Words and Pictures Festival 2021

Words & Pictures Festival 2021

Join us!

Join us for our fifth annual festival of local authors and illustrators, a two-day virtual extravaganza on Saturday, October 9 from 10 am–5 pm and Sunday, October 10 from 10 am-3:15 pm! Events include a keynote address and events for children and families on Saturday, Imagined Ink writing workshops for teens on Sunday, and author readings and workshops and panels for writers throughout the festival.

Register here!

Register (it's free!) for either day of the two-day event and you will be emailed a schedule before the event with all of the Zoom links for both days. You can attend as many sessions as you like. Come and go throughout the weekend as your schedule allows!

Keynote speaker: Laura Stanfill

Laura Stanfill

Books matter, not just by offering a safe and steady haven in times of crisis, but because the joy of writing and reading is itself an act of resistance. In this year’s keynote, Laura Stanfill, a novelist and the publisher of Forest Avenue Press, will speak on Saturday at 3:30 pm about books being her first friends and how writing, reading, and publishing have sustained her through the uncertainty of a global pandemic.

Book sales

Vintage BooksVintage Books, a family-owned independent bookstore in Vancouver, is our bookstore partner. Many of the author's books can be purchased through their website.

Buy books!

Schedule of events

Saturday, October 9

Time

Reader's Track

Writer's Track

Fun for Kids & Families

10 am–11 am

Author Readings

10 am: Brian Tashima
10:15 am: Karen Eisenbrey
10:30 am: Kristin Burchell
(YA fantasy)

Q&A for all authors will be held at the end of the hour.

Indie Publishing, Part 1: Life Beyond the Literary-Industrial Complex—An Introduction to Self-Publishing

Andrew Durkin, founder of Yellow Bike Press, an author services company, offers a primer to help demystify the processes, technologies, and culture of self-publishing.

Stories & Papercutting

Join author, illustrator, and artist Elizabeth Goss or an hour filled with stories and activities. Plan to bring paper and scissors to this session.

Download a printout to follow along!

11:15 am–12:15 pm

Author Readings

11:15 am: Curtis Chen
11:30 am: Debby Dodds
11:45 am: LeeAnn McLennan
(SciFi & YA fantasy)

Q&A for all authors will be held at the end of the hour.

Indie Publishing, Part 2

Featuring Forest Avenue Press, Unsolicited Press, Not a Pipe Publishing, and Oni Press

The term “Indie Publishing” can be confusing, as it applies both to those who self-publish and to small, independent publishers. In this panel, meet publishers from the PDX metro area. Learn what makes a small press unique, how each of these presses solicits and acquires books, and how their press contributes to the larger publishing ecosystem.

Author Readings

At 11:15am, Chamisa Kellogg shares from her book Crying Is Like the Rain. Plan to bring paper and colored pencils, markers, or crayons and join in the fun!

Then, at 11:45am, Gretchen McLellan shares her book I’m Done! with a “Act Like a Beaver” call-and-response full body activity, and No Party Poopers with lively animal fun.

1–2 pm

Author Readings

1 pm: Ruby McConnell
1:30 pm: Stephanie Feldstein
(Nonfiction)

Query Letters and Other Author Nightmares

You’ve finished writing your manuscript, but one more daunting piece of writing remains—the dreaded query letter. It's still the best way to get a literary agent and start your publishing career. But it doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds! Author Curtis Chen demystifies the process and walks writers through the basics of the querying process.

Stories, Art, & Mindfulness

Join authors Gabi Snyder and Jocelyn Fitzgerald as they read from their mindfulness books for kids and share exercises, including art activities, for the whole family. Please have art supplies, including paper, pencils, and paints (or crayons, markers, or colored pencils), handy for the art exercises.

2:15–3:15 pm

Author Readings

2:15 pm: Lydia Valentine, writer, poet, and playwright.

2:45 pm: Join us for a special reading featuring FVRLibraries staff authors Melanie McCreeMartha Wiley, and John Wolf.

Getting a Manuscript Ready for Submission

Featuring Alison Cochrun, Laurel Gale, Stephanie Feldstein, Ruby McConnell

Now that the submission process in general and query letters seem less scary, learn from other authors how the publishing process unfolded for them, and how it differs depending upon your genre.

Author Readings

At 2:15pm, writer Jessica Becker, who has written the Little Feet Hiking series of guidebooks, shares her passion for getting families outside together. Join her for a fun all-ages activity, learn where to find the best local fall hikes for families, and ask any burning questions you have about hiking with kids!

