Here is a list of the authors attending
YA FEST JUNIOR in 2015.
Paul Acampora writes novels and short stories for young readers. Kids, parents and critics praise his work for its laugh-out-loud humor, rollicking dialogue, and heartfelt characters. His books include Defining Dulcie, Rachel Spinelli Punched Me in the Face, and his newest novel, I Kill the Mockingbird, which is a comedy/caper about friends who sabotage their summer reading list. Paul is a popular leader of writing workshops for schools, libraries, and conferences. A proud graduate of the University of Notre Dame (GO IRISH!), Paul and his family live in Allentown, Pennsylvania. More at www.paulacampora.com
Brian Biggs is the illustrator of the New York Times bestseller, Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor. He has illustrated books by Garth Nix, Cynthia Rylant, and Katherine Applegate, and is the writer and illustrator of the Everything Goes series. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Amie & Bethanie Borst
Amie Borst is a PAL member of SCBWI. She still believes in unicorns, uses glitter whenever possible and accessorizes in pink. She enjoys eating chocolate while writing and keeps a well-stocked stash hidden away from her family. A native New Yorker she currently resides in Northern Virginia with her husband, three children and a cute dog named Lily. She wishes she had a hot-pink elevator with carnival lights to travel the world. But for now, her minivan will have to do.
Bethanie Borst is a spunky 13-year-old who is an avid archer with Olympic dreams, enjoys the outdoors, loves reading and is quick to make lasting friendships. When she is not writing, she swings on a star.
M. E. Castle is a writer and actor working in the glorious center of the universe, New York City. He is the author of Popular Clone, Cloneward Bound and the Game of Clones in The Clone Chronicles series. You can visit him online at www.theclonechronicles.com.
Debbie Dadey is the author and co-author of 162 children's books, including The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series and the new series, Mermaid Tales. Debbie lives in Bucks County with her two dogs, husband, and the only kid left at home. She's glad to have him! Debbie is a former first-grade teacher and school librarian. Her passion is creating books that even the most reluctant reader will enjoy. http://www.debbiedadey.com
Barbara Dee writes humorous fiction for tween girls. She is the author of THE (ALMOST) PERFECT GUIDE TO IMPERFECT BOYS, TRAUMA QUEEN, THIS IS ME FROM NOW ON, SOLVING ZOE (Bank Street Best Children’s Books), and JUST ANOTHER DAY IN MY INSANELY REAL LIFE (Publishers Weekly starred review). Barbara is one of the founders and directors of the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival and blogs at From the Mixed-Up Files...of Middle Grade Authors (www.fromthemixedupfiles.com). When she is not writing, she enjoys rooting for the New York Yankees and taking long walks with her floppy-eared rescue hound, Ripley.
Ty Drago is a critically acclaimed writer of science fiction and fantasy. His Undertakers Series for middle grade students (ages 10 and up) has received accolades in a wide variety of venues, including School Library Journal. His middle school tours have put him in front of close to 30,000 fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders at more than sixty schools in six states! And, finally, the first book in the Undertakers Series, Rise of the Corpses, has been adapted as a feature film by FINAL DESTINATION creator Jeffrey Reddick.
Galante is the author of three middle grade novels, three young-adult novels, an 8-book chapter book series, and one adult novel. Her first book, The Patron Saint of Butterflies, (2008) was the recipient of numerous awards, including an Original Voices Award by Borders, an Oprah Pick for Teens, and a Best Book of the Year by the NAIBA. Her second novel, Hershey Herself (2008), has recently been translated into Polish, while Willowood (2009) was recently distinguished as a Keystone Award nominee for Best Book of the Year, as well as a winner for the Iowa Children’s Choice Award. The Sweetness of Salt, (2010), was nominated for a Best Fiction for 2011 by YALSA, and The Summer of May, released in May, 2011, was selected as a Summer Favorite by The Washington Post. World rights to Little Wings, her 8-book chapter book series for young readers, have just been sold to both Japan and Turkey. Her most recent young adult novel, Be Not Afraid, about a teenage exorcist, is scheduled to be released by Random House in the Spring of 2015, while her first adult novel, The Invisibles, was recently sold to Harper Collins. She lives in Kingston, Pennsylvania with her husband and three children.
Donna Galanti wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote a murder mystery screenplay at seven and acted it out with the neighborhood kids. She attended an English school housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There she fell in love with the worlds of C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, and wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship (and has been writing fantasy ever since). She’s lived in other exotic locations, including her family-owned campground in New Hampshire and in Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse and dreams of returning one day to a castle. Donna is the author of the Joshua and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books) and represented by Bill Contardi of Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc. She is a contributing editor to International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs at Project Mayhem, a cooperative of published middle grade authors. Visit her at www.donnagalanti.com.
