Tracey Baptiste is a New York Times bestselling author best known for the acclaimed middle grade novels THE JUMBIES and RISE OF THE JUMBIES. A third in the series, THE JUMBIE GOD’S REVENGE will be released in Fall 2019. She has also written MINECRAFT: THE CRASH as well as eleven other fiction and nonfiction books for children, plus short stories for several anthologies. Find Tracey online at and connect on Twitter @traceybaptiste and on Instagram @traceybaptistewrites.

Rebecca Behrens is the author of the critically acclaimed middle-grade novels When Audrey Met Alice, Summer of Lost and Found, and The Last Grand Adventure. She grew up in Wisconsin, studied in Chicago, and now lives with her husband in New York City. Visit her online at

Until Hollywood calls, Charlotte lives in NJ with her family, two needy cats and a deranged squirrel. Her novels are: The Evolution Revolution trilogy: Simple Machines, Simple Plans, and Simple Lessons. She is co-author of Blonde Ops, the Sirenz series: Sirenz, Sirenz Back In Fashion, and contributed to two anthologies, Beware the Little White Rabbit and Scare Me To Sleep. She’s written for magazines and newspapers, and given presentations and workshops at NJ SCBWI conferences, schools, libraries, and other venues. Connect with her on Twitter, FB, Pinterest and Instagram as Charlotte Bennardo, and through her blog, Author on the Loose.

Nick Bruel is the author and illustrator of New York Times bestselling Bad Kitty series, among others. Nick is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist, and during his down time, he collects PEZ dispensers and grows tomatoes in the backyard. He lives in Pleasantville, NY with his wife Carina, their daughter Izzzy and their sometimes good, sometimes bad cat Rose. Learn more:

Laurie Calkhoven has always loved books and reading. When she was little, she wanted to live at the library. Later she decided to become one of the people who created the books on the library shelves. Laurie has written historical novels (the Boys of Wartime series and G.I. Dogs) and many works of nonfiction. Her most recent biographies include DK Life Stories: Martin Luther King, Jr. and You Should Meet Lin-Manuel Miranda. She lives in New York City and can frequently be found at the library. Learn more at

Jennifer Castle is the author of twelve books for children and teens, including the novels for BLAIRE WILSON, American Girl’s Girl of the Year 2019. Her YA novels published by HarperCollins include THE BEGINNING OF AFTER, which was an American Library Association Best Fiction for Young Adults selection, YOU LOOK DIFFERENT IN REAL LIFE, WHAT HAPPENS NOW, and TOGETHER AT MIDNIGHT. Her four-book middle grade fantasy series from Bloomsbury USA is BUTTERFLY WISHES. She’s also the co-author of two non-fiction books, FAMOUS FRIENDS: BEST BUDS, ROCKY RELATIONSHIPS, AND AWESOMELY ODD COUPLES FROM PAST TO PRESENT and FRIENDS AND FRENEMIES: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE AWKWARD. Jennifer lives in New Paltz with her husband, two daughters, and three cats/writing assistants on the edge of deep woods that are most definitely filled with magic…she just hasn’t found it yet. Learn more at

Paul Czajak struggled with reading and writing as a child, and never thought he’d end up writing books. But after working as a scientist for 20 years, he discovered that his creativity could no longer be contained to the laboratory. Now he hopes his books will be the seeds to a new generation of book gardeners! Paul lives in New Jersey, USA. Learn more at

Jacky Davis is the co-creator, with David Soman, of the New York Times Bestselling Ladybug Girl series. She has written Black Belt Bunny, illustrated by Jay Fleck, and Olive & Pekoe, illustrated by Giselle Potter. Jacky and David have collaborated again on a new forthcoming book called, Agent Lion. Jacky lives with her family in Rosendale, NY. Learn more at

Barbara Dee is the author of nine middle grade novels. Everything I Know About You (2018) is one of A Mighty Girl’s Best of 2018, and a JLG selection. Halfway Normal (2017) earned starred reviews from Kirkus and SLJ, and appears on state lists in Pennsylvania, Missouri and Vermont. Star-Crossed (2017) is a 2018 ALA Rainbow List Top Ten, a 2018 Goodreads Choice Finalist, and on Best of 2017 lists by public libraries of Chicago, Seattle and Cleveland Heights. Maybe He Just Likes You, about the origins of sexual harassment in middle school, will be published by Aladdin/S&S on 10/1/2019. Learn more:

