Hilary Wagner ~ Founder of Project Mayhem ~ My first novel, NIGHTSHADE CITY debuted in 2010. Book II of the Nightshade Chronicles, THE WHITE ASSASSIN released 2011, and my latest book, LORDS OF TRILLIUM, came out in 2014. I also write for National Geographic School Publishing. I speak at schools and conferences around the world, which is one of my favorite things! My agent is Marietta Zacker of Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency. Favorite Book of all time: The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame. blog website twitter

Michael Gettel-Gilmartin ~ Blog Director ~ When his eldest son reached middle school, Michael discovered middle grade fiction and hasn’t looked back. He likes funny, he likes spooky—and if something’s funny & spooky, he’s in 7th heaven. A writer for as long as he can remember, Michael has taken to blogging with a vengeance. Currently, he's Don Vito’s right hand man (some might say ‘dogsbody’) at Middle Grade Mafioso. Originally from England, Michael now lives with his wife, three sons, and a pack of guard dogs (all named Fluffy) in Portland, OR. Blog  Twitter  

Caroline Starr Rose ~ Caroline Starr Rose is an award-winning middle grade and picture book author whose books have been ALA-ALSC Notable, Junior Library Guild, ABA New Voices, Kids’ Indie Next, Amazon’s Best Books of the Month for Kids, and Bank Street College of Education Best Books selections. In addition, her books have been nominated for almost two dozen state awards lists. In 2012 Caroline was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start Author for her debut novel, May B. She spent her childhood in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and New Mexico and taught social studies and English in four different states. Caroline now lives with her husband and two sons in New Mexico.  website  facebook twitter

Paul Greci ~ Paul grew up in northern Indiana where he spent as much time as he could on the Lake Michigan shoreline. After high school Paul discovered mountains. He worked his way west and north, and after a five year lay-over in California, settled in Alaska, where he’s lived for the past twenty years. When he isn’t teaching English or writing YA and MG fiction or figuring out how to keep the moose out of his vegetable garden, Paul roams the mountains and paddles his kayak on the coastlines, watching bears catch salmon and sea otters cracking mussel shells. His middle grade novel, a survival story set in the Alaska wilderness, debuts in March 2015. Paul is represented by Amy Tipton of Signature Literary Agency. blog  twitter facebook

Eden Unger Bowditch~Eden has been writing since she was very, very small. She has been writing since she could use her brain to think of something to say. She has written songs and stories and plays, shopping lists and film scripts and secret notes and dreams and poems and books and others things. She has been a musician and a journalist and a welder and an editor and an author and other things, too. The best thing of all is that she gets to be a mom. That's her favorite. And she gets to be married to her best friend. Writing is  right after that in favorite things. Riding camels, that’s cool, too, but not a favorite. Eden is the author of The Young Inventors Guild Trilogy. The first book in the series, The Atomic Weight of Secrets or the Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black came out in 2011. The second volume, The Ravens of Solemano, was published in September, 2013. Presently, Eden lives with her family in Cairo, Egypt. But that’s another story entirely….

Chris Eboch
Chris writes from her office with a view in small-town New Mexico. She gets bored when she starts to feel too competent, so she keeps things interesting by mixing up genres and age ranges. She is the author of over 40 books for children, including nonfiction and fiction, early reader through teen. Her middle grade fiction includes The Well of Sacrifice (and adventure in ninth-century Mayan culture); The Eyes of Pharaoh (a mystery in ancient Egypt); The Genie’s Gift (an Arabian Nights-inspired fantasy); and the Haunted series, about a brother and sister who travel with a ghost hunter TV show (starting with The Ghost on the Stairs). She wrote two inspirational biographies for ages 8 to 12 under the name MM Eboch: Jesse Owens: Young Record Breaker and Milton Hershey: Young Chocolatier. She also writes books and articles on writing, science, history, and culture, and she writes for adults under the name Kris Bock. Learn more at or her Amazon page, or check out her writing tips at her Write Like a Pro! blog.

James Mihaley
James Mihaley may or may not be a robot.  There is mounting evidence that he is in fact a robot.  James emphatically denies this.  "I'm a trained hip hop dancer who can do 'The Robot'.  That doesn't mean that I am a robot.  What is wrong with you people?"  Those who believe James is a robot called him The Jim-Bot.  They believe the Jim-Bot takes hip hop classes because a dance floor is the only place where you can do 'The Robot' without being accused of being a robot.  They are convinced that 'You Can't Have My Planet But Take My Brother, Please' (Macmillan/April, 2012) is the first book in history written by a robot.  NASA and the FBI are currently investigating the Jim-Bot.

