2020 Conference

Jason Chin

Jason Chin combines imaginative storytelling with intriguing science to create books that both enchant and educate. He is is the author and illustrator of Grand Canyon which received a 2018 Caldecott Honor, Sibert Honor and won the 2018 Orbis Pictus award. His other books, include RedwoodsIsland: A Story of the GalápagosGravity, and most recently Pie is for Sharing by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard. While researching his books, he’s gone swimming with sharks, explored lava fields and camped with scorpions at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Jason was raised in New Hampshire, studied illustration at Syracuse University, and now lives with his family in Vermont.

Mac Barnett

Mac Barnett is a New York Times-bestselling author of stories for children. His books have sold more than one million copies in the United States and have been translated into more than 30 languages. His picture books include two Caldecott-Honor-winning collaborations with Jon Klassen: Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, which also won the E.B White Read-Aloud Award, and Extra Yarn, which won both the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award. Leo: A Ghost Story, illustrated by Christian Robinson, and The Skunk, illustrated by Patrick McDonnell, were named two of the Ten Best Illustrated Books of 2015 by The New York Times. Mac’s novels include the Brixton Brothers mysteries and The Terrible Two series. He lives in Oakland, California.

Credit: Magda Starowieyska
Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys is an acclaimed author of Young Adult historical fiction whose novels feature lesser-known pieces of history around the world. Her works are known for their crossover quality, appealing to adults as well as adolescents and they include Between Shades of Gray (2011), Out of the Easy(2013), and Salt to the Sea (2016). Her latest novel, The Fountains of Silence (2019), focuses on Madrid in the 1950s under the regime of Francisco Franco, and the practice at that time of selling babies to wealthy supporters of Franco without the birthparents’ knowledge. Utterly compelling, this story reveals once again, Ms. Sepetys’ ability to craft a story around a piece of history that is as fascinating as it is disturbing. Ms. Sepetys’ works have earned many awards and nominations as they shine a light on underrepresented stories, including the Carnegie Medal for Salt to the Sea, the Cross of the Knight of the Order by the President of Lithuania, and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Fellowship. The New York Times Book Review declared, “Ruta Sepetys acts as champion of the interstitial people so often ignored—whole populations lost in the cracks of history.” Two of her books are currently being adapted for film and television. Born of Lithuanian refugees and originally from Detroit, she lives in the hills of Tennessee with her family.

LeUyen Pham

LeUyen Pham is the award-winning and critically acclaimed illustrator of more than sixty books for children. LeUyen (pronounced Lay-Win) is the New York Times bestselling illustrator of the Julianne Moore’s picture book series, Freckleface Strawberry, Kelly DiPucchio’s picture book Grace for President, and Shannon and Dean Hale’s middle grade series Princess in Black. LeUyen is also the illustrator of God’s Dream by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Twenty-One Elephants by Phil Bildner, the Vampirina Ballerina picture book series by Anne Marie Pace, and The Boy Who Loved Math by Deborah Heiligman.

LeUyen is the author and illustrator of Big Sister Little SisterThere’s No Such Thing as Little, A Piece of Cake, All the Things I Love About You, and The Bear Who Wasn’t There. She is also the co-creator, along with Shannon Hale, of the groundbreaking graphic memoir Real Friends.

These days, LeUyen lives in Los Angeles with her husband Alex (who is also an artist), and their two adorable sons, Adrian and Leo. When she’s not writing and illustrating, she’s either dreaming about her favorite food, her mother’s cơm gà (chicken rice), dancing in her bathrobe (when no one is watching) or building Star Wars-themed birthday cakes.

Bio source: The Author Village