Then, at 2:45pm, we have author Jim Mockford sharing stories and activities.

3:30–5 pm

Keynote Speaker: Laura Stanfill

Special presentation by Imagined Ink winners Anders Daly, Elizabeth Keller, and Perry Russell, followed by Laura Stanfill, Forest Avenue Press.

Books matter, not just by offering a safe and steady haven in times of crisis, but because the joy of writing and reading is itself an act of resistance. In this year’s keynote, Laura Stanfill, a novelist and the publisher of Forest Avenue Press, will speak about books being her first friends and how writing, reading, and publishing have sustained her through the uncertainty of a global pandemic.

Sunday, October 10

Time

Reader's Track

Writer's Track

Teen Track

Imagined Ink

10–11 am

Other Worlds: SciFi, Comics, & Graphic Novels

Hosted by Curtis Chen
Featuring Sloane Leong, Heather Finley, Tony Parker, Jeff Parker, Michelle Nguyen, and Oni Press

Science fiction author Curtis Chen hosts this 2-hour special presentation with graphic novel/comics creators Sloane Leong, Heather Finley, Tony Parker, Jeff Parker, and representatives from local publisher Oni Press. The presentation will include panel discussions, readings, and demonstrations.

Marketing & Social Media for Authors: Part 1

You have a book—now what? How do you let the world know your work is out there? How do you find your readers? How much marketing will your publisher do? Learn more from author Kelly Garrett.

Author Readings

10 am: Melissa Wiley
10:30 am: Lisa Gerlits

Middle grade writers present readings and activities for teens and teen writers.

(This presentation is especially for teens and teen writers. All ages are welcome, but the moderator will give preference during Q&A to teen participants.)

11:15 am–12:15 pm

Marketing & Social Media for Authors, Part 2

Featuring Heidi Mason & Brian Tashima

You’ve heard great tips and tricks to apply to your own book marketing. Now hear how two authors who publish in different genres have applied these lessons in their own work life.

Author Readings

11:15 am: Laurel Gale
11:45 am: Robin Robinson

A middle grade writer and a graphic novelist present readings and activities for teens and teen writers.

(This presentation is especially for teens and teen writers. All ages are welcome, but the moderator will give preference during Q&A to teen participants.)

1–2 pm

Author Readings

1 pm: Heidi Mason
1:30 pm: Alison Cochrun
(Romance with a touch of suspense)

Author Readings

Join us for a special reading featuring FVRLibraries staff authors Kristen Buehner, Elizabeth Townsend, and Rosie Wilder.

Teen Writers Save the Cat

Are you a teen writer looking to sharpen your writing skills? Join Jessica Brody, middle grade and YA author and the author of Save the Cat Writes a Novel, presents a writing workshop specifically designed for you.

(This presentation is especially for teens and teen writers. All ages are welcome, but the moderator will give preference during Q&A to teen participants.)

2:15–3:15 pm

Author Readings

2:15 pm: Linda Graham
2:45 pm: Mollie Hunt

(Cozy mysteries and contemporary romance)

 

Author to Author—Advice for Teen Writers

Featuring Robin Robinson, Stephanie Feldstein, Lisa Gerlits, Karen Eisenbrey

Teen writers are invited to hear from authors who write for teens as they share their stories and answer questions from the audience.

(This presentation is especially for teens and teen writers. All ages are welcome, but the moderator will give preference during Q&A to teen participants.)

Appreciation

Special thanks to Christy Peterson, our author coordinator, who spends countless hours coordinating Words & Pictures every year.

Writers and Illustrators

Alison Cochrun

Alison Cochrun

Alison Cochrun is a high school English teacher living outside Portland, Oregon. When she's not reading and writing queer love stories, you can find her torturing teenagers with Shakespeare, crafting perfect travel itineraries, hate-watching reality dating shows, and searching for the best happy hour nachos.

Anders Daly

Anders Daly

Anders will read just about anything he can get his hands on, and will write just about anything that pops into his head. He is currently writing two novels (one science fiction, one historical fiction) and has plans for a third (realistic fiction). He is in 7th grade, which leaves him with very little spare time! In the spare time he does have, he enjoys reading, composing songs for his various instruments, and playing soccer with his family and friends.

