Carrie Arcos is a National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature for Out of Reach, her debut novel. She earned her Master’s in English and Creative Writing because it allowed her to write. Prior to becoming an author and a college professor, Carrie taught High School English and coached Cross Country and track. She now currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and children.
Leigh Bardugo is the author of the Grisha Trilogy. She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.
Jennifer Bosworth lives in Los Angeles, California. She is the author of the young adult novel Struck and is the writer half of a writer/director team with her husband, Ryan Bosworth.
Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started self “publishing” her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples, and electrical tape. After graduating from Smith College in 2001 where she double majored in Economics and French and minored in Japanese, Jessica later went on to work for MGM Studios as a Manager of Acquisitions and Business Development. In May of 2005, Jessica quit her job to follow her dream of becoming a published author. Since then, Jessica has sold over twelve novels for teens, tweens, and adults including 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, The Karma Club, My Life Undecided, and the Unremembered trilogy.
Stephen Chbosky wrote and directed the feature film adaptation of his award-winning novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. He has worked in film and television, on projects including the film version of the smash-hit musical Rent; the TV show Jericho; and others. He also edited Pieces, a collection of short stories for Pocket Books. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Chbosky graduated from the University of Southern California’s Filmic Writing Program. His first film, The Four Corners of Nowhere, premiered at Sundance Film Festival.
Sara Wilson Etienne went to school to become a marine biologist… but when her research transformed itself into a novel, she realized she loved fantasy more than fact. Now I enjoy combining both to create stories that ask “What if?” She writes in Seattle alongside her artist husband and two dogs.
Suzanne Lazear writes books that end in “punk.” She is also the author of the fairytale steampunk series The Aether Chronicles. INNOCENT DARKNESS, CHARMED VENGEANCE, and FRAGILE DESTINY, are all out now from Flux. Suzanne lives in Southern California with her daughter and the hubby where she’s currently attempting to make a raygun to match her ballgown.
Marie Lu writes young adult novels, and has a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, she was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, she was an Art Director at a video game company.
Morgan Matson attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, but halfway through a theater degree, she started working in the children’s department of Vroman’s Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature. Following college graduation she received her M.F.A. in Writing for Children from The New School and worked as an editor for YA novels. Morgan’s first novel, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, was inspired by her love of road trips, snacks, and the quest for the perfect playlist. It was named an ALA Top Ten Best Book, a Publisher’s Weekly Flying Start book, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize. Her second novel, Second Chance Summer, was inspired by her experiences spending summers in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. It was the winner of the California Book Award (YA category) and was named to the ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults List, selected for the Oklahoma Sequoya List, and selected as a School Library Journal Best Book.
Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, writer and clown. Her YA horror POSSESS about a teen exorcist debuted with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins in 2011. Gretchen’s follow up TEN – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, a finalist for Washington state’s 2015 Evergreen Young Adult Book Award and Vermont’s 2014-2015 Green Mountain Book Award, and was nominated for “Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012″ by Romantic Times. In 2013, she released 3:59, a sci-fi doppelganger horror about two girls who are the same girl in parallel dimensions who decide to switch places.
Gregg Olsen has written nine nonfiction books, nine novels, a novella, and contributed a short story to a collection edited by Lee Child. The award-winning author has been a guest on dozens of national and local television shows. The Deep Dark was named Idaho Book of the Year by the ILA and Starvation Heights was honored by Washington’s Secretary of State for the book’s contribution to Washington state history and culture. His Young Adult novel, Envy, was the official selection of Washington for the National Book Festival. Olsen, a Seattle native, lives in Olalla, Washington with his wife, twin daughters, three chickens, Milo (an obedience school dropout cocker spaniel) and Suri (a mini dachshund so spoiled she wears a sweater).
Andrew Smith is the award-winning author of several Young Adult novels, including the critically acclaimed Grasshopper Jungle (2015 Michael L. Printz Honor, 2014 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Carnegie Medal Longlist) and Winger. He is a native-born Californian who spent most of his formative years traveling the world. His university studies focused on Political Science, Journalism, and Literature. He has published numerous short stories and articles. The Alex Crow, a starred novel by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist, is his ninth novel. He lives in Southern California.
Ann Stampler was born in Connecticut, grew up mostly in Santa Barbara, and have lived my adult life in Los Angeles, where my novels Afterparty (Simon Pulse, 2014) and Where It Began (Simon Pulse, 2012) are set. She always wanted to be a writer, ever since she was first able to write. “When I dip into all that wonderful, old stuff, YA novels are what I come up with.”
LEX THOMAS is the pen name for the writing team of Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies. Lex Hrabe received a BA in Drama and English from the University of Virginia. On the path to being a novelist, he’s been a farmhand, a bartender, a library assistant, an executive assistant, a personal assistant, an unwitting assistant at a thinly-veiled criminal enterprise, a very nervous waiter, a pizza delivery guy, a furniture mover, an actor in commercials you can YouTube, and a screenwriter. He lives in Virginia with his wife and two daughters. Thomas Voorhies received a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he paces around in a loft downtown, writing, painting, watching movies, and listening to comedy. He spends the rest of his time silently watching people or joking around.