Starting in January 2012
Swati Avasthi is the author of the novel, Split (Random House/Knopf, 2010), winner of a Cybils Young Adult Fiction Award, a Parents’ Choice 2010 Silver Award, a New Voices 2010 pick by the Association of Booksellers for Children, and an ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick. Her second novel, Bidden, also by Random House/Knopf, is forthcoming in 2012. Her short story, “Swallow,” published in Water~Stone Review, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and included in the 2009 Best American New Voices collection. An MFA graduate from the University of Minnesota, Swati is the recipient of The Loft Mentor Award and a Marcella DeBourg Foundation Fellowship. She teaches part-time in the BFA and MFA programs at Hamline University, at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, and at The Loft Literary Center.
Marilyn Nelson, an accomplished poet for adults and children, is a three-time finalist for the National Book Award. Carver: A Life in Poems won the 2001 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Flora Steiglitz Straus Award, a Newbery Honor Award, and a Coretta Scott King Honor Award. Fortune's Bones also won a Coretta Scott King Honor Book as well as the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry. A Wreath For Emmett Till won the 2005 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, a Coretta Scott King Honor Award, a Michael L. Printz Honor Award, and a Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book. Other honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, and two NEA Fellowships. Marilyn Nelson is Professor Emerita of English at the University of Connecticut and the former Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut.
Laura Ruby writes fantasy, mystery, and contemporary realistic fiction for young readers. Her tween novels include Lilly’s Ghost (2003), a mystery, and two fantasies: The Wall and the Wing (2006) and its sequel, The Chaos King (2007). Her novels for teens include Good Girls (2006), Play Me (2008), and Bad Apple (2009). She is also the author of an interconnected collection of short stories for adults, I’m Not Julia Roberts (2007), which was featured in Redbook, Working Mother, and USA Today, as well as numerous short stories and works of creative nonfiction. Her books have won multiple awards and nominations and been cited on numerous “Best” lists, including Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best, Parent’s Choice Silver Honor Award, Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age, Book Sense Pick, Sunshine State Book Award, Friends of American Writers Award, Edgar Award nominee, and Carnegie Medal nominee. She is a frequent presenter and regularly teaches the Highlights Foundation Whole Novel Writing Workshop. Originally from New Jersey, Laura now lives in Chicago with her husband.
Starting in July 2012
Gene Yang began publishing comic books under the name Humble Comics in 1996. In 1997, he was awarded a Xeric Grant for Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks. Since then, he’s written and drawn a number of stories in comics. His book, American Born Chinese, became the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association’s Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature. It also won an Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album—New. The Eternal Smile, a collection of short stories illustrated by Derek Kirk Kim, also won an Eisner Award and was selected as a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults. His most recent graphic novels are Prime Baby (first serialized in The New York Times Magazine) and Animal Crackers. Level Up, illustrated by Thien Pham, is forthcoming in June 2011. In addition to cartooning, Gene teaches computer science at a Catholic high school in California.
Starting in January 2013
Emily Jenkins (a.k.a. E. Lockhart) has published fifteen award-winning picture books for children and young readers, with three forthcoming, and two middle-grade novels (Invisible Inklings and Invisible Inklings 2: Dangerous Pumpkins—forthcoming in summer 2012) under the name Emily Jenkins. These include Five Creatures, That New Animal, Skunkdog, and the Toys series. Under E. Lockhart she is the prolific author of edgy teen novels, including the very popular Boyfriend List series of books about Ruby Oliver, and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, finalist for a National Book Award and winner of a Printz Honor Award and a Cybils Award. She has a Ph.D. in English from Columbia University and has taught literature and creative writing at Columbia, Barnard, and NYU. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.