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.
Dori Hillestad Butler is a chapter book series and mystery author who is eager to share her love of books and writing with kids of all ages. She is the author of 40 books for children, including the Buddy Files series (Albert Whitman & Co.), which is about a school therapy dog who solves mysteries. The Buddy Files: Case of the Lost Boy won the Edgar award for best children's mystery published in 2010. She is also the author of My Mom's Having a Baby (Albert Whitman & Co.,), which was #4 on ALA's list of most challenged books in 2011. She speaks openly about the experience of facing her challenger on national television and is happy to talk with other authors about how to handle a potential challenge to their books, or even how to deal with the fact that not everybody is going to like every single book you publish. Dori also has a special interest in the topics of bullying and cyberbullying. Her Truth About Truman School (Albert Whitman & Co.,) is a mystery novel for middle school students that looks at cyberbullying through the eyes of the bully, the bullied and the bystanders. She has developed a unique author visit program for schools that are interested in an all-school reads of this book. Forthcoming books in 2014 and 2015 include a new chapter book series entitled The Haunted Library (Grosset & Dunlap). Dori grew up in southern Minnesota and currently lives in Kirkland, WA. She is also on a quest to do an author visit in all 50 states. If she has not visited your state yet, you could be eligible for a discount. Contact Provato Marketing for more information or to schedule an event.
Janet Lee Carey was born in New York and grew up under the towering redwoods in the Bay Area. She now lives in the Seattle area. As a child she discovered the door into a vast, magical country each time she opened the cover of a book. She quickly fell in love with reading and dreamed of becoming a writer. Janet learned courage through the power of story, and believes story transforms lives. Her novels for children and young adults have earned her the Mark Twain Award, Finalist Washington State Book Award, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, and NYPL Best Books for the Teen Age. Her newest medieval fantasy, Dragonswood (Dial Books 2012) received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Kirkus.
Statistics have shown that children who read are more compassionate. The "giving back" page on her website links each new book to a charitable organization, challenging teens to read and reach out. Concerned over the changes happening in our libraries, Janet created a blog two years ago. Library Lions gives school and public librarians a place to roar for libraries and showcase their outstanding youth programs.
Teaching Experience: Janet taught special education before leaving to raise her family and invest in her writing career. For ten years she taught novel writing at Lake Washington Vocational College and Bellevue College. She now focuses on presenting workshops for writing conferences, and enjoys meeting readers, teachers and librarians on her school visits. Janet's assemblies are designed for upper middle grades, middle schools, and high schools. In "Words on the Wing," lively discussion invites students to see how stories expand cultural awareness, increase respect for others and for the earth. "Dream Catcher" gives students seven tools to set goals and begin the step-by-step journey to reach their dreams.
Diane Hipp C.P.S., is a Certified Prevention Professional and a certified School Counselor with over thirty years of experience in the field of prevention. Her arenas of work have included elementary and secondary prevention education, parenting education, prevention curriculum development and community substance abuse prevention program management.
Diane is the co-author and program developer of “Kelso’s Choice” a conflict management curriculum for elementary children. The curriculum is being implemented throughout the United States and in 13 foreign countries. The “Kelso’s Choice” DVD has recently received a 2012 Communicator Award a 2012 Telly and a 2012 Omni Award. In September 2012 her latest curriculum will be released “Building Character With Kelso”. This elementary curriculum will focus on interactive creative ways to build good character traits such as; responsibility, honesty, respect, fairness and caring. Diane is the lead trainer for “Kelso’s Choice” and travels throughout the United States working with school staff, students and parents on the keys of successful implementation.
Diane has worked in urban, rural, Alaska Native, frontier and reservation communities in 48 states. Translating research into practice, she has guided diverse communities in capacity building, community mobilizing, strategic planning and evaluation of prevention initiatives. From 2002-2007 she served as Prevention Coordinator for the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention’s Western Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies in the College of Health and Human Sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno. She provided TA and Training services to the state of Montana and school districts in the western region implementing a Grant to Reduce Alcohol Abuse (GRAA) through the U.S. Department of Education. Most recently she was the lead Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator for the MOST of Us Positive Community Norms initiative out of the Montana State University in Bozeman Montana.
Sharon Mentyka is a children’s writer, designer and educator, with an MFA in Writing from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts (NILA) Whidbey Writers Workshop. Her stories grow from small kernels of truth that explore common themes: fairness (or unfairness), transitions and helping the less powerful find their voice.
Her stories and essays, for both children and adults, have appeared in numerous literary magazines including ColumbiaKids, Cricket and Soundings Review. QUI, QUA, AND QUO, a picture book about three cats living in the ancient Italian hilltown of Civita di Bagnoregio was the product of Sharon 2012 two-month fellowship from the Civita Institute, where she also created a series of storytelling maps. B IN THE WORLD, an illustrated children’s chapter book about a gender non-conforming child was published in 2014 and CHASING AT THE SURFACE, a middle grade novel inspired by a 30-day visit of orca whales to an enclosed inlet in the Pacific Northwest, is forthcoming from WestWinds Press in October 2016.
An active member of SCBWI-Western Washington and a contributor to the “We Need Diverse Books” campaign, Sharon also tutors and teaches writing workshops to middle and high school students.
Ever since the 1993 publication of his multi-award-winning, best-selling picture book, Baseball Saved Us (over half a million sold to date), Ken Mochizuki has made over 100 presentations around the country at schools, libraries, community centers and educators' conferences to ages K-Adult. Using Baseball Saved Us and his second picture book, Heroes, he makes stereotypes, prejudice and racism understandable in an age-appropriate presentation for students K-3. Including those same topics for older grades, he also addresses fighting, bullying, the moral dilemma and the conscientious choice through his picture book about the Holocaust, Passage to Freedom: the Sugihara Story, and his recent picture book, Be Water, My Friend: the Early Years of Bruce Lee. For middle grades and above, Ken also conducts presentations on the history of Asian Pacific Americans in the U.S. military, and around his young adult novel, Beacon Hill Boys. Among the awards his books have earned include the Washington State Governor's Writers Award and the national Parents' Choice Award, American Bookseller 'Pick of the Lists,' American Library Association Notable Book, International Reading Association Teachers' Choices, Smithsonian Notable Books for Children and the Jane Addams Children?s Book Awards Honor Book.
Derek Munson works as a writer, speaker and all-around daydreamer. Like the dad in his new book, Bad Dad, which releases in October, Munson’s current hobbies include playing with his kids, avoiding his household responsibilities and crashing on his mountain bike. He lives in Bellingham, Washington, with his wife Suzanne, their daughter Abby and son Zack. Munson’s first book, Enemy Pie, as featured on Reading Rainbow, teaches children how to handle relationships and conflict. Derek has presented at hundreds of schools and offers multi-school discounts. Contact us today to see when he will be in your area!
Ana Maria Spagna lives and writes in Stehekin, Washington, a remote community in the North Cascades accessible only by boat, trail, or float plane. But don’t worry! She has not always lived such an insular life. Born in Bogotá, Colombia and raised in Riverside, California, Ana Maria was a book-loving kid who liked sports but knew nothing about the outdoors. She never camped until, as a teenager, traveled to Oregon and — well, there’s no other way to say it — fell in love. After college, she settled in to working on backcountry trail crews for the National Park Service in summer and writing in winter. Ana Maria is the author most recently of The Luckiest Scar on Earth about Charlotte, a 14 year-old snowboarder and her eccentric father, and 100 Skills You’ll Need for the End of the World (as We Know It) a humor-infused exploration of how to live more lightly on the planet, winner of a 2015 Nautilus Award. Her previous books include Reclaimers, the story of people reclaiming sacred land and water, the memoir/history Test Ride on the Sunnyland Bus, winner of the River Teeth literary nonfiction prize, and two collections of essays, Potluck, finalist for the Washington State Book Award, and Now Go Home, a Seattle Times Best Book of 2004. After fifteen years on the trail, she turned to teaching. She has taught creative writing at Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, where she directed the MFA program, at Antioch University, Los Angeles, at conferences around the country, and each winter in the one-room school in Stehekin. Her stories about nature, family, civil rights, and life in a small community appear regularly in magazines and journals. You can learn more at AnaMariaSpagna.com.