Candace Fleming awarded herself the Newbery Medal in fifth grade after scraping the gold sticker off the class copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond and pasting it onto her first novel—a 10-page, 10-chapter mystery called Who Done It? She’s been collecting awards (her own, not Elizabeth George Speare’s) ever since. Today, Candace is the versatile and acclaimed author of more than 20 books for children and young adults, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize honored The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia. Her other books include The Lincolns (Boston Globe Horn Book Award); the best-selling picture book, Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!; and the beloved Boxes for Katje.
Eric Rohmann wrote, “I know that I began drawing as a way of better understanding the world around me. When I encountered something strange and interesting, I discovered that I could get closer to it, know more about the thing, by looking deliberately and carefully. That meant drawing a picture. That’s what drawing is—deep, careful, attentive seeing.” Today the Caldecott Medalist is the illustrator of more than 17 books, including the Caldecott Medal winner My Friend Rabbit, Caldecott Honor Medal winner Time Flies, The Cinder-Eyed Cats, Clara and Asha, Bone Dog and A Kitten Tale.
Together, the author and illustrator duo of Fleming and Rohmann have recently been collaborating on titles such as Bulldozer’s Big Day, Oh No! and Giant Squid.
Hannah Barnaby worked as a children's book editor, independent bookseller and book reviewer before becoming the first children's writer-in-residence at the Boston Public Library. Her first young adult novel, Wonder Show, was a William C. Morris Award finalist, and her second, Some of the Parts, received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly. She is making a double picture book debut in 2017 with Bad Guy (Simon & Schuster), illustrated by Mike Yamada, and Garcia & Colette Go Exploring (Putnam), illustrated by Andrew Joyner. Hannah has an MA in children's literature from Simmons College and an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College. She teaches creative writing to writers of all ages in Charlottesville, where she lives with her family.
As a journalist, Madelyn Rosenberg wrote about colorful, real-life characters in Southwest Virginia. Now she makes up characters of her own. She is the author of nine books for children including Nanny X, How to Behave at a Tea Party and The Schmutzy Family, which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award for illustrated children’s books. Her most recent novel, This Is Just a Test (Scholastic), was a collaborative project with her friend Wendy Shang. Madelyn lives with her family in Arlington.
Ronnie Sidney II is a father, therapist, author, professional speaker and philanthropist. In 2015, he developed the Nelson Beats the Odds Comic Creator app to help young people celebrate their strengths and feel good about themselves. Ronnie, a former special education student, is the author of Amazon best-seller Nelson Beats the Odds, Tameka's New Dress and Nelson Beats the Odds: Compendium One. The author-therapist is also the owner of Creative Medicine: Healing Through Words, LLC. He currently works as an outpatient therapist at the Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck Community Services Board (MP-NNCSB). Ronnie is a graduate of Old Dominion University (2006) and Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Social Work (2014). He is an active member of the Richmond Association of Black Social Workers (RABSW).
Sarah Sullivan is the author of one middle-grade novel, All That’s Missing (starred review in The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books), and five picture books, including the forthcoming A Day for Skating (Candlewick, 2019). Her 2011 picture book, Passing the Music Down, an NCTE Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts and a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book, was chosen to represent the state of West Virginia at the National Book Festival. Sarah holds an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College and is the recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. She lives with her husband in Williamsburg and, when not writing or visiting schools, enjoys long walks, paddling on a lake or river, and attending films and live theater.