Growing up, Jyoti lived in Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, China and India. She finally settled in New York where she raised two daughters with her husband (who also grew up all over the world). As a child, she adored and devoured books but did not enjoy writing. At all.
As a grown up, she is a forever kindergarten teacher and mom. She still adores and devours books. But now, she likes to write!
Awards I do not have any honors or awards – yet 🙂 Maybe by next May, I will – one can dream!
3 Fun Facts
1. I speak five languages
2. I drank yak milk in Tibet (not my favorite)
3. I am crazy for composting and know a lot about red wiggler worms
ALTHOUGH HE HAS ALWAYS HAD A VIVID IMAGINATION, his call to writing never manifested itself until his late twenties. Being the boy who sought after adventure and escape, he would use his imagination to create strange characters and unique far-away worlds. Some of those strange characters and far away lands cemented themselves into his mind and later became part of the firm foundation for his writing style.
NOW AN ADULT, he lives with his wife, two children, and their crazy pup, Toby, in Upstate New York. The use of his imagination and sense of wonder as a child has proven to be the first steps on the long road to becoming a published author in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genre. His debut novel “The Oasis King” Was released in February of this year.
3 Fun Facts
1. I love to cook.
2. I enjoy playing vintage video games.
3. The dogs in “The Oasis King” are named after my childhood dogs and my basset hound Toby.
Maria Elizabeth Ausherman, a teacher and independent scholar, lives in Stuyvesant, New York with her husband, Steven Taylor, a photographer. She has two wonderful grown-up daughters and an awesome granddaughter. She enjoys travel, hiking, reading, and spending time with her family, friends, and neighbors.
The author of Masters of Shape: The Lives and Art of American Women Sculptors, Behind the Camera: American Women Photographers Who Shaped How We See the World, The Photographic Legacy of Frances Benjamin Johnston, and co-author with Patricia Jennings of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Hawaii, she earned her B.A. in Geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.A. in Cinema Studies from the City University of New York and an M.Ed. in Social Science Education from the University of Georgia in Athens, where she also obtained a graduate certificate in historic preservation and completed coursework and a dissertation for a Ph.D. in Art.
Awards – League of Women Voters Citizenship Award
– Cherokee Rose Garden Club Award
– Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist for Historical (Non-Fiction)
– Starred Reviews
3 Fun Facts
1. Maria wants people to love art history as much as she does.
2. Maria loves team work. She played wing on the Varsity Women’s Field Hockey team at the University of North Carolina, in Chapel Hill where she grew up.
3. Maria’s favorite job of all time was using a 1733 Danish map to find historic plantation sites on St. John, the smallest of the three main U.S. Virgin Islands.
Sylvie Kantorovitzwas born in Casablanca, Morocco, and grew up in France. Sylvie has illustrated many picture books, including the bestseller,Wheels on the Bus, a Raffi Song to Read. Her latest book isSylvie, a middle-grade graphic-novel about her young years in France.Sylviehas been called “enchanting and witty” (School Library Journal), “a delightful graphic-novel memoir of artistic coming-of-age for children ages 8-14.” (Wall Street Journal). https://sylviekantorovitz.com/
Sylvieis a Bank Street Best Book of the Year and a Junior Library Guild selection.
3 Fun Facts
1. I have painted a large street mural in Albany.
2. No matter how long I have lived in the US, my French accent is here to stay.
3. I have two imaginary animal friends.
Joy Keller is the author of fun and fantastic picture books, including MONSTER TRUCKS, MISS TURIE’S MAGIC CREATURES, and FUNGUS IS AMONG US! When she’s not writing about mythical beasts and weird science, she can be found teaching fourth graders how to write their own stories. She lives in Fairport, NY, with her husband, kids, and lots of pets. www.joykellerauthor.com
All my books have received positive reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and School Library Journal.
3 Fun Facts
1. I’m a fourth grade teacher, so I get lots of story ideas from the students I work with every day.
2. My family fosters cats. We ended up adopting our last foster kitten, so now we own FOUR cats!
3. I play ukulele—it’s so much fun!
Leslie Bulion creates award-winning science poetry steeped in hands-on learning experiences, nature observation, research, humor and imagery in a variety of poetic forms. Her illustrated collections invite readers on multi-layered science adventures exploring spiders, birds, sea creatures, insects, amphibians, and more. Leslie’s graduate science background and years as a school social worker inform both her poetry and her science-infused novels for young readers. She offers lively and engaging author visits worldwide. Her two newest science poetry books, SERENGETI: PLAINS OF GRASS and GALAPAGOS: ISLANDS OF CHANGE take readers on poetic tours of two of Earth’s remarkable ecosystems (Peachtree 2022, 2023). www.lesliebulion.com
NCTE Notable Poetry, NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book, Bank Street College Best Books, Parents’ Choice Awards, AAAS Outstanding Science Book
3 Fun Facts
1. The first critter I ever saw while scuba diving was a common mudpuppy (a large, freshwater aquatic salamander—an amphibian) in the depths of freezing cold Cayuga Lake, Ithaca, NY.
2. My parents were teachers who also worked as summer camp counselors, so I started summer camp when I was three years old. My favorite camp was just about an hour south of Hudson, in Beacon, NY.
3. I never go exploring without my __________? How would you fill in this blank? For me, it’s my rubber boots!
Tiffany Schmidt is most recently the author of the holiday rom-com I’m Dreaming of a Wyatt Christmas. She also wrote the YA romcom series: Bookish Boyfriends. (A Date with Darcy, The Boy Next Story, Talk Nerdy to Me, & Get a Clue) — as well as several other novels for teens and tweens. A former sixth grade teacher, she lives in Pennsylvania with her impish twin sons, their rascally little brother, a muppet dog, and her very saintly husband. TiffanySchmidt.com
YALSA Teen Top Ten nominee
Indie Next List
Romantic Times Top Pick
3 Fun Facts
1. I can’t whistle, snap, or wink—and I look ridiculous each time I try.
2. Planning Disney vacations is my favorite stress-reliever.
3. When I was eight, I had a pet frog that kept escaping its tank—we got a new frog a few Christmases ago. So far, so good.
Katrina Leno was born on the East Coast and currently lives in Los Angeles. She is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels: Sometime in Summer, Horrid, You Must Not Miss, Summer of Salt, Everything All at Once, The Lost & Found, and The Half Life of Molly Pierce. Her eighth book, and her first for middle grade readers, comes out in June 2023 and is called The Umbrella Maker’s Son. You can visit her online at Katrinaleno.com
– Horrid was featured in OwlCrate’s September 2020 box
– You Must Not Miss received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist
– Summer of Salt received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal and is routinely featured on LGBTQI+ book lists
3 Fun Facts
1. Moving to Los Angeles nine years ago gave me a newfound appreciation for the rain. My upcoming middle grade book, The Umbrella Maker’s Son, is a love letter to those dark, gray days I love so much.
2. I collect fountain pens and own a truly ridiculous amount of notebooks, rubber stamps, washi tape, and journaling supplies.
3. My favorite movie of all time is Practical Magic. It was a big inspiration for Summer of Salt! I can genuinely watch it every single day forever and never get sick of it.
Hannah Stark is an author and public school teacher in New York City. She loves teachings kids to write, as well as, making and sharing resources with fellow educators. Hannah was inspired to write her debut book, TRUCKER AND TRAIN, while playing with her son. When not writing or teaching, she can be found taking road trips and train rides to unfamiliar places. www.hannahcarinastark.com
Amazon Editor’s Pick August 2019
Participant and author reader at Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival and Brooklyn Museum of Art Children’s Book Fair 2019
3 Fun Facts
1. I’ve never driven a truck or a train but I used to drive taxi cabs.
2. When I was a kid I was a sock model.
3. I played soccer for 30 years.
Dr. Cynthia Stephens, a recent Hudson resident, earned a doctorate in Deafness Rehabilitation from New York University, and worked as a Speech and Language Pathologist for NYS, as well as various early childhood education settings in NYC. She studied and performed with dance greats such as Shawneequa Baker-Scott, Chuck Davis, LaRoque Bey, and the esteemed Babatunde Olatunji. Cynthia founded The Hear MeNow Project, Inc., an arts program for youth with disabilities, based in Bridgehampton, N.Y. A career in playwriting developed from her work with the children. Since then, Dr. Stephens has expanded her authorship to children’s fiction. www.sacredgroundproductions.com
I received the (2004) Professional of the Year award from the International Association of Black Women in Business, for my work in the arts.
I was the recipient of the (2012) Lab Award from the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center for my play titled “Painted Red”, which chronicles the life of Henrietta Lacks, the woman from whom the first immortal human cell line was taken.
3 Fun Facts
1. I began my artistic life as a dancer and traveled the country with several African and Afro-Caribbean dance companies.
2. After earning a Ph.D., I began a cultural program for students with disabilities on the east end of Long Island.
3. After retiring from my work with the New York State Office of Developmental Disabilities, I realized a dream and became a playwright (with two off-Broadway performances) and author of 3 children’s books-soon to be 5!