Kell Andrews ~ Kell writes nonfiction for adults and fiction for children. A little bit of magic helps with both. Deadwood, her middle-grade contemporary fantasy about a cursed tree, comes out from Spencer Hill Middle Grade in June 2014. Growing up, she spent a lot of time reading, writing, drawing, and looking for treasure in the woods and on the beach. She still does. Kell holds a humanities degree from Johns Hopkins University and a master of liberal arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. A lifelong Philadelphian, she lives with her husband and two daughters in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, right next to a park a lot like the one in Deadwood. Website Twitter Facebook Goodreads

Jim Hill ~ Flaming Snot Rockets! Jim is a mild mannered designer by day, and children's book creator by night. He writes middle-grade and young adult stories packed with humor, heart and lots of action. He is a member of SCBWI, the Vice-President of the Cape Cod Writers Center and graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing for Children & Young Adults from VCFA in January 2014. Jim lives on Cape Cod with his wife and son within walking distance of an excellent playground, the village library and his favorite ice cream shop. Hashtag, priorities. He is represented by Sara Crowe Website Twitter Facebook

Anne Nesbet reads while walking, which means she relies on echolocation (or chance) to avoid injury.  She teaches film history by day and writes novels for middle-grade readers in stolen moments. (Sometimes she steals a whole week.) She plays viola, composes strange pieces of music, and is happiest above 10,000 feet. Her fantasies for middle-grade readers are THE CABINET OF EARTHS (HarperCollins 2012), A BOX OF GARGOYLES (HarperCollins 2013), and THE WRINKLED CROWN (HarperCollins 2015), and her first historical novel for kids, CLOUD & WALLFISH, came out in September 2016 from Candlewick. She lives with her tolerant family and demanding dog in California. Website Twitter Facebook Blog

Steve Bramucci writes about travel, food, and adventure. His work has appeared in AFAR, Outside, and dozens of other online and print outlets. His first middle-grade novel Ronald Zupan and the Pirates of Borneo! will be published by Bloomsbury in 2016 with a sequel the following year.

When he's not on the road, Steve visits schools to share stories and folklore that he's collected abroad along with original tales of scalawags, swashbucklers, and rogues. He's a proud graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts and a member of the Sweet Sixteens. He is represented by Sara Crowe. Twitter Website

Mary E. Cronin lives on Cape Cod, where she writes in multiple genres, including middle-grade fiction, essays, and poetry. Mary has a long list of writerly obsessions that show up regularly in her work. These include: firefighters, nurses, old New York, portraits of working class families and those with GLBT parents, and middle-graders who just might grow up to be gay, but don’t know it yet. Mary has an MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She teaches creative writing in the women’s unit at Barnstable County Correctional Facility, and English and Education at Cape Cod Community College and Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. She is represented by Linda Camacho of Prospect Agency. Website Twitter

Yamile Saied MĂ©ndez 
Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) was born and raised in Rosario, Argentina, but her family tree has roots in Palestine, the former Yugoslavia, Spain, Northern Africa, and the pampas. She's studied, worked, and lived in the United States for almost twenty years, and married a Puerto Rican with a cultural and ethnic background as varied as hers. A mother of five, she graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Global Economy. She's a MFA candidate at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her middle grade On There Magic Shores is a 2014 Lee and Low’s New Visions Honor. She’s also one of the Inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grant recipients. Apart from books, she’s obsessed with fĂștbol (soccer) and Irish dancing. She’s represented by Linda Camacho of the Prospect Agency. 
Twitter: @YamileSMendez Blog:

Linda Williams Jackson
Linda Williams Jackson is a former information technology specialist, turned stay-at-home mom, turned author. She is the author of the historical middle-grade novel, MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON (January, 2017), and the sequel A SKY FULL OF STARS (January, 2018). A small city in Mississippi is the place she calls home. She shares this home with her husband, three children, and a cat named Knoxville.

Hilda Eunice Burgos
Hilda’s first middle grade novel, THE CASTLE OF KINGS, was a 2015 Lee & Low Books New Visions Award finalist, and is due out in 2018.  The story takes place in New York City (where Hilda was born and raised) and in the Dominican Republic (her parents’ native country).  Hilda received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in French and Spanish literatures, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.  She now lives and practices law in the Philadelphia area.  She and her husband have two grown human children and a canine forever baby.  Hilda looks forward to spending more time writing now that her kids aren’t around as much to smother – um, mother.

Kristen Zayon took the long and winding road that led to writing and librarianship as a life choice. Raised in the tiny Alaskan town of Delta Junction, she received a degree in business (which she had no intention of really using) at the University of Alaska. Then she married this guy with a dazzling smile, and proceeded to have five kids. After emerging from the self-imposed haze caused by a decade of diapers and breastfeeding, she thought, “Hey, I should get a job.” Her children’s school seemed a logical choice, and she started out as a math and reading tutor. But as a self-described book nerd, she soon ended up in the library, where the librarian told her, “Girl, this is what you were meant to be.” Fast-forward several years and she was working as an elementary school librarian where she got to indulge her love of books and an affinity for children. She wrote her first book, “The Crystal Quest,” in sixth grade. It was published by her mom on a dot matrix printer. She has continued writing over the years, especially poems, because they are short and she doesn’t have much time. Recently though, she buckled down and wrote her first novel, which she is currently shopping to agents. She’s still married to that guy with the dazzling smile, and the kids are growing up much too fast for her liking.