Reminder that attendees must be at least 21 years old.
Patricia McCormick, a finalist for the National Book Award, is the author of the forthcoming novel, Never Fall Down, based on the true story of an 11-year-old boy who survived the Khmer Rouge by playing music in the Killing Fields. Patricia has authored four critically acclaimed novels: Purple Heart, a suspenseful psychological novel that explores the killing of a 10-year-old boy in Iraq; Sold, a sensitive, moving account of sexual trafficking; My Brother’s Keeper, a realistic view of teenage substance abuse; and Cut, an intimate portrait of one teenager’s struggle with self-injury. Her books have earned multiple honors, including a Best 100 Books of the Year by Publishers Weekly for Sold and an American Library Association Best Book for Teenagers for Cut. Patricia was a 2004 New York Foundation on the Arts Fellow. She is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and lives Manhattan.
Paul Griffin’s highly anticipated new novel is the mystery Burning Blue. His previous novel, Stay with Me, was named a 2011 Best Book by Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal. His second novel, The Orange Houses, was an American Library Association Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults, an International Reading Association 2010 Notable Book for a Global Society, a Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best Book of 2009, and an Amelia Bloomer Project Award winner. He is also the author of Ten Mile River. Paul started working with at-risk, incarcerated and special needs teens in 1989, with a concentration in conflict resolution workshops aimed at stemming the spread of violence, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS among young adults. These days his workshops focus on helping young men and women tell their life stories as they reach out to counselors, judges, admissions officers and potential employers. Paul lives, writes, and trains dogs in New York City.
Neesha Meminger’s latest novel, Into the Wise Dark, is a time-travel fantasy that further cements her critical success. Shine, Coconut Moon, her first novel, made the Smithsonian’s Notable Books for Children list and was selected as one of the Top 100 Books of 2009 by the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age. It was also nominated as a Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association as well as the online CYBILS award. Her second novel, Jazz in Love, was picked as a top YA selection by the Pennsylvania School Librarians’ Association and was selected for Bookslut’s Recommended Summer Reading List. She has taught literature and creative writing courses to undergraduate freshmen in New York, served as a board member for many arts and cultural organizations, and counseled women and youth in crisis. An independent filmmaker, Neesha’s movies have screened at international film festivals. She lives in New York City.
Bil Wright’s acclaimed recent novel, Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy, “gives voice, complexity, and heart” to a gay 16-year-old who dreams of becoming a famous makeup artist. Bil’s first novel, When the Black Girl Sings, was a Junior Library Guild selection, and his third novel, Sunday You Learn How to Box, was a Booklist’s best adult books for teens, a New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Age, a Coretta Scott King Celebrating the Dream Book, and featured on the American Library Association’s list of Books for Gay Teens. He is also the author of the novel, One Foot in Love. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in several anthologies, including Shade, Black Like Us, The Road Before Us, and Black Silk. An associate professor of English at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, Bil lives in New York City.