NANCY VIAU is the founder of the KidLit Authors Club and the award-winning author of the following picture books: Pruett and Soo (2022), First Snow, Today Is a Beach Day!Storm Song, City Street Beat, and Look What I Can Do! Her middle-grade novels include: Samantha Hansen Has Rocks In Her HeadSomething Is Bugging Samantha HansenBeauty and Bernice, and  Just One Thing! A former teacher and kid-at-heart, Viau loves to visit K-6 schools, libraries, and bookstores to present interactive story times, assembly programs, and writing workshops. In her spare time, you can find her searching for inspiration on biking or hiking trails. Connect with Nancy on Twitter or Instagram: @NancyViau1.



TIMOTHY YOUNG is the author/illustrator of the picture books untitled, I Hate Picture Books!, Shadows On My Wall, They're Coming!, The Angry Little Puffin, Do Not Open The Box!, I'm Going To Outer Space!, Creatures and Characters: Drawing Amazing Monsters, Aliens, and Other Weird Things!, If You Give the Puffin a Muffin and More Creatures and Characters: Drawing Awesomely Wild, Wacky and Funny Animals. (all from Schiffer Publishing) and I'm Looking For A Monster! (Random House). He is also the illustrator of Am I BIG Enough? by Julia Pinkney and Just One Thing! by Nancy Viau. He has two new board books; Space Aliens 1•2•3, Intergalactic Counting by Color and P Is For Puffin; The ABCs of Uncommon Animals. He is giving 100% of the royalties of the latter to the Wildlife Conservation Network. He has worked as an art director, toy designer and animator. He and his family live near the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. One of his favorite things about being an author is doing school visit presentations.


DIANNE K. SALERNI  is the author of middle grade and YA novels, including Eleanor, Alice, & the Roosevelt Ghosts, a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection, The Eighth Day Series, nominated for seven state award lists, The Caged Graves, and We Hear the Dead, which was optioned for film. Her seventh book, also a Junior Library Guild selection, is Jadie in Five Dimensions, a multi-dimensional adventure steeped in science and math. Dianne was a Pennsylvania public school teacher for 25 years before leaving the profession to spend time hanging around creepy cemeteries, attending ghost hunting classes, and climbing 2000 year-old pyramids in the name of book research. In her spare time, she volunteers at her local animal rescue shelter, walking dogs and serving the needs of the feline overlords.

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ARTIE BENNETT is an executive copy editor by day and a writer by night. He’s the author of the inspiring picture-book biography The True Story of Zippy Chippy: The Little Horse That Couldn’t. He’s also the author of several hilarious rhyming picture books: The Butt Book, his first “mature” work; Poopendous!, his “number two” children’s book; Peter Panda Melts Down!, an adorable departure from derrières and doo; the explosively funny Belches, Burps, and Farts—Oh My!; and his newest, What’s Afoot! Your Complete, Offbeat Guide to Feet, guaranteed to knock your socks off. He’s also written The Universe’s Greatest Dinosaur Jokes and Pre-Hysteric Puns and The Universe’s Greatest School Jokes and Rip-Roaring Riddles. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he spends his time moving his car to satisfy the stringent demands of alternate-side-of-the-street parking. HuffPost says: “It appears there is no topic Mr. Bennett can’t make funny and educational.”


COLLEEN ROWAN KOSINSKI writes picture books and middle grade novels. Her picture books include Lilla's Sunflowers (Sky Pony, 2016), A Home Again ( Two Lions, 2021), and Love Made Me More (Two Lions, 2022). Her middle grade novel is titled, A Promise Stitched in Time (Schiffer Publishing, 2018). For the last year she has been working as an editor at and teaching classes on picture book writing. She is also involved in her local chapter of the SCBWI, and the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature. Colleen is a graduate of Rutgers University, as are her husband and sons. Her daughter followed the bright lights to work in the film industry in LA. Colleen works from her Cherry Hill, NJ studio with her canine assistant, Sage.

