Deanna R. Adams is an author of both fiction and nonfiction works. She is an instructor, popular speaker, and award-winning essayist. Her first book, Rock ’n’ Roll and the Cleveland Connection, was named a finalist for the Ohioana Award for nonfiction, and the ARSC Award (Association for Recorded Sound Collections) for excellence in research. Her novels include Peggy Sue Got Pregnant: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Love Story, and its sequel, Scoundrels & Dreamers. Other books are Confessions of a Not-So-Good Catholic Girl, Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Roots, and The Writer’s GPS: A Guide to Writing & Selling Your Book. Visit her online at deannaadams.com
Ian Adams is a landscape photographer, writer and educator specializing in Ohio’s natural, rural, historical and garden areas. Twenty-one books of his color photography have been published, including his most recent, A Photographer’s Guide to Ohio – Volume 2, which was released by Ohio University Press in April, 2015 and a centennial edition of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, published by the University of Akron Press in May, 2015. Ian has produced more than 60 Ohio calendars and conducted over 200 seminars and workshops in nature, garden, and digital photography throughout North America. He is an adjunct lecturer at Ohio State University’s Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster, Ohio where he teaches digital photography. Ian shares a home in Cuyahoga Falls with two cats, Fuji and Spicer, and an assortment of cameras. Find him online at http://ianadamsphotography.com.
Mindee Arnett is the author of two young adult series: the Arkwell Academy series, a contemporary fantasy, and the sci-fi thriller Avalon. Her debut, The Nightmare Affair, was nominated for the YALSA Top Ten 2014 and the BFYA 2013. Avalon was a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year in 2014 as well as one of Indigo’s Best Teen Books of 2014. In addition, Avalon has been nominated for the Florida Teens Read List and the Eliot Rosewater Award. Polaris, the sequel to Avalon, received a starred review from School Library Journal.
Mindee has a Master of Arts in English literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Wright State University. She has a working background in both aircraft combat systems and database administration and security. She lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an appropriate number of cats. When she’s not telling tales of magic, the supernatural, or outer space, she spends time riding horses and honing her first-person shooter gaming skills. Find her online at http://www.mindeearnett.com/.
Patricia Averbach, a Cleveland native, is the former director of the Chautauqua Writers’ Center in Chautauqua, New York. Her first novel, Painting Bridges dealt with historic issues in deaf education. It was described by Michelle Ross, critic for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, as “an intelligent, introspective and moving novel.” Averbach was the 2013 winner of the London based Lumen/Camden Prize for Poetry. Her poetry chapbook, Missing Persons, was featured in the Times of London Literary Supplement as one of the top poetry pamphlets of the year. For more on Averbach go to her website at patriciaaverbach.com.
Connie Bergstein Dow
Connie Bergstein Dow began dancing when she was four, and has been dancing ever since. After attending Denison University, and earning an MFA from the University of Michigan, she danced professionally in the US, Venezuela, and Guatemala. During her career as a dance educator, she has taught dance to three-year-olds, to senior adults in wheelchairs, and every age in between. In addition to her picture book From A to Z with Energy! (Free Spirit Publishing, 2019), she has written two books for teachers published by Redleaf Press: Dance, Turn, Hop, Learn! Enriching Movement Activities for Preschoolers, and One, Two, What Can I Do? Dance and Music for the Whole Day. She also writes articles for magazines and journals, and verses for Highlights magazines.
Lindsay can’t remember a time in her life when she’s wasn’t immersed in a world of stories. She spent most of her childhood devouring books, crafting characters and settings in her notebook, and acting out her own stories. Today Lindsay shares her love of stories and the stage through her company, World of Difference Ltd., where she performs interactive folktales while teaching about foreign countries and cultures, inspiring the imagination and promoting a love for learning and literacy. Lindsay uses a unique blend of storytelling, theatre, and creative drama which ensures that audience members never just sit there but instead become active participants and co-creators of the performance, leading to an unforgettable story experience!
