opportunity to investigate any topics she likes, such as how salt melts ice, or how scientists count birds.
Katie is a member of SCBWI and sits on the advisory board of the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two kids. She diagrams sentences for fun at www.katievenit.wordpress.com.
Ralph Walker is an author of speculative fiction and thrillers. His books, stories and screenplays place broken characters in worlds just around the corner; taking on climate change, technology, and a world spinning faster than they can possibly catch up.
He designs buildings by day and builds worlds until dawn. Both architect and writer, his fiction has appeared in a variety of anthologies and publications. Ralph also writes for the screen and has both short and feature screenplays in development with directors and producers attached.
His debut novel THE LAST ICEBERG, a quarterfinalist in the Screencraft 2018 Cinematic Book Contest will be taking off in the near future. You can regularly find Ralph handing out the donuts on twitter at #5amwritersclub.
Ralph lives with his wife and two crazy kids in northern New Jersey, and is an active part of the community; serving as an elected member of the Bloomfield School Board and participating in various township committees.
Facebook Author Page:
Jill Watson started her career as Associate Editor of True Confessions magazine. (Don't ask if the stories were real, she'll never tell.) After three years, plot twist! Jill moved over to the production end of publishing, where she managed Graphic Design departments at CBS, USA TODAY and a mutual funds company. She was also Type Consultant on fanzines for Amblin' Entertainment. Fun!
Every chance she got, Jill danced on her roller skates and in her cowboy boots. She appeared on several TV shows, as well as in a Top 10 Country Music video. All this, without the ability to hear the music well.
In 2017, Jill gave up the 9-to-whenever-o’clock life to concentrate on writing. Her first middle grade book, THE MAGNIFICENT ROLLING ROXIE, won a Rising Kite Award from SCBWI in 2020.
When she's not writing, Jill still dances on her skates. She also raises butterflies in her Florida garden and feeds two bunnies who visit every day. Jill is a member of SCBWI and the Central Park Dance Skaters Association. She’s represented by Joyce Sweeney.
Mindy Alyse Weiss
Mindy Alyse Weiss
Mindy Alyse Weiss is a glitter-loving kid at heart who loves viewing the world through a child’s eyes. Writing, reading, and hanging out with other book-loving people is her air. She’s written many humorous picture books and middle grade novels, but also enjoys tapping into the challenging parts of her life so she can spread sunshine and hope.
Her heartfelt picture book manuscript, Mason’s Greatest Trick, won 5th place in the Writer’s Digest Competition and helped her receive a 12x12 PB scholarship. She’s had several pieces published in Highlights magazine, is the SCBWI FL Critique Group Coordinator and Free Meeting Facilitator, an Administrator on the SCBWI Blueboard, a founding member and Administrator on the From the Mixed-Up Files…of Middle-Grade Authors blog and host of the PBParty chats, challenge, and annual contest.
Mindy lives in Florida with her husband, two daughters, and rescue dog and cat. She adores animals and would adopt every homeless one if she could. She also loves chatting with other book-loving people on Twitter and Facebook…and seeing their adorable pet photos! She’s thrilled to be represented by Joyce Sweeney.