Annabelle Fisher is the author of The Secret Destiny of Pixie Piper and Pixie Piper and the Matter of the Batter, which reviewers have called, “entertaining,” “fresh,” “creative,” and “pretty darn charming.” She’s taught courses in writing middle grade and young adult literature in the Graduate Creative Writing Department of Manhattanville College, as well as writing workshops for kids, teens, and adults. She lives in Westchester County, New York, not too far from where the Headless Horseman roams at night. Learn more at:

Gilbert Ford lives and works in Brooklyn, NY where he has illustrated many New York Times best selling middle grade novels and also award-winning picture books. In 2015 he received his MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. He is the author/ illustrator of the non-fiction picture books The Marvelous Thing That Came From A Spring and How The Cookie Crumbled, both published by Atheneum. He is also the author/illustrator of his debut middle grade novel, Kindred Spirits, to be published by Macmillan/Ottaviano in 2021. Learn more at

Writer/ Artist Tiny Titans, Superman from DC Comics, Encounter from Lionforge, Itty Bitty Hellboy from darkHorse Comics, The Ghost The Owl from action Lab. Learn more at

Nancy Furstinger has been speaking up for animals since she learned to talk. She adores all creatures (especially dogs) and is the author of many animal books. Nancy shares her Upstate NY home with big dogs Bosco Bear and Rosy Wagger, plus house rabbits and a chinchilla (all rescued), and also volunteers with several animal organizations. Learn more at

Best Selling author and illustrator Michael Garland’s greatest success has been for writing and illustrating children’s picture books. He is author and illustrator of forty children’s picture books and illustrator for more than forty books by other authors. Michael Garland is frequently asked to speak at schools, literary conferences, and festivals across the country. Visit his website

A Season of Flowers just published from Tilbury House. Daddy Played Blues from Tilbury House was named Outstanding Tradebook by the Children’s Librarians of Northern California and Notable Social Studies Trade Book by the CBC. Scholastic, Where’s My Homework? Oh, What A Christmas! Grandpa’s Tractor, Boyds Mills was selected for the Original Art of Children’s Book Show at the Society of Illustrators in NYC. Garland’s book, Miss Smith and the Haunted Library made the New York Times Best Seller list. Miss Smith Under the Ocean is the follow-up book in the Miss Smith series. Michael Garland has illustrated for celebrity authors like James Patterson and Gloria Estefan on best selling picture books.

Michael Garland’s illustrations for Patterson’s SantaKid were the inspiration for Sak’s Fifth’s Avenue’s Christmas Windows. His work has won many honors and is frequently included in the Society of Illustrators and the Original Art of Children’s Book Show as well annuals from Print, Graphis and Communications Arts magazines. Recently, Michael Garland was included on the list of the Top One Hundred Irish Americans by Irish American Magazine.

Michael Garland graduated from Pratt Institute and began working as an illustrator doing cover and interior commissions for many magazines like Forbes, Fortune, and Newsweek, as well as advertising clients like NBC, ABC, CBS, the US Marines, IBM, and UPS. He has illustrated for every major book publisher doing every type of illustration. When Michael Garland is not illustrating, he is pursuing his interest in fine art painting, exhibiting his work in area galleries. You can see his work by visiting his painting website.

Tania Guarino is the author of, MEET the QUACKERS. She lives with her family in New York’s Hudson Valley, where her annual summer veggie garden has proven to be the perfect place for many woodland critter parties!

When not writing fun stories for kids she loves being outdoors enjoying nature and gardening, bike riding over hill-and-dale, endless sea glass searching, moon gazing, and spending time on the family boat soaking up sunshine and catching fish!  Tania is a contributor to Highlights High Five Magazine, and has poems published in the anthology, A Hug for the World. GARDEN PARTY – A COUNTING ADVENTURE BOOK is her second picture book.

Visit her online at

Susanna Leonard Hill is the award-winning author of 19 books for children with 8 more forthcoming in 2019 and 2020. She teaches an online picture book writing class – Making Picture Book Magic ( – offers picture book critiques, and does frequent school and library visits. She lives in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley with her children and two rescue dogs.

