Diana Sousa was born in the small kingdom of Portugal, a little over two decades ago. She grew up reading books, playing the cello, more video games than she should, and patiently waiting for her Hogwarts letter. The time has come, Diana, the time has come. During her free time, she wanders through the mysterious fields of the internet, using chocolate as fuel, a book as a shield, and a pen as a weapon. Maybe a wand? Follow her at @
Jim O’Donnell Jim O’Donnell is a young adult writer, represented by Vicki Selvaggio at The Jennifer DiChiara Literary Agency. He is also a father of three, an attorney, a retired police lieutenant, and a former congressional nominee. He is currently in Buffalo waiting for you to bring him coffee. For the fastest directions, tweet him @. E
Angela Cappillo is a YA author who lives in a small town in Northeastern Ohio with her husband, four children, and a multitude of pets. When she’s not busy shuttling around children and writing, she enjoys reading everything she can and drinking copious amounts of coffee. Follow her at @
Cindy Wilson began creating worlds as a kid, entertaining her siblings with spontaneous ghost stories before bed. She filled notebooks with novels and ideas and realized quickly she wanted to be a writer as an adult.
Now Cindy lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and loves using Colorado towns and cities as inspiration for settings in her stories. She’s the mother of three girls who provide plenty of fodder for her YA novels.
Cindy writes speculative and contemporary YA fiction, filled with a healthy dose of romance. She’s represented by Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary. Follow her at @.
Aften Brook Szymanski is a children’s book author who hopes to inspire youth to embrace their own quirks and pursue their individual talents. She has written O. Postmus, a picture book, and the Lindly Brandt series starting with Liar Lindly Brandt.
Aften is a happily married mother of three wonderful children who inspire her everyday. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University and a post graduate of University of Utah. Education and goal setting are a huge part of joy and personal fulfillment in her life. It doesn’t matter what you pursue, just dedicate yourself to the things you love. Follower her at @.
Kelly deVos is a Young Adult writer living in Gilbert, Arizona, represented by Kathleen Rushall of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. She has a degree in Creative Writing from Arizona State University and currently serves as an intern to Entangled Senior Editor, Kate Brauning. She is a contributor to the YA Buccaneers and YAgabonds, and her debut novel, FAT GIRL ON A PLANE, will be published in August 2017 by Harlequin Teen.
J. Elizabeth Hill was born in Toronto, Ontario, and exported herself to Vancouver, British Columbia after many years of staring longingly at the map following every snowfall. For as long as she can remember, she’s been making up stories, but it wasn’t until high school that someone suggested writing them down. Since then, she’s been hopelessly in love with story crafting, often forgetting about everything else in the process. Follow her at @jlizhill and email her at liz(at)pitchslamcontest(dot)com.
Carey O’Connor is a writer of MG stories, advertising copy, and (ambitious, always unfinished) to-do lists. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, she has a wanderlust that’s led her to explore five continents (and temporarily settle in Texas). Carey loves stories that allow her to explore interesting places with fascinating people and voices with a hint of poetry. For #PitchSlam, you can count on a star from Carey if you make her laugh, check under the bed, or want to research some element of your manuscript. Follow her at @OConnorCarey and email her at ck(at)pitchslamcontest(dot)com.
Kara Reynolds is a stay-at-home mom of three who likes to spend her nearly-non-existent free time writing novels. Her weaknesses include James T. Kirk, lightsabers, and anything TARDIS-blue. She writes contemporary and light speculative YA novels. She is clearly a gigantic nerd, and if she could go back in time, she would tell her teenage self to embrace her inner geekiness. While Kara lives in Wyoming, she is not of Wyoming. But it’s growing on her.
Elizabeth Leis Newman is a long-term care magazine editor (ask her anything about Medicaid or dementia!) and a women’s fiction writer. She has a goal to read 100 books a year. A Virginia native, she lives in Chicago with her husband and four cats. No, they don’t know how they ended up with that many felines either. Follow her