  YVONNE VENTRESCA’s latest fiction, “The Third Ghost,” was selected as the title story for the middle grade adventure anthology, Voyagers: The Third Ghost. She’s also the author of two young adult award-winning novels: Pandemic (eerily predictive about a deadly illness that strikes our contemporary world, Crystal Kite winner) and Black Flowers, White Lies (a psychological thriller listed at the top of Buzzfeed’s must-read YA fall books for that year and Gold “IPPY” for best YA fiction). Yvonne’s other works include short stories and two nonfiction books, Publishing (Careers for the 21st Century) and Avril Lavigne (People in the News). You can learn more at her website where she blogs about writing and provides resources for teen writers.
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CHARLOTTE BENNARDO is the author of the MG science adventure series, Evolution Revolution (Poolside Press), and is co-author of Blonde OPS (St. Martin's/Dunne) and the Sirenz series (Flux), and a contributing author in Beware the Little White Rabbit (Leap Books). She sees story ideas everywhere and has written them down on napkins, bottoms of her shoes and even on her arms.  

LAURIE WALLMARK, award-winning author, writes picture book biographies of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) as well as fiction. Her books have earned multiple starred trade reviews, been chosen as Junior Library Guild Selections, and received awards such as Outstanding Science Trade Book, Best STEM Book, Cook Prize Honor Book, Crystal Kite Award, Mathical Honor Book, and Parents’ Choice Gold Medal. Her titles include Ada Byron Lovelace And The Thinking Machine, Grace Hopper: Queen Of Computer Code, Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life, Numbers In Motion: Sophie Kowalevski, Queen Of MathematicsCode Breaker, Spy Hunter, and her debut fiction picture book, Dino Pajama Party. Laurie has an MFA in Writing from VCFA and is a former software engineer and computer science professor.

  JEFFRY W. JOHNSTON is the author of 3 young adult novels. His first novel, Fragments (Simon Pulse, 2007) was a 2008 Edgar nominee by the Mystery Writers of America for Best Young Adult Mystery, and his second novel, The Truth (Sourcebook Fire 2016) was a 2017 Top 10 In the Margins Book Award winner. Both novels were also YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. His latest novel, Following(Sourcebooks Fire 2019) was a 2019 Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. Before turning to YA, Jeffry published over 40 short stories and has written on various subjects such as theatre, movies, health, business, and education. He shares his writing and publishing experience with students, and in his spare time enjoys movies, TV-bingeing, baseball, music, and, of course, reading.

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 Raised in New York and Paris, ROBIN NEWMAN is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the City University of New York School of Law. She was a practicing attorney and legal editor, but she now prefers to write about witches, mice, pigs, and peacocks. Author of the award-winning Wilcox & Griswold Mystery Series, as well as several picture books, she's a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, National Writing Project's Writers Council, the Bank Street Writers Lab, and PEN America, CYAB. She lives in New York with her husband, son, and two spoiled English Cocker Spaniels. 

  DARLENE BECK JACOBSON is a former teacher and speech therapist and the author of the historical middle-grade novel Wheels of Change (Creston Books, 2014) and Wishes, Dares and How To Stand Up to a Bully (Creston Books, 2020). She has loved writing since she was a girl. Darlene’s stories have appeared in Cicada, Cricket, and other magazines. She enjoys sewing, tea parties, and travel. Her favorite destination is Australia, where she fed a kangaroo, held a koala, and snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef. Her blog features recipes, activities, crafts, and interviews with children’s book authors and illustrators.  

MARIA E. ANDREU, a New Jersey resident, is the author of The Secret Side of Empty, a semi-autobiographical story of an undocumented teen. It won an Indie Excellence Award and was named “Must-read YA” by Bookish. At age twelve, Marie wrote, “Most of all, I want to be a writer.” It only took her thirty years to get there. She enjoys taking pictures of the wild things that visit her yard and writing in her inner snarky teenage voice.

