Emily Arrow is an award-winning singer and songwriter. Her debut album inspired by popular children’s books, Storytime Singalong, Volume 1, is available now on CD and online. CDs will also be available for purchase at the May 14, 2016 event.
Jessica Cluess is a writer, a graduate of Northwestern University, and an unapologetic nerd. After college, she moved to Los Angeles, where she served coffee to the rich and famous while working on her first novel. When she’s not writing books, she’s an instructor at Writopia Lab, helping kids and teens tell their own stories. Her debut novel, A Shadow Bright and Burning will be out September 2016 and is available for pre-order now.
Ingrid Sundberg holds an MFA in writing for children from Vermont College of Fine Arts and an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman University. She has been a freelance story editor, illustrator, and graphic designer for many years. In addition, she has taught college classes, worked on film sets, and been a children’s bookseller. All We Left Behind (Simon Pulse, December 2015) is her first novel.
Ann Redisch Stampler is the author of the young adult novels Afterparty (Simon Pulse, December 2014) andWhere It Began (Simon Pulse, March 2012) as well as half a dozen picture books. Her most recent title, How to Disappear will be released in June 2016 and is available for pre-order now. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband, Rick.
Amy Spalding grew up in St. Louis, but now lives in the better weather of Los Angeles. She received a B.A. in Advertising & Marketing Communications from Webster University, and currently works as the Digital Media Planner for an independent film advertising agency. Amy studied longform improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, and can be seen performing around L.A.
Cindy Pon was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and her family immigrated to California in 1980, settling in the suburbs of Los Angeles. She began writing stories before she was officially declared English proficient. She is a student of Chinese brush painting, and her love for the art is reflected in her storytelling.
Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, a writer, and a clown. She is also the author of Get Even(Balzer+Bray, September 2014) as well asTen (Balzer+Bray, September 2013) which was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. In 2013, she released 3:59(Balzer+Bray), a sci-fi doppelganger horror about two girls who are the same girl in parallel dimensions who decide to switch places.
Gretchen’s newest release isRelic(HarperCollins, March 2016), a horror novel about a group of teens who, while exploring an old mine, accidentally unleash a creature who is hunting them down and cannibalizing their bodies. Next up will be I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl (HarperCollins, October 2016), a YA contemporary novel about a math-minded control freak who loses her boyfriend to the quirky new girl in school and sets out to reinvent herself as a classic manic pixie dream girl in order to win him back.
Nicole Maggi wrote her first story in third grade about a rainbow and a unicorn. After working as an actress in NYC, she now lives in Los Angeles with her family and two oddball cats. Her work includes her debut book, Winter Falls(Medallion Press, December 2014); In the Mouth of the Wolf (June 2015); The Forgetting(Sourcebooks, February 2015) and her latest release, The Blue Woods(January 2016).
Jessica Love is a high school English teacher who lives in Southern California with her husband, her son, and their two tiny dogs. She’s working on her Master’s Degree in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Spalding University, and her big love is contemporary YA romance. Jessica spends all of her free money on concerts, constantly tries to prove that blondes have more fun, and is pretty much always on the internet.
In Real Life was just released (St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne, March 2015). Push Girl (St. Martin’s Griffin, June 2014), co-written with Chelsie Hill from Sundance Channel’s reality TV show Push Girls, is also out now.
E. Katherine Kottaras is originally from Chicago, but now she writes and teaches in the Los Angeles area. She holds an M.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine and teaches writing and literature at Pasadena City College. She is interested in the stories we tell, the stories we are given, and the ways we can redefine our worlds by discovering which stories are actually true.