Andrew Durkin

Andrew Durkin

Originally from New Jersey, Andrew (he/him) has a PhD in English literature from the University of Southern California, where he also taught freshman writing for six years. He was a postdoctoral fellow at USC’s Institute for Multimedia Literacy at the Annenberg Center for Communication, where he worked with digital media pioneer Bob Stein. Andrew is now a professional editor, author, and musician based in Portland, OR. Before founding Yellow Bike Press, he was an editor at Inkwater Press, where he edited hundreds of books. Andrew is the author of Decomposition: A Music Manifesto (Pantheon, 2014), one of Los Angeles magazine’s “Best Little Music Books” of 2014.

Brian Tashima

Brian Tashima

Brian Tashima is an author, screenwriter, musician, and philanthropist. His credits include the award-winning Joel Suzuki series—a set of young adult sci-fi/fantasy novels about a teenage boy who travels to a world where music is magic and autism is a superpower—and the manga-style comic book series Glorified. He also sings and plays guitar for the nerd-punk band Second Player Score and serves on the Board of Directors for Autism Empowerment, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people and families in the autism community. 

Chamisa Kellogg

Chamisa Kellogg

Chamisa is an illustrator, animator and art director based in Portland, Oregon. She holds a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design, and makes work for children’s books, brands, games and animation. Her lush and textural illustration style consistently provides notes of nostalgia and whimsy with a fresh playful twist. Chamisa’s debut illustrated book, Crying is Like the Rain (by Heather Hawk Feinberg), was published by Tilbury House in September 2020, and her next book, Some Days (by Julie A. Stamm, published by The Experiment), will be out in September 2021.

Christy Peterson

Christy Peterson

Christy has written more than 40 nonfiction books and articles for young readers. Her book Into the Deep: Science, Technology, and the Quest to Save the Ocean (Twenty First Century Books 2020) is a 2021 Washington State Book Awards finalist. Earth Day and the Environmental Movement: Standing Up for Earth (Twenty First Century Books 2020) was included in the 2021 edition of the Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year. Her most recent titles are the Sesame Street® Friends Around the World series and the Crayola® Creature Colors series, both from Lerner Publications (2021).

Curtis C. Chen

Curtis C. Chen

Once a Silicon Valley software engineer, Curtis C. Chen (陳致宇) now writes stories and runs puzzle games near Portland, Oregon. He's the author of the Kangaroo series of funny science fiction spy thrillers and has written for the Realm originals Ninth Step Station, Machina, and Echo Park 2060 (forthcoming). Curtis' short stories have appeared in Playboy Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, Oregon Reads Aloud, and elsewhere. His homebrew cat feeding robot was displayed in the "Worlds Beyond Here" exhibit at Seattle's Wing Luke Museum.

Debby Dodds

Debby Dodds

Debby Dodds is the author of the novel Amish Guys Don't Call, on the list BEST YA OF 2017 by Powell’s Books, featured in Random House’s Better with Books, and an Amazon Top 100 in a YA category. She won 1st place in Portland’s Wizard World 2017 Fiction Contest. As an actress, she wrote and performed in stage shows at both Disneyland and Disney World. Debby has stories in twenty anthologies including the NY Times best-selling My Little Red Book (Hachette). She received a BFA from NYU in Drama/Acting and an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University.

Elizabeth Goss

Elizabeth Goss

Elizabeth Goss is a papercutter, Illustrator, and author. Her artwork has appeared in books, galleries, TV spots, and advertisements. She is a proud member of the Guild of American Papercutters and has previously served on their board as a VP of Exhibits and the VP of Community Outreach. As a writer, she loves creating stories that are unusual or unexpected. Unlikely heroes, new takes on well-known stories, and the secret worlds of children are her specialty. Whether she is writing a whimsical fantasy or a piece of vivid nonfiction, she loves to surprise her readers.

Elizabeth Keller

Elizabeth Keller

Elizabeth likes to write nearly anything, but she especially enjoys short stories and flash fiction. She's been writing since elementary school and is currently a junior at Interlochen Arts Academy. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, and spending time with friends.

Elizabeth Townsend

Elizabeth Townsend

Elizabeth Townsend is the author of Just Like Magic, a YA adaptation of Cinderella. She's also the monthly "Book Beat" columnist for the City of Vancouver's newspaper for seniors, The Messenger. Her other writing credits include blogging about her self-publishing adventures; selling one short story to Highlights for Children which, alas, was never published; playing about with poetry; and writing and editing a teen eNewsletter for the library. She's currently in the middle of a sequel to Just Like Magic, which she hopes to finish next year.