Lindsay is an avid writer, having written poetry, picture books, skits, magazine articles even screenplays. She has four published children’s books (Lily and the City of Light, Lily and the Return to Htrae, ‘Twas the Year Christ Left Christmas, and O Christmas Tree) and two DVD films, Flight to India and Voyage to Russia, based on some of her most popular storytelling programs.
Lindsay graduated from Northwestern University, where her studies focused on theatre, creative dramatics, storytelling, and world religions. Before founding her own company, she performed and taught locally for such organizations as Magical Theatre Company and Malone University. She also spent a year and a half in Madrid where she toured Spain and Portugal with Interacting, an audience-participatory theatre company that used interactive performances to teach English to speakers of other languages. Lindsay’s love for world travel has taken her to five continents, and she has performed and taught in such places as Ghana, Haiti, Argentina and most recently, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Lindsay believes that “every story makes a world of difference,” and she brings this belief and approach to every performance and project that she undertakes. Lindsay loves that this most universal of art forms improves listening skills, deepens self-understanding, increases empathy for others, leads to innovation in problem-solving and builds stronger communities.
With Chinese, Panamanian, and Salvadorian heritage, Alejandra Campos is a Hispanic voice like no other. Her polemic views on the subject of migration are a direct result of her personal experiences while living in El Salvador (one of the most violent countries in the Americas), Mexico, and the U.S.A. Traveling the world from a very young age, Alejandra settled in the United States and eventually became a naturalized citizen. Although her legal status has always been legitimate, her “adventures” in this country have mirrored those of illegal aliens in many ways. Alejandra’s outstanding academic background includes an Industrial Engineering degree, a M.S. in Food Science, and multiple academic awards. For more, visit amazon.com/Alejandra-Campos
Mary Kay Carson
Mary Kay Carson is an author of nonfiction books for young people. She began her writing career working on the classroom magazine SuperScience at Scholastic in New York City. Carson has been a full-time freelance writer for twenty years and is now the author of more than fifty books for kids and teachers about space, weather, nature, and other science and history topics. Her books include a number of titles in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s awardwinning SCIENTISTS IN THE FIELD series, including The Park Scientists and The Bat Scientists, an ALA’s 2011 Notable Children’s Books for Middle Readers. Her book Exploring the Solar System was the 2009 recipient of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Children’s Literature Award and the State Library of Ohio selected Beyond the Solar System as a CHOOSE TO READ OHIO book for 2015 & 2016. Carson also writes magazine articles and educational materials for both students and adults and gives presentations at schools and conferences about nonfiction writing, the Underground Railroad, bats, the Wright brothers, the solar system, and other topics. The author lives in Cincinnati with her photographer husband Tom Uhlman and their dog Ruby in a century-old house surrounded by urban greenspace, deer, hawks, woodchucks, and songbirds. For more information about the author and her books, go to: http://www.marykaycarson.com.
Jody Casella is a former high school English teacher. Her first novel, Thin Space, a paranormal YA mystery published by Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster, received a starred review from Kirkus. She lives with her husband and two teenagers in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to writing books, she visits schools, libraries, and book clubs to talk about the creative/revision process. Visit her website at http://www.jodycasella.com.
e.E. Charlton-Trujillo is the author of Fat Angie, winner of the 2014 Stonewall Book Award. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called it a hard-hitting novel “that swings between incredibly painful low moments and hard-won victories.” Kirkus Reviews praised the book for its “entrancingly eccentric prose.” e.E. Charlton-Trujillo lives in California.
