In addition to readings by the above authors, the conference will examine gender roles and identity in YA, discuss the ongoing need for more diverse representation in books for children and teens, and debate the controversies surrounding books that defy easy categorization (considering questions like: What exactly is a children’s book? Can a book be too smart for kids? Shouldn’t grownups read grownup books?).
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Readings
11:00AM - 11:30 AM Meet & Greet/Signings
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Panel/Audience Q&A
12:30 PM - 1:00 PM Signings
FREE & open to all!
PLUS: complimentary Starbucks coffee & breakfast pastries throughout the event!
AND: in honor of Free Comic Book Day, conference attendees will receive, you guessed it, a FREE comic book! (After all, comic books were MG, YA, and Crossover before such categories existed.)
Presented by Rutgers Writers House. Click HERE to see our swank conference poster!
KATE MILFORD is the author of The Boneshaker, The Broken Lands, and, most recently, the "enchanting and empowering" (Booklist) National Book Award nominee, Greenglass House. She has also written several plays, screenplays, and an assortment of scholarly articles on subjects as diverse as self-aware ironmongery and how to make saltwater taffy in a haunted kitchen. She lives in Brooklyn.
MICHELLE KNUDSEN is the New York Times bestselling author of 45 books for young readers, including Library Lion, recently selected by Time Magazine as one of the "Best 100 Children's Books" of all time (alongside Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are and Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree), and the "Hysterical! (Stephanie Meyer, Twilight), creepy, paranormal, musical-theater-horror-romance YA adventure novel, The Evil Librarian, which recently won the 2015 Sid Fleischman Award for humor.
J.A. WHITE is the author of the "darkly bewitching" (Library School Journal) Publishers Weekly Best Book, Thickety, and the just released "spinetingling" (Booklist) sequel, Thickety: The Whispering Trees. When he’s not making up stories, he teaches a bunch of kids how to make up stories. He wishes dragons were real because it would be a much cooler way to get to work.
NOVA REN SUMA is the author of The Walls Around Us, a "gorgeously written, spellbinding ghost story" (Chicago Tribune), as well as the YA novels Imaginary Girls and 17 & Gone, which were both named 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound by YALSA. She has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and has been awarded fiction fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the MacDowell Colony, among others. She worked for years behind the scenes in publishing, at places such as HarperCollins, Penguin, Marvel Comics, and RAW Books. "A supernatural page-turner. Her images, even the horrible ones, linger like dust and glitter after an epic stage performance.” --The Boston Globe
DANIEL JOSE OLDER is the author of the upcoming multi-cultural YA novel Shadowshaper and the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series. Publishers Weekly hailed him as a “rising star of the genre” after the publication of his debut ghost noir collection, Salsa Nocturna. His short stories and essays on diversity, power, and publishing have appeared in Tor.com, Salon, BuzzFeed, the New Haven Review, PANK, Apex and Strange Horizons.
MICHAEL BARAKIVA is an Armenian/Israeli director, blogger, and the author of the YA novel One Man Guy, a "sweet-spirited love story" (Booklist) about an Armenian boy coming out and falling in love in New York City. Michael was born outside of Haifa, Israel and now lives in Manhattan with his husband, Rafael.
JOY PESKIN is the editorial director of Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers. FSG BYR books she has edited include Brandon Stanton’s Little Humans, a New York Times Bestseller; Kristin Elizabeth Clark’s Freakboy, which garnered three starred reviews; Leila Sales’s This Song Will Save Your Life, which received two starred reviews and has been optioned for both film and the Broadway stage; Rachel Bright’s Love Monster, a #1 Publishers Weekly Bestseller, and Ava Dellaira’s Love Letters to the Dead, which will be published in twenty-two languages, and has been optioned for film by the production team responsible for The Fault in Our Stars. Before joining Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, Joy was the associate publisher of Viking Children’s Books and an editor at Scholastic. Joy has also taught creative writing to homeless youth, incarcerated women, and teens in a juvenile detention center.
ALEX DAWSON is the author of The Rapscallion Club, a forthcoming archeological adventure series for all ages, which has received advance praise from Lev Grossman (The Magicians) and World Fantasy Award winner John Crowley (Little, Big), among others. Until 2012, Dawson was the owner of The Raconteur, a now-defunct bookshop and performance venue hailed by The New York Times, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and The Star Ledger. He is the founder of Raconteur Ventures, a company dedicated to reviving and animating communities through cultural programming, and the host of Raconteurs & Roustabouts, a vaudevillian variety show that puts authors on stage alongside musicians and sideshow performers. Dawson teaches Intro to Creative Writing and Creative Writing in Middle Grade & YA Fiction at Rutgers University and curates/hosts Rutgers University's Inside the Writers House, a weekly series of video chats with acclaimed authors from all over the country. He is currently at work on the dark YA novel, The Wonderful World of Walker Hands.