Margie Gelbwasser has wanted to be a writer since second grade and loves writing for kids of all ages. She has written for many magazines including Girls' Life, SELF, and Ladies' Home Journal. Her first YA novel, Inconvenient, was a Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Teens, and her second novel, Pieces of Us, garnered positive reviews from Kirkus, Voya, and Publisher's Weekly, which called it "painfully believable." She's really excited about her new MG Capstone series (under the name Margaret Gurevich), called Chloe by Design, that will appeal to fashion lovers. When not writing, Margie enjoys hiking, running, cooking, reading, watching too much television (in the name of research, of course!), and spending time with her husband and son.
P.G. Kain teaches writing at New York University where he is the Director of Academic Engagement Global Liberal Studies. As a Faculty Fellow in Residence at NYU, P.G. lives among 900 undergraduates in a residence hall near Gramercy Park. COMMERCIAL BREAKS is published by Simon & Schuster / Aladdin and reveals the lives of tween girls making their way through the captivating and ultra-competitive world of commercial castings. P.G. has been on hundreds and hundreds of commercial auditions for everything from a talking taco to a mad cupcake scientist. He has even booked a few spots. http://www.TweenInk.net
David Lubar has written thirty books for teens and young readers. His novel, Dunk, and his chapter book, Punished, both earned awards from Pennsylvania's Keystone State Reading Association. His novels are on reading lists across the country, saving countless students from a close encounter with Madam Bovary. His Weenies short story collections have sold more than two million copies. His stories have appeared in a variety of magazines, including Boy's Life, READ, and Nickelodeon. He also designed and programmed many video games in a former eight-bit life, including Frogger 2, Home Alone, and Fantastic Voyage. In his spare time, he takes naps on the couch. He lives in Nazareth, PA with his wife and various felines, and spends far too much time online, tweeting things that apparently have no effect on book sales.
Todd McClimans is an elementary school principal and former fifth grade teacher and lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three young children. A self-styled history buff and fantasy nerd, Todd first became interested in writing about American history when teaching his fifth graders the riveting stories of patriots and their struggle for independence during the Revolutionary War. He aims to bring history to life for young readers by writing stories with a careful mixture of historical fact and fantastical story-telling with characters to which children can relate.
Matt Myklusch is a middle-grade fantasy / adventure writer and the creator of SEABORNE (Egmont USA) and THE JACK BLANK ADVENTURES (Simon & Schuster). By day, Matt is a mild-mannered strategist for a digital marketing agency, but at night – and very early in the morning – he battles injustice in the form of pirates, super-villains, and robot zombies. Matt also worked at MTV Networks for nearly ten years. During that time, he was involved in booking and producing celebrity interviews, helping launch mtvU (MTV's 24-hour college network), and managing Spring Break events in Panama City Beach, Cancun, and Acapulco. Matt lives in New Jersey with his wife and family, where he is always hard at work on his next book.
Aaron Starmer was born in northern California, raised in the suburbs of Syracuse, New York and educated at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Before writing novels, he worked in the travel industry as an editor and operations director. His books include DWEEB, The Only Ones, The Riverman and The Whisper. He is currently working on a middle grade and a young adult novel, both of which will be released in 2016. He lives with his wife and daughter in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Eric Wight is a professional daydreamer. Sometimes, nice people even give him awards for it. He is the writer and illustrator of FRANKIE PICKLE, a chapter book/graphic novel series published by Simon & Schuster. He has also illustrated books for Macmillan, Abrams, and Random House. Prior to that, he was an animator for such companies as Walt Disney, Warner Bros. and Cartoon Network. Wight lives in Bucks County, PA with his family. His kids think it’s perfectly normal that their dad spends all day in his pajamas drawing silly pictures.
Art Lessons with...
Amanda Rogers is a public school visual arts teacher. She was born in the Lehigh Valley and graduated from Moravian College in 2007. Since then, she has worked in public schools both in the Lehigh Valley and in inner city Washington D.C. For the three years of living in Washington D.C. Amanda found great pleasure in visiting the city’s museums and also began her own pop up art lessons for children and adults named Crinkle. Crinkle was hosted in a clothing boutique in the Northwest quadrant of the city and had its own “pop up” area of the store where art experiences were held. Late in 2014 Amanda moved back to the Lehigh Valley for a new teaching position. Now she is working on her Masters in Educational Technology as well as running Crinkle workshops in downtown Bethlehem and taking clients for in-home private art lessons.