Tracey Baptiste is a New York Times-bestselling author best known for the popular Jumbies series, including The Jumbies, Rise of the Jumbies, and The Jumbie God’s Revenge. She is also the author of the picture book Looking for a Jumbie and the middle grade nonfiction African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History. Find Tracey online at traceybaptiste.com.
Leah Henderson was one of only two girls on a highly competitive “all-boys” traveling soccer team when she was young, so Mamie’s desire to play ball echoed her own. Leah writes for young readers of all ages, and her books include Children’s Africana Book Awards notable and Bank Street Best Books of 2017, One Shadow on the Wall. She is a mentor, and avid traveler, and her volunteer work has roots in West Africa. Leah holds an MFA in Writing and is on faculty in Spalding University’s MFA program. When she is not traveling or off playing soccer with her dog at midnight, you can find her at home in Washington, D.C.
Renée Watson is the New York Times bestselling, Newbery Honor Book, and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author of Piecing Me Together, This Side of Home, What Momma Left Me, and Betty Before X, co-written with Ilyasah Shabazz, as well as two acclaimed picture books: A Place Where Hurricanes Happen and Harlem’s Little Blackbird, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. She is the founder of I, Too, Arts Collective, a nonprofit committed to nurturing underrepresented voices in the creative arts, and currently lives in New York City.
Coe Booth was born and raised in the Bronx of New York City. She is the author of Tyrell, Kendra, Bronxwood, and Kinda like Brothers. She currently lives in the Bronx, working as a full-time writer and a part-time writing teacher at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Booth also volunteers for the NAACP ACT-SO program where she mentors teen writers.
Brandy Colbert is the critically acclaimed author of several novels, whose Pointe won the 2014 Cybils Award for young adult fiction and was named a best book of 2014 by Publishers Weekly, BookRiot, and more. Her Little & Lion was a Junior Library Guild and a Book of the Month Club selection. She was chosen as a Publishers Weekly Flying Start author for spring 2014. She was born and raised in Springfield, Missouri, and earned a bachelors degree in journalism from Missouri State University. She works as a copy editor for magazines and books.
Jay Coles is a graduate of Vincennes University and Ball State University. When he’s not writing diverse books, he’s advocating for them, teaching middle school students, and composing for various music publishers. His debut novel Tyler Johnson Was Here is based on true events in his life and inspired by police brutality in America. He resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Kekla Magoon has worked with youth-serving nonprofit organizations in New York City and Chicago. She holds an MFA in writing for children from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and her first novel, The Rock and the River, won the Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe Award for New Talent. She resides in New York City and you can visit her at KeklaMagoon.com.
NIC STONE was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, GA. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring. Growing up with a wide range of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, Stone brings those diverse voices and stories to her work. Stone lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the US to pen her first novel Dear Martin, which Booklist gave a starred review calling it Vivid and powerful. Nic currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and two sons.
Rita Williams-Garcia is a writer of novels for children and young adults.
Ibi Zoboi holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her novel American Street was a National Book Award finalist and a New York Times Notable Book. She is also the author of Pride and My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich, a New York Times bestseller. She is the editor of the anthology Black Enough. Born in Haiti and raised in New York City, she now lives in New Jersey with her husband and their three children. You can find her online at www.ibizoboi.net.