Katherine Grace Bond loves writing for and listening to young people, and encouraging them to take their own writing seriously. Her books include YA novel THE SUMMER OF NO REGRETS, its companion book LUKE'S JOURNAL, and the bestselling THE LEGEND OF THE VALENTINE, a story of the Civil Rights Movement.
A lifelong educator and certified K-12 teacher, Katherine has focused on teen writers since the early 90's, believing that creative communities save lives. She is the founder of EpicWrite, a nonprofit outdoor live action role-playing and writing community where participants come as their characters. Modeled on the Hero's Journey, EpicWrite holds quarterly overnights and a multi-day summer camp. Her TEENWrite program offers afternoon novel writing classes for teens, along with evening classes for adult writers. She also created the Teenage Novelist series at Bellevue College.
For her work-in-progress, an urban fantasy verse-novel involving mental illness, dysfunctional families, time travel, and the French Impressionists, Katherine received a 2012-14 Culture Grant, an upcoming writer's residency at Camac Centre d'Art in Marnay-sur-Seine, France, and a 2010 Jack Straw Writer's residency.
Steve D'Amico is the illustrator of the Ella the Elephant series. He started drawing dinosaurs and Batman at five then went on to be the cartoonist for his high school newspaper. He freelanced for years before taking a job as at Seattle's Smashing Ideas where he is a senior designer. When not at the drawing board, Steve can be found playing the guitar, listening to his eclectic collection of music or tending his garden. Steven offes full-day and half-day interactive illustration workshops and presentations for students in grades K-6.
Michelle Edwards is the author/illustrator of one book for adults, and many books for children, including Stinky Stern Forever (Gryphon Award), and Chicken Man (National Jewish Book Award). Her illustrations have appeared in Ladybug, Cricket and Spider, and in shows of children’s book art, most recently, Monsters and Miracles: A Journey through Jewish Picture Books, at the Skirball Cultural Center.
Michelle has collected eggs from a kibbutz chicken coop, set type, printed, and bound her own letterpress books, printed etchings and lithographs in studios from Israel to Iowa, delivered lab specimens, and knit piles of sweaters, socks, mittens, and hats. These days she loves to work in her studio on new ideas and share her creative process and stories in schools across the United States and beyond.
With her broad based background and her visually detailed presentations, Michelle brings to her author visits a deep knowledge of how ideas are developed into stories, how images can be innovated to illustrate the story, and how the story and image then work together as a book. In addition to her PowerPoint, Michelle sets a display table of relevant ‘please ask, please touch’ materials to spark and guide a lively Question and Answer discussion.
Michelle was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and grew up in Troy, New York. A mother of three adult daughters, she now lives in Iowa City with her husband.
Deb Lund was first published when her fifth grade teacher in northern Minnesota submitted a poem of Deb's for an anthology. Since then, several fifth grade students of Deb's have also become writers. As a past classroom and music teacher and librarian, Deb loves being with kids and teachers. Her master's degree focused on teaching writing, and she has taught writing to students of all ages ever since. Her interactive presentations stay with students long after her visits. Deb's real gift, and the reason she became a creativity coach, is her passion for inspiring students to write. Deb's books include Harcourt's celebrated dinoseries and Monsters on Machines, which Publisher's Weekly's starred review says "has just about everything a child could hope for." Though known for her warm and quirky, or rollicking, rhyming picture books, Deb also writes middle grade and YA fiction, as well as materials to support teachers who teach writing. She teaches continuing education courses, works with writing and creativity coaching clients, and frequently presents at conferences and workshops. Hiking, walking her dog on beaches near her home on Whidbey Island, singing with her husband Karl Olsen of The Brothers Four, riding unicycle, and playing or reading with her three kids are some of Deb's activities when she puts down her pen. Deb hopes you'll join her email list when you visit her at her website, DebLund.com, or at her "Deb Lund, Author" page on Facebook. And don't be afraid to drop her an email. She answers them all.
Don Nutt was born and raised in the farmland of Eastern Washington. He currently resides in Washington with his wife, Debbie, and their three children. Don is an amazing artist with a beautiful gallery in Coulee City, Washington. For 6 years the MokiTime creators have been traveling throughout the country telling their homespun tale. Collectively, they have been able to accompish writing, illustrating and publishing 3 children's books plus produce 3 musical CDs. What started as a stay-at-home mom's labor of love soon became a book/CD marketed in Nordstrom stores nationally. The creators have a unique story and when they travel to schools they share their "Scratch Paper To Publishing" journey, so students can go behind the scenes and see how authors and illustrators come to be.
Second to playing with her kids, writing and illustrating picture books is Leslie's favorite thing to do. Leslie says, "For most of my life, I have drawn cartoons as a way to interpret and make light of the things happening in my life or in the world around me, so it was only natural that when I had my first baby, I would start drawing cartoons of him." Those cartoons led to the publication of her first board books, Yummy Yucky, Big Little and Quiet Loud in 2003. Leslie now has fifteen books in publication, including her latest picture book, 'Be Quiet, Mike!' about a little monkey with a passion for drumming. Leslie's currently busy working on more board books. She is also working on her first middle grade novel. Leslie lives in Idaho with her husband (a drummer), three creative kids, two cats, two rabbits a lizard and a frog.
Leslie is excited to be able to do what she loves for a living and wants to share her experience and passion with students of all ages. She aims to inspire kids to imagine and create Through her fun-filled, multi-media presentation, Leslie will have kids laughing, learning, drawing and thinking big!
Leslie's award-winning books include: Higher! Higher!, Be Quiet, Mike!, The Patterson Puppies and The Rainy Day, The Birthday Box, Yummy Yucky, No No Yes Yes, Potty, Blankie and more.
Natasha Wing has published 21 children's books, with more in the works. She is best known for her paperback series based on the popular story, The Night Before Christmas. The stories are about families celebrating holidays and other big events in kids' lives such as the first day of school and losing a tooth. Her titles include The Night Before Easter, the original book in the series which was published in 1999, and The Night Before Kindergarten, which has regularly been on bestseller lists since its publication in 2001 and is also a sticker book, part of a kindergarten gift set, and an ebook. Wing's multicultural book, Jalapeno Bagels, is a favorite among elementary school teachers and students. The story is based on a real bakery in Arcata, California and includes recipes from the bakery. An Eye for Color: The Story of Josef Albers is about a neighbor of hers when she was growing up in Connecticut. The artist of the "Homage to the Square" paintings studied color for 27 years and changed how teachers taught color. Several of her poems appear in anthologies, and she has also written articles for children's magazines such as Highlights and Babybug.