Raven Howell is author and poet of several children’s books including the recent release, My Community, Shimmer/Songs of Night, and A Star Full of Sky which won several awards including Best in Children’s Literature. She writes poetry for a variety of magazines such as Highlights for Children, Ladybug, Bumples, Jack and Jill, Humpty Dumpty, Fun for Kidz, Cricket, Spider, Babybug, Hello Highlights, and High Five. She enjoys presenting children’s writing workshops in libraries and to classrooms. Raven is Creative & Publishing Advisor for Red Clover Reader, and represented by Essie White of Storm Literary Agency.

Jessie Janowitz received her B.A. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University and holds a J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School. The Doughnut King, is the sequel to her debut middle grade novel, The Doughnut Fix. She lives in New York City with her husband and three children. Learn more at

Aram Kim is a children’s book author/illustrator and a picture book designer. She was born in Ohio, raised in South Korea, and now lives in Queens, NY, happily surrounded by diverse food and culture. Aram’s debut picture book Cat on the Bus was called a “beautifully designed visual work” by School Library Journal and included in the Children’s Choice Reading List 2017 by ILA/CBC. Her next picture book, No Kimchi For Me! is about family, food, intergenerational connections, and a six-year-old “coming of age” that has universal themes, and at the same time celebrates Korean culture. It was a Junior Library Guild selection and received numerous awards. Her next picture book, a sequel to No Kimchi for Me! is scheduled be published in spring 2020. Visit

Alisa Kwitney is a former editor at Vertigo/DC Comics and the author of numerous novels and graphic novels. She has an MFA from Columbia University’s Fiction Writing program, and her thesis, Till the Fat Lady Sings, was listed as a New York Times New and Noteworthy paperback. Her first Young Adult title, Cadaver & Queen, was highly recommended by the School Library Journal, and her YA graphic novel, Mystik U, made 109’s list of best comics of 2017. Her newest book, Corpse & Crown, is a companion novel to Cadver & Queen and was just released Feb 12. Alisa teaches writing at The Art Effect in Poughkeepsie and Manhattanville’s MFA program in Purchase, NY. Learn more at

Diana Murray writes poems and stories for children. Her books include CITY SHAPES, GRIMELDA THE VERY MESSY WITCH, NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, PIZZA PIG (a Scholastic Pick of the Month ), UNICORN DAY (forthcoming), and many more. Her poems have appeared in magazines such as Highlights, High Five and Spider, as well as anthologies. Diana grew up in NYC and still lives nearby with her firefighter husband, two very messy children, and a motley crew of pets. Learn more at

DAVID NEILSEN is the author of two Middle Grade horror/comic/fantasies published by Crown Books for Young Readers: Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom (2016) and Beyond the Doors (2017). A classically trained actor, David works as a professional storyteller based in Sleepy Hollow, NY and spends much of October spooking the bejeebers out of people or performing one of his one-man shows inspired by the works of H. P. Lovecraft. He lives with his wife, son, daughter, and two very domineering cats.

Learn more about David on his website.

Raised in New York and Paris, Robin Newman was a practicing attorney and legal editor, but she now prefers to write about witches, mice, pigs, and peacocks. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the City University of New York School of Law. She is the author of the popular Wilcox & Griswold Mystery Series. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, son, goldfish, two English Cocker Spaniels, and one French Bulldog. Learn more at

Karen Kaufman Orloff is the author of 11 books for children, including the popular “I Wanna” series (“I Wanna Iguana,” “I Wanna New Room,” “I Wanna Go Home”), as well as “Some Days,” “Goodnight, Little Bot,” “Miles of Smiles” and several other titles. A 12th book, “Dudley’s Day at Home” will be out in 2020. Karen lives in Hopewell Junction with her family. Learn more at

Born in Canada, Leanne Pankuch currently lives in the beautiful and inspiring Hudson Valley. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and sometimes moonlights as a substitute teacher. Her debut YA fantasy novel, Dragon’s Truth, was released March 30, 2019. Her other stories have appeared in a number of children’s magazines, workbooks, and story collections. When she’s not writing about girls and women who break the rules, she reads way too many books. She loves laughing, wandering, music, history, fairy tales, graveyards, trees, rocks, dogs, her pirate husband, and her fellowship/family. Learn more at

Steven James Petruccio wanted to be an artist ever since he can remember. He worked hard learning about art and illustration and practicing his craft. He has been a professional artist for over thirty years, illustrating over eighty picture books including the award winning series for the Smithsonian Oceanic Collection. His illustrations were included in the exhibit, “ American Nostalgia:Contemporary Artists Reinterpret the Themes of Norman Rockwell” and he had a featured book on Reading Rainbow. He was commissioned to create the Fabled Forest entrance mural for the pediatric emergency room at Orange Regional Medical Center. In 2012, Steven received the Rip VanWinkle Award for his contribution to children’s literature. Steven also teaches art at Marist College and does school visits and workshops.