Nancy Christie is a professional writer, whose credits include both fiction and non-fiction. In addition to her fiction collection, TRAVELING LEFT OF CENTER, and two short story e-books, ANNABELLE and ALICE IN WONDERLAND (all published by Pixel Hall Press), her short stories and essays can be found in in print publications and online. She is also the author of RUT-BUSTING BOOK FOR WRITERS (Mill City Press) and the inspirational book,
THE GIFTS OF CHANGE (Atria/Beyond Words), which has been translated into several foreign languages. A full-time
writer and editorial consultant, Christie’s work includes corporate writing projects and magazine articles. She also hosts the monthly Monday Night Writers group in Canfield, OH and teaches writing workshops at conferences and for small groups. (For more information about her workshops, go to http://www.nancychristie.com/workshops/writing-workshops-andcourses/.) Christie is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), Florida Writers Association (FWA) and Short Fiction Writers Guild (SFWG), and is the founder of “Celebrate Short Fiction” Day. Contact her by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colleen Clayton is the critically acclaimed author of the YA novel What Happens Next, which was a finalist for the Ohioana Book Award. She grew up outside of Cleveland, Ohio, and worked as a social worker in residential treatment centers for troubled teens and as Program Supervisor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mahoning Valley. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from the Northeast Ohio Consortium (NEOMFA) and teaches fiction writing and composition at Youngstown State University. She was recently contracted by YSU’s Special Education Department to teach an online summer writing course for 4th and 5th graders. As part of the project, she wrote eight online picture books for the students and then helped them craft their own stories using the free, educational platform Storybird. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoQSxqNyJHkZdqzDo5QOXfg
Colleen can speak on a number of subjects, including date rape, bullying, eating disorders, feminist issues in young adult literature, and ADHD, and can lead an hour-long creative writing workshop for grades 3 through 12 as well as for adults. She has facilitated in-service workshops for librarians and teachers as well.
In-Service Testimonial from Jennifer Holt, Librarian at Willoughby South High School:
“Colleen’s story starting exercise was fun and inspiring! It fostered creative interplay between my original ideas and the surprising places my colleagues took them.”
For more on Colleen, go to her website at colleenclayton.com.
Doug Coates’ first book, Pitching for Success: Character Lessons, the Joe Nuxhall Way, teaches 3rd-6th graders about good character habits. In the book, character is taught by the coach using the teachings of the late, great Joe Nuxhall, former Cincinnati Reds pitcher, broadcaster and advocate for youth. First in a series of character readers, Mr. Coates enjoys getting into the classrooms and engaging students with an interactive presentation using his book. Please contact him for to visit your school by email: email@example.com. The author was previously a head coach for recreational baseball/softball teams and high school girls’ fast-pitch. He also writes grants for local nonprofit organizations.
Liz Coley has been writing short and long fiction for teens and adults for more than ten years. Her short fiction has appeared in Cosmos Magazine and several speculative fiction anthologies: The Last Man, More Scary Kisses, and Strange Worlds. In 2011, she self-published the YA novel Out of Xibalba, a story that begins when the world ends. The same week Out of Xibalba launched, Liz sold YA dark contemporary psychological thriller Pretty Girl-13 to HarperCollins for international publication. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, her teenaged daughter, a snoring dog, and a limping old cat. The two older boys have flown the nest for college. Her passions beyond reading and writing include singing, photography, and baking. She plays competitive tennis to keep herself fit and humble. Taped on her computer are her “lucky charms”—the fifteen Chinese cookie fortunes collected over the years which spoke to her writing aspirations and encouraged her along the journey. She’s LizColeyBooks on social media and at http://www.LizColey.com.
Michael C. DeAloia
Michael is currently the tech columnist for the Plain Dealer and Chief Evangelist of Designing Interactive. He is perhaps best known for his term at the City of Cleveland as the Senior Executive for Technology Development, or “Tech Czar,” where he was responsible for the economic development of the technology industries in the City. He is the author of Lost Cleveland, which was published by History Press in late 2010. His third history book, also published by History Press, Lost Grand Hotels of Cleveland, was published in September 2014. Michael earned his MBA from Case Western Reserve University and his Bachelor’s degree from Xavier University. He currently lives in Lakewood, OH with his wife and their baby daughter. Visit him at techczarnotes.tumblr.com.