Erin Entrada Kelly
Erin Entrada Kelly received the 2018 Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe, the 2017 APALA Children’s Literature Award for The Land of Forgotten Girls, and the 2016 Golden Kite Honor Award for Blackbird Fly, among other honors. Her sixth novel, We Dream of Space, will be released in May 2020. All of her books are Junior Library Guild Selections. She is a New York Times bestseller whose work has been translated in more than 30 languages.
Floyd Cooper is the Coretta Scott King award-winning illustrator of more than 60 books for children. Floyd started his career in illustration at Hallmark, after a successful career in the industrial side of art, he made the leap into picture books with Eloise Greenfield’s Grandpa’s Face. Since then Floyd has worked with bestselling authors including: Jane Yolen, Nikki Grimes, and Virginia Fleming. Floyd has illustrated and authored his own books, Jump!about the life of Michael Jordan; and the ALA notable book, Coming Home, about the life of Langston Hughes.
Eric Smith is an author and literary agent living in Philadelphia. As an agent with P.S. Literary, he’s worked on award-winning and New York Times bestselling titles, and represents an array of categories, from literary fiction to cookbooks, though his heart is in Young Adult novels. In his author life, his latest novel, Don’t Read the Comments, was published by Inkyard Press, and his books have been translated into ten languages. You can catch him writing (and podcasting!) about books with Book Riot and Paste Magazine, and can learn more about him and his list at www.ericsmithrocks.com.
Kathleen Merz is the Acquisitions & Managing Editor at Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. She has worked on a number of award-winning titles, including books that have won the Caldecott Honor, the Batchelder Award for translation, the Sibert Medal, and other honors. She studied English and linguistics, and especially enjoys working on translated books and nonfiction picture books. As an editor, she is always looking for stories that tackle unexpected subjects and have a strong, unique voice. Kathleen lives in Michigan, and when she’s not at work editing she can usually be found outdoors biking or kayaking.
Wendi Gu is a literary agent at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. She is lucky to work with fiction and nonfiction children’s books across the spectrum, from board books all the way up to young adult. She enjoys lyricism at the line level, sophisticated rhythm, as well as whimsical, absurdist humor. She does not shy away from heavy, darker subjects related to mental health, trauma, and displacement, with a special focus on family stories, and nonfiction books that unearth unexpected corners of history and science. For middle grade and young adult novels, she enjoys voice-driven stories with thoughtful, contemplative, often-flawed characters. She is looking for authors who value intersectionality. Wendi’s clients range from New York Times bestsellers, Pushcart Prize recipients, to various reader’s choice and humor award winners. She grew up in the Chicago suburbs and spent many of her summers with her grandparents in China. With academics as parents, she has always had a nerdy interest in the humanities. You can find her online at @wendilulugu.
Erica De Chavez is a Filipino-American illustrator and author, and also a full time designer of picture books, middle grade books, graphic novels, and board books for HarperCollins Publishers. She is the designer of the New York Times bestselling graphic novel PopularMMOS Presents A Hole New World and has the pleasure of working with talented artists and writers on many different books for children. She made her illustrator debut with the indie published The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship. Erica enjoys a good cup of tea, playing with her jack russell terrier, Maxwell, and lives with her boyfriend in Brooklyn, NY. You can visit her online at www.PandaErica.com.
Alex Borbolla joined Simon & Schuster in April 2015 as managing editorial assistant but was drawn more to story editing than copyediting, so she moved down the hall to Atheneum in May 2016. As assistant to Caitlyn Dlouhy, Alex has been lucky enough to work with multiple award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors, and is the editor of her own talented authors including Margaret Finnegan, Jennifer Moffett, Laura Taylor Namey, Alexis Castellanos, Kira Bigwood, and Paola Peretti. She earned a B.A. in English and Communications from Rollins College, and holds a M.S. in Publishing from NYU. Follow her on Twitter @Alex_Borbolla.
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