James Preller has published many popular books for readers of all ages, including the Jigsaw Jones mystery series. The first two books in his newest series, “The Big Idea Gang,” just came out in January. “Abounds with examples of kindness, empathy, friends who listen to each other, and ways to strike up and friendship and make a difference at your school.” — School Library Connection. He is also the author of BYSTANDER, BETTER OFF UNDEAD, “Scary Tales,” SIX INNINGS, and THE COURAGE TEST. He lives in Delmar, NY. He enjoys visiting schools as a guest author. Please contact him through his blog at or via email:

Andrea Pyros is the author of My Year of Epic Rock, which was called “a perfect read for anyone who feels BFF-challenged” by Booklist and “a charming addition to upper elementary and middle school collections” by School Library Journal. Her newest book, Pink Hair and Other Terrible Ideas, is “an empathetic story about learning to face problems both great and small” (Foreword Reviews). Andrea is a contributor to the popular website From The Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors and has written extensively for young adults, starting with her stint as co-founder of the pop culture website Girls on Film and then as a senior-level editor at a variety of teen magazines. For more information, visit her at

Kimberly Sabatini is a former Special Education Teacher who is now a very busy Domestic Engineer. After her dad passed away in 2005, she used writing as a way to make sense of the experience and discovered she’s full of questions that need to be answered. Kimberly grew up in Beacon, NY and after college, traveled to Germany, Arizona and North Carolina as a military spouse. Now back in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, three boys and a slightly naughty German Shepherd, she couldn’t be happier. Kimberly writes Young Adult fiction and is also a member of the SCBWI–The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is represented by Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary Agency. TOUCHING THE SURFACE is her debut novel. (Simon Pulse – Simon & Schuster). Learn more at

Pat Schories lives in Hopewell Junction, and has been making art her whole life. She is most well-known as the illustrator of the BISCUIT “I Can Read” books by Alyssa Capucilli, and has recently written and illustrated some books of her own: PIE FOR CHUCK, PANTS FOR CHUCK, and SQUEAK THE MOUSE LIKES HIS HOUSE, all published by Holiday House. Learn more at

David Soman is the co-creator, with Jacky Davis, of the New York Times Bestselling Ladybug Girl series. David with his family in Rosendale, NY. Learn more at

Lisa Thiesing is an award-winning author-illustrator and has illustrated and/or written more than 40 wonderful books for children. She was honored to receive the Michigan and the Delaware state awards and a Bank Street Book of the Year. Many of her books have been given starred reviews in Kirkus and SLJ.
Lisa grew up in NYC and graduated from Parsons School of Design with a BFA in illustration. She enjoys doing school visits and introducing students to the process of making a book – the writing, the illustrating, the editors and the finished book.  Lisa lives in Rosendale with her husband, dog and cats. Learn more at

Iza Trapani was born in Poland and moved to the U.S. at age seven. Fascinated with a Mother Goose Treasury, Iza learned English through the rhymes. Little did she know that someday she would retell many of them and become a best-selling children’s book author and illustrator.

Iza is known for her award-winning series of nursery rhyme extensions, including The Itsy Bitsy Spider, which has sold over a million copies. Her 27th picture book, Vole and Troll will be out in September 2019. Find out more about Iza and her books at

Tracey West has written more than 300 books for children, including the bestselling Dragon Masters series and Pixie Tricks series for Scholastic. You may also know her for writing tie-in books based on cartoons such as Pokémon and She-Ra. She lives in the western Catskill mountains, where there is plenty of room for dragons to roam free. Learn more at

Timothy Young has been an animator, puppet maker, toy designer, sculptor, art director and graphic designer. He’s designed for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, the Muppets, The Simpsons, Disney, and Universal Studios. Tim is the author/illustrator of 11 picture books including I’m Going To Outer Space!, Do Not Open The Box, The Angry Little Puffin and the highly acclaimed I Hate Picture Books!. His latest book is If You Give the Puffin a Muffin. He lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. He loves visiting schools and talking to students about his books.  Learn more at