Conference Speakers & Authors
Heather Moorefield-Lang, a former middle school theater teacher and school librarian, currently serves as a professor with the University of South Carolina in the School of Library and Information Science. Her research is focused in emerging technologies and their use in education and libraries. Heather has long been interested in how technologies can further enhance instruction in libraries and classrooms. Her current research focuses on makerspaces in libraries of all types and levels. She has had the honor of being nominated for the White House Champion of Change for Making in 2016 and was a finalist for this year’s American Association of School Librarians Social Media Superstars in the area of Tech Troubadours. To learn more about Heather and her work, see her website www.techfifteen.com, check out her YouTube Channel Tech 15, or follow her on Twitter @actinginthelib.
Author & Keynote Speaker
Entrepreneur, author, and former saber fencing champion, Robert Beatty writes the best-selling Seraphina series, which details the adventures of a twelve-year-old girl living in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate in North Carolina during the 1890s.
Charles R. Smith, Jr.
Award winning author, photographer, and American Ninja, Charles R. Smith, Jr. is an eclectic author. With over 30 published books in a variety of genres, he has won the prestigious
Ronald L. Smith
Former advertising bigwig, Ronald L. Smith recently tried his hand at writing fiction, and everyone would agree it was an epic career change! His first book, Hoo Doo, won the Coretta Scott King Award, and his following book received great critical acclaim. Kids who like creepy, gothic, supernatural fiction will flock to Smith’s books!
Star Wars and video game fan, Meredith Russo hit gold with her debut YA novel, If I Was Your Girl, winning the 2017 Stonewall Award. The novel tells the story of Amanda, who has just moved to a new high school. She becomes close to a guy named Grant, and her feelings become romantic. But she has a big secret. She used to be Andrew. As a transgender woman, herself, Ms. Russo wanted to create a story about a transgender person with a happy ending. She certainly succeeded!
Middle-Grade Panel – Ohio Authors
Margaret Peterson Haddix
Having written over forty books which have garnered awards too numerous to list here, Margaret Peterson Haddix is one of the most prolific and successful Ohio authors. She writes in a variety of genres, from adventure to dystopian fiction to fractured fairy tales to time travel; something for every reader. Some of her most popular books include the Shadow Children series, the Missing series, and the Palace Chronicles.
Julie K. Rubini
Julie K. Rubini grew up in the country with a strong love of both nature and literature. As a child, she was a bookworm, and she instilled the same love of books in her own children. One of her children, Claire, died unexpectedly at age ten, and to honor her daughter, she founded Claire’s Day, which has grown into a literacy celebration that impacts over 15,000 children each year. Ms. Rubini has recently become a non-fiction author, and her first book, Hidden Ohio was published in 2015. Her most recent book is a biography of Virginia Hamilton.
Jennifer Mashari loves pepperoni pizza and exclamation points! She adores reading and science, which she has taught to fifth through eighth graders. While holding down a full-time teaching job, she recently had two books published to rave reviews: The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price and Things That Surprise You.
Michelle Houts wrote her first
YA Authors Panel – Ohio Authors
Natalie D. Richards
An aficionado of peppermint mochas and the loving owner of Yeti and Wookie, Natalie D. Richards has turned her talents from business writing to YA fiction. Her newest book, One Was Lost, is a mystery in which five kids on a camping trip wake up from a mysterious sleep with the words, “damaged, deceptive, dangerous, and darling” inscribed on their wrists. They then see four dolls acting out a murder and realize that they are being hunted.
After spending 17 years attempting to write adult novels without any luck, Erin McCahan hit the jackpot with YA novels. Her experience working with teens as a youth pastor gave her a valuable insight into the teen experience. She enjoys writing contemporary, multigenerational novels, perhaps because of her close relationship with her grandparents. Her most recent release, The Lake Effect, received a starred review from Kirkus and was named a “Best New Book of Summer” by the New York Daily News.
A reader from childhood, Ms. Coley didn’t realize that she wanted to be an author until she was thirty. However, she has quickly made up for lost time and has written seven novels as well as numerous short stories. Her work has been translated into eleven other languages. Although she would prefer to live in California or Mars and has lived all over the world, she currently lives in Ohio with her furry felines, Pippin and Merry.
Mindy McGinnis happily surrounds herself with nine cats and two dogs in her Ohio home. Ms. McGinnis is the Edgar award-winning author of Madness so Discreet. Her most recent book, Given to the Sea, tells the story of Khosa, a girl born to be a sacrifice to the sea in order to prevent a tidal wave from destroying the kingdom. However, before she can perform the sacrifice, she must produce an heir to the kingdom, even though she finds the idea of human touch revolting. The sequel, Given to the Earth, is expected in April 2018.
Elementary Grade Panel – Ohio Authors
Most days, Michaela can be found somewhere in Ohio counting sunny days, giggles and jelly beans — usually with a sketchbook in hand. Other days, she is in front of her computer designing and drawing amazing things for amazing people.
Her books include:
I Am a Unicorn!
Let’s Count Fish
Linda is an Ohioan, born and raised! She loves animals and nature. “Picture books, chapter books, middle-grade novels, fiction, and nonfiction are all genres I love and work in.” Her book, Once Upon an Elephant, was on many award lists and her newest, Night Creepers, will be out this fall.
Nancy Roe Pimm
Nancy Roe-Pimm wrote and illustrated her first book when she was only ten-years-old. Her dream of having a book on a library shelf has finally come true, thirty-five years later! They span many topics from stock racing to gorillas. Her latest books are The Jerrie Mock Story-The First Woman to Fly Solo Around the World and Bonded by Battle-The Powerful Friendships of Military Dogs and Soldiers from the Civil War to Operation Iraqi Freedom.