About Hatem Aly
Hatem Aly is an Egyptian-born illustrator who currently lives in New Brunswick, Canada, with his wife, son, and more pets than people. He has illustrated many books that earned multiple starred reviews and positions on the NYT bestseller lists including The Proudest Blue, In My Mosque, the Newbery Honor winner The Inquisitor’s Tale, and more.
About Tina Athaide
Tina Athaide’s debut, Orange for the Sunsets, won the Geoffrey Bilson Prize for Historical Fiction, was a Junior Literary Guild selection, and chosen for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids & Teens. She’s also written leveled readers and her first picture book is forthcoming. Born in Uganda and raised in London and Canada, she now lives in California.
About Dr. Rita Cox
Renowned storyteller, librarian and community leader Dr. Rita Cox pioneered the Toronto Public Library’s Black and Caribbean Heritage Collection, and established the Cumbayah festival of Black heritage and storytelling. The author of many stories, including How Trouble Made the Monkey Eat Pepper, she has been honoured with the Canadian Library Association’s Public Service Award, the Black Achievement Award, and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for her work in storytelling and literacy.
About Claudia Dávila
Claudia Dávila is an illustrator and author of over 30 children’s books and graphic novels, including the award-winning Child Soldier, Super Red Riding Hood and Fast Friends. Her latest is Hockey Night in Kenya. She also has an ongoing Instagram comic called Flora & Liberty. Born in Chile, Claudia now lives in Toronto with her husband, daughter and son.
About Cary Fagan
Cary Fagan is the author of more than a dozen picture books, including King Mouse and Bear Wants to Sing, illustrated by Dena Seiferling. He has won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, IODE Jean Throop Award, the Joan Betty Stuchner Funniest Children's Book Award, and the Vicki Metcalf for Literature for Young People for his body of work.
About Michelle Kadarusman
Michelle Kadarusman’s middle grade novels have won the Governor General's Literary Awards, two USBBY Outstanding International Books, a Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children's Literature, and Kirkus Best Middle Grade Books of the Year. She grew up in Melbourne, Australia, has lived in Indonesia, and currently lives in Toronto and in Byron Bay, Australia.
About Amanda West Lewis
Amanda West Lewis is the author of seven books for young readers. She is the founder and Artistic Director of the Ottawa Children’s Theatre and holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her new novel These Are Not the Words (Groundwood Books) is scheduled for spring 2022. The Planet Poems (Kids Can Books) is scheduled for 2023.
About Cornelia Li
Cornelia Li specializes in illustrating nonfiction books for children and has collaborated with publishers across multiple continents, and has been awarded by the Ontario Library Association, Little Hakka Award, and Society of Illustrators New York. She also works as a story artist for editorial, advertising, and kids TV shows.
About Ali McDonald
Literary agent and partner at 5 Otter Literary, Ali McDonald represents bestselling, award-winning, emerging, and debut children’s authors and illustrators. From board books to young adult literature and everything in between, Ali specializes in genre fiction— particularly speculative, thriller, horror, science fiction, and fantasy—as well as literary fiction, graphic novel, and non-fiction.
About Catarina Oliveira
Catarina Oliveira is a Portuguese illustrator living in Canada since 2016. After working 10 years as a graphic designer, she redirected her career path in 2015 to do what she loves -- creating characters and illustrating stories, particularly for children’s books. When she is not drawing, she enjoys being at home cooking and going on hiking trips around the world.
About Kit Pearson
Kit Pearson’s children’s books have been published since 1986. She has written twelve novels and two picture books and has won seventeen awards. In 2018, Kit was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. She lives in Victoria, B.C. with her partner Katherine and their dog, Brio.
About David A. Robertson
David A. Robertson is the author of numerous award-wining books for young readers and adults, including When We Were Alone (Governor General’s Literary Award), The Barren Grounds, and Black Water: Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory. A sought-after speaker, he is a Norway House Cree Nation band member and lives in Winnipeg.
About Tom Ryan
Tom Ryan is an award-winning author of books for young readers. His YA thriller Keep This to Yourself received the 2020 Arthur Ellis and ITW Thriller Awards, and his follow-up YA thriller I Hope You’re Listening won the 2021 Lambda Literary Award and the Arthur Ellis Award. Tom, his husband, and their dog live in Nova Scotia.
About Dena Seiferling
Dena Seiferling graduated with a BFA and Visual Communications degree from the Alberta College of Art and Design, where she later worked as an instructor. Her books include King Mouse and Bear Wants to Sing by Cary Fagan, Alice & Gert: An Ant and Grasshopper Story by Helaine Becker, the upcoming Night Lunch by Eric Fan and her debut writing effort The Language of Flowers. Dena lives in Calgary with her husband, two children and two dogs.
About Jeremy Tankard
Jeremy Tankard is a best-selling author and illustrator, best known for the wildly popular Grumpy Bird picture book series. His first graphic novel, Yorick and Bones, co-written with his daughter Hermione, was published in 2020. A sequel arrived in 2021 and a new graphic novel series with Scholastic Press’s Graphix imprint is coming in the near future.
About Yasmine Uçar
Yasemin Uçar is editorial development director at Kids Can Press. She has been editing children’s books for over two decades. Before joining KCP in 2012, Yasemin worked at Scholastic Canada, at Piccadilly Press in the UK, and as a freelance editor. She has worked with many popular and award-winning authors and illustrators, including Ashley Spires, Chieri Uegaki, Heather Smith and Louise Rennison.
About Claire Wilkshire
Claire Wilkshire is editor at Breakwater Books in St. John’s, and owner of an editing and translation business. Her novel, Maxine, appeared in 2013. A collection of stories, The Love Olympics, is forthcoming in October 2021. Claire studied at Memorial University (BA Hons), McMaster (MA) and UBC (PhD) and taught English and French at Memorial.