Gabi Snyder

Gabi Snyder

Gabi Snyder’s debut picture book, Two Dogs on a Trike, illustrated by Robin Rosenthal, received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews, who said it “perfectly captures the rollicking, manic joy of dogs off the leash.” Her second picture book, Listen, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin, released in July 2021. She studied psychology at the University of Washington and creative writing at The University of Texas and is a member of SCBWI. When she’s not writing, she loves taking nature walks, visiting Little Free Libraries, and baking sweet treats. She lives in Oregon with her family.

Gretchen McLellan

Gretchen McLellan

Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan is a former elementary reading specialist and author of Mrs. McBee Leaves Room 3, I’m Done!, Button and Bundle, No Party Poopers! and the coming When Your Daddy’s a Soldier. She writes picture books, chapter books and middle-grade fiction. Gretchen grew up as an army brat and global nomad. She settled in Camas, WA and hopes that children will find a home in her heartfelt books about community, courage and compassion. When she isn’t writing or editing, Gretchen can be found reading, playing word games, attending plays, hiking, sewing and baking.

Heather Finley

Heather Finley

Heather Finley is a freelance comic writer based in Vancouver, WA. She is best known for Zombies vs Cheerleaders. When not writing, she is surrounded by cats and foster kittens while dreaming about climbing Mount Everest. Heather's co-writers, aka her foster cats, keep their own IG at www.instagram.com/darrowandtempe.

Heidi Mason

Heidi Mason

H.R. Mason is an Ohio girl transplanted into the Pacific Northwest. She is a people-watching introvert who can be found hiding out in the nearest corner. When not writing, she loves rainy days at the beach, old houses and antiques, researching family history, reading, and getting lost inside her own thoughts. She is a lover of caffeine and a hopeless romantic at heart. A multi-published author in the Romance genre, she moved into new writing territory in 2019 when she crossed genres. Nothing Hidden Ever Stays, her debut Gothic Suspense novel, became an Amazon bestseller.

Jeff Parker

Jeff Parker

Jeff Parker is well-known for bringing classic characters to new readers by finding their timeless appeal, such as with X-Men First Class, Flash Gordon, Batman ’66 and Future Quest. He’s comfortable with heavier action such as Hulk, Thunderbolts, and James Bond Origin. But he’s most proud of his original creations such as the acclaimed graphic novels Underground, The Interman, Mysterius The Unfathomable, and Meteor Men. He’s currently writing Ninjak and launching a new book, Blighter, through Kickstarter.

Jessica Becker

Jessica Becker

Jessica Becker is a hiker, outdoor educator, and homeschooling mom. She has published three local hiking guides for families and is currently working on a fourth for the Columbia River Gorge. Jessica makes hiking accessible to families and also educates them about various trail-specific topics through place-based learning. Jessica has taken countless families out into nature and has learned how to make hiking with kids safe and fun for all ages. Jessica volunteers on the Board of Directors for TreeSong Nature Awareness Center and lives with her family in the Cascade foothills near Battle Ground.

Jessica Brody

Jessica Brody

Jessica Brody is the author of more than 20 novels for teens, tweens, and adults including The Geography of Lost Things, The Chaos of Standing Still, I Speak Boy, A Week of Mondays, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, the Unremembered trilogy, and the System Divine trilogy, which is a sci-fi reimagining of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, co-written with Joanne Rendell. She’s also the author of Save the Cat! Writes a Novel (the #1 bestselling plotting guide for novelists) and several books based on popular Disney franchises like Descendants and LEGO Disney Princess. She lives with her husband and three dogs near Portland, OR.

Jim Mockford

Jim Mockford

Jim Mockford is the author of The Kite That Touched the Sky a bilingual Chinese and English illustrated children’s book published in 2020. Jim is a historian and writer specializing in Asian and Pacific studies. He attended Waseda University in Tokyo and graduated from the University of Oregon. Jim was an award-winning kite flier at the 1987 Weifang International Kite Festival in Weifang, China. In 2017, he returned to Weifang to fly kites in China once again, and began to write a children’s book about his grandchildren in China and the USA and their adventure together flying kites.

Jocelyn Fitzgerald

Jocelyn Fitzgerald

As a board-certified art therapist with a thriving practice, Jocelyn loves directing her clients to tap into their own creativity to connect with what they're feeling on the inside and bring it to life on the outside. Jocelyn plays with color in a variety of