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JULIE GONZALEZ is a former teacher and the author of the picture book How Could a BEAR Sleep Here? (Holiday House, 2018). She enjoys working with younger students, using humor and heart to encourage curiosity, imagination, and empathy. Born in Maine, raised in New Jersey, and currently living in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, she runs, hikes, and interacts with the wildlife in her wooded backyard, an area which provides constant inspiration for her stories.   KELL ANDREWS wrote the picture book Mira Forecasts the Future (Sterling, 2016) after growing up in a household obsessed with the weather forecast. Today she lives with her husband and two daughters outside Philadelphia, where they enjoy rainy days as much as the sunny ones. Her second picture book will be published by Sterling in 2018. Kell is also the author of the middle-grade eco-fantasy Deadwood (Spencer Hill Press, 2014).
  ANNETTE WHIPPLE celebrates curiosity and inspires a sense of wonder while exciting readers about science and history. She’s the author of many fact-filled children’s books including The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide (Chicago Review Press, 2020), Ribbit! The Truth About Frogs (Reycraft Books, 2022) in The Truth About series, and Wild Wonders: Animal Devotions for Kids (Tyndale, 2024). When Annette’s not reading or writing, you might find her baking for her family in Pennsylvania. Get to know her and explore her resources for teachers and writers at her website.

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DAVID NEILSON 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 based on and inspired by the works of H. P. Lovecraft. He lives with his wife, son, daughter, and two very domineering cats.    RACHELLE BURK writes both fiction and nonfiction for children ages 3-12. Her works include picture books Don’t Turn The Page!, (CrestonBooks, 2014) Tree House in a Storm (Stemmer House, 2009), and the award-winning biography Painting in the Dark: Esref Armagan, Blind Artist (Tumblehome Learning, 2016). Her chapter book The Tooth Fairy Trap has been a “One School/One Book” choice in several schools, and her middle grade science adventure novel, The Walking Fish (Tumblehome Learning, 2015), received an award from the National Science Teachers Association. Rachelle has numerous magazine publications, including Scholastic Science World and Highlights, and is the founder of the writer’s resource site
A recently retired social worker, Rachelle lives in New Jersey and visits schools throughout the country.

  PAUL CZAJAK got an ‘F’ with the words “get a tutor” on his college writing paper and after that, never thought he’d become a writer. But after spending twenty years as a chemist, he knew his creativity could no longer be contained. Living in Massachusetts with his wife, and two little monsters, Paul has rediscovered his passion for writing and looks forward to sharing his stories for years to come.
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CINDY CALLAGHAN is the award-winning author of eleven MG novels including Just Add Magic and Just Add Magic 2: Potion Problems, which were made into an Emmy-nominated Amazon Original series now in its fifth season and distributed world-wide via Nickelodeon. Her book Saltwater Secrets has also been acquired by a major studio. Other books include: Lost In London, Lost In Paris, Lost In Rome, Lost In Hollywood, and Lost In Ireland and stand-alones:
The Girl Who Ruined Christmas
, My Big Heart-Shaped Fail, and Sydney Mackenzie Knocks ‘Em Dead. Cindy wrote her first big project in third grade, the sequel to Grease. She’s passionate about rescued pets and has any number of them snoring on her office floor at any given time. 
  MEG EDEN KUYATT teaches creative writing at colleges and writing centers. She is the author of the 2021 Towson Prize for Literature winning poetry collection “Drowning in the Floating World” (Press 53, 2020) and children’s novels, most recently “Good Different,” a JLG Gold Standard selection (Scholastic, 2023). Her presentations are always interactive and adaptable for any group age or size.

  JOY JONES is a trainer, speaker. and author of books for adults and children. Her books for young readers include Tambourine Moon, which was selected as one of the best books for children by the black caucus of the ALA and featured on the Bernie Mac Show; and Fearless Public Speaking, a YA how-to book. Her latest book is the novel, Jayla Jumps In which was ranked as on the the best sports books for children by the ALA. In 2004, Joy founded DC Retro Jumpers, a double Dutch team that has served as cultural ambassadors abroad. Currently, she plans and implements innovative programs for DC Public Library. When she is not reading, writing or jumping rope you can find her on the dance floor. 

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