Please note, the list of speakers is constantly being updated. Check back often for additions, changes and cancellations.
Kwame Alexander, co-author of Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets, is a poet, educator, and author of twenty-one books for children, including The Crossover, which was awarded the 2015 Newbery Medal.
The founder of two literacy organizations, he regularly travels the world as a literacy advocate and expert. Currently the poet laureate of LitWorld, Alexander lives in Virginia.
Jeff Alt, author of The Adventures of Bubba Jones series, is also author of Four Boots-One Journey, Get Your Kids Hiking, and A Walk for Sunshine, and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America.
Tom Angleberger is the author of Rocket and Groot: Stranded on Planet Strip Mall. He also wrote the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling Origami Yoda series as well as Fake Mustache, Horton Halfpott, and the Qwikpick Papers series. He lives with his wife in Christiansburg, Va.
Robbi Behr, with her husband Matthew Swanson, is part of the author-illustrator duo behind Everywhere, Wonder, Babies Ruin Everything, and more than 60 other illustrated books for children and adults. They run two small publishing companies and a letterpress shop out of their home/barn/studio in Maryland.
John Claude Bemis, author of Out of Abaton, Book 1: The Wooden Prince and Out of Abaton, Book 2: Lord of Monsters, is a writer, musician, and educator.
Jennifer Brody, author of The 13th Continuum and Return of the Continuums, lives and writes in Los Angeles. Raised in Roanoke, Va., she is a graduate of Harvard University and began her career working in Hollywood on many films, including The Lord of the Rings. These are her first books.
Tim Carrier is the young adult services manager at the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library.
Pete Catalano, author of Artifacts, writes stories for middle school children. He lives in Charlotte, N.C. with one beautiful wife, two very needy one-hundred-pound sheep dogs, and a multitude of characters inside his head—battling to get out!
Soman Chainani, a contributor to the Flying Lessons & Other Stories anthology, is author of the New York Times bestselling series, The School for Good & Evil, which has been translated into more than 25 languages across six continents and will soon be a movie from Universal Pictures.
Angela Critics is the children’s services manager for the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library. Presenting storytimes for children is one of the highlights of her job.
Dawn Cusick, author of Get the Scoop on Animal Snot, Spit & Slime, writes children’s books that celebrate the intersection of science and fun. Her books have won national awards and include several collaborations with the National Wildlife Federation.
Lulu Delacre, bilingual author of ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! Olinguito, from A to Z!, has illustrated 37 books, many of which she also wrote. A three-time Pura Belpré Award honoree, she has lectured internationally and exhibited at the Eric Carle Museum, among other venues.
Angela Dominguez, illustrator of Marta! Big and Small, was born in Mexico City, grew up in Texas, and now resides in Brooklyn. She has illustrated several books for children. As a child, she loved reading and making a mess creating pictures, and she is delighted to still be doing both.
Brenda Drake, author of Thief of Lies, the first book in the Library Jumpers series, grew up as an Air Force brat and the youngest of three. She hosts workshops and contests for writers such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness and holds Twitter pitch parties on #PitMad.
Pintip Dunn, author of Forget Tomorrow and The Darkest Lie, graduated from Harvard University magna cum laude with a BA in English and received her JD at Yale Law School. Forget Tomorrow, a New York Times bestseller, was awarded Best First Book RITA by the Romance Writers of America.
Sarah FitzHenry is the librarian at St. Anne’s-Belfield School, a member of Books on Bikes, and runs a library blog, Fitz Between the Shelves, which focuses on creating school libraries where every child feels welcome, confident, and safe.
Grant Gamble, author of Tommy the Tugboat, is currently working on developing a series of children’s books that highlight positive human attributes through fun, colorful, and lovable characters. He lives in Charlottesville, Va.
Maria Gianferrari is a picture book-reading and -writing, tea-drinking, dog-loving, and bird-watching resident of Virginia and author of the Penny & Jelly books, Coyote Moon, Officer Katz and Houndini, and the forthcoming Hello Goodbye Dog.
Proal Heartwell, author of A Game of Catch, is the co-founder of Village School where he teaches English. He is also the author of Goronwy and Me: A Narrative of Two Lives.
Ekua Holmes, illustrator of Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets, is a fine artist living in Boston. The first children’s book she illustrated was Carole Boston Weatherford’s Voice of Freedom, which was a Caldecott Honor Book and a Sibert Honor Book and for which Holmes also won the John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award.