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Geoff Herbach

Geoff Herbach is the author of ten books, many for young adult audiences, including the award-winning Stupid Fast series (one of the books, Nothing Special, won the Minnesota Book Award). He focuses on writing things for kids who don’t want to read (not a great commercial choice, maybe!). When not writing, Herbach is teaching writing. He works with fiction and screenwriters at Minnesota State University, Mankato, both at the grad and undergrad level. He takes great joy in working with aspiring writers of all ages. In the old days, he wrote and performed comedy for stage and radio and drove around the country telling weird stories in rock clubs.

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E. Eero Johnson

E. Eero Johnson is a graphic artist from the Northern Midwest. His illustrations have appeared in the New Yorker, Rolling Stone Magazine, and Wired. His comics have been featured in Los Angeles Magazine, The New York Times, and Nozone. He collaborated on the Minnesota Book Award nominated hybrid novel/graphic novel Original Fake with author Kirstin Cronn-Mills and co-published the experimental Kozmo-Knot: the Never-Ending Comic Book with Uncivilized Books. Tsu and the Outliers is his first complete graphic novel.

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Elaine Tyler May

Elaine Tyler May is Regents Professor of American Studies and History at the University of Minnesota. She is past president of the Organization of American Historians and past president of the American Studies Association. In addition to her books and articles, she has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Ms., Daily Beast, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Star Tribune, among others. She is a recent recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Guggenheim Foundation.

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Michelle Leon

Michelle Leon is a writer, musician, and teacher for Saint Paul Public Schools. She was the bass player for the influential punk band Babes in Toyland from 1987 to 1992 and again in 1997. Her writing has appeared in City Pages, the music essay compilation The First Time I Heard David Bowie, Saint Paul Almanac, and other publications. Her first book, I Live Inside: Memoirs of a Babe in Toyland, was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in the category of Memoir & Creative Nonfiction. Leon holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She currently plays bass and sings in the band The Fox Loves and lives on the east side of Saint Paul with her husband, two children, and two dogs.

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Carrie L. Mesrobian

Carrie Mesrobian is the author of four novels. She has a B.A. in Creative Writing & Hispanic Studies and an MFA in Fiction from the Rainier Writers Workshop of Pacific Lutheran University. She has written essays and poetry for Brain, Child magazine, Calyx, the Star Tribune, and two anthologies for young adults. Her first book, Sex & Violence, was a finalist for YALSA’s William C. Morris Award and the winner of the Minnesota Book Award for Young People’s Literature in 2014. Her fourth book, Just a Girl, was a Junior Library Guild selection. She has taught writing classes for teenagers and adults at the Loft Literary Center for over a decade.

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David Oppegaard

David Oppegaard is the author of The Town Built on Sorrow, The Firebug of Balrog County, The Suicide Collectors, Wormwood, Nevada, And the Hills Opened Up, and The Ragged Mountains. His work has been nominated for a Bram Stoker Award and a Minnesota Book Award. Oppegaard grew up in the small town of Lake Crystal, Minnesota and wrote his first novel at the age of 15. His work is a blend of young adult, literary fiction, science fiction, horror, and dark fantasy. He holds an MFA in Writing from Hamline University and a B.A. in English from St. Olaf College. He has worked as an optician, a receptionist, a standardized test scorer, a farm hand, an editorial assistant, a trash picker, a library assistant, a seasonal bookstore employee, and as a child minder on a British cruise ship. He teaches the occasional fiction class at Hamline University and currently works at the University of Minnesota. He lives in Saint Paul.

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Jane St. Anthony

Jane St. Anthony’s first middle-grade book, The Summer Sherman Loved Me, was followed by Grace Above All, Isabelle Day Refuses to Die of a Broken Heart (Minnesota Book Award Finalist and winner of the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award for Young Adult and Middle Grade), and Whatever Normal Is. For several years St. Anthony has taught at conferences for young writers, including Success Beyond the Classroom (held at Bethel College) and Young Authors/Young Artists Conference (College of St. Benedict). She has written and edited for nonprofit and corporate clients, and loves her job as a high school writing tutor.

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Joyce Sidman

Joyce Sidman’s books have won a Newbery Honor (Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night) and two Caldecott Honors. Her book What the Heart Knows was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. In 2013, she received the NCTE Award for Excellence in Children’s Poetry for her body of work. When not writing or roaming the woods, she teaches poetry writing in schools with COMPAS.org of Saint Paul.

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Kao Kalia Yang

Kao Kalia Yang is an award-winning Hmong-American writer. She holds degrees from Carleton College and Columbia University. Yang is the author of The Latehomecomer, The Song Poet, What God is Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss By and For Native Women and Women of Color, and the picture book A Map Into the World. In 2020, Yang has two more picture books coming, The Shared Room and The Most Beautiful Thing, and a collective memoir called Somewhere in the Unknown World. She lives in Saint Paul with her family. Yang is also an educator and public speaker.

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Rachel L. Coyne

Rachel Coyne, a novelist and poet, is a graduate of the Perpich Center for Arts in Minnesota and Macalester College. She is a devotee of Pablo Neruda, a lover of Don Williams songs, and collects vintage editions of Jane Eyre. Her published works include the novels The Patron Saint of Lost Comfort Lake and Whiskey Heart, and a children’s book, Daughter, Have I Told You? She lives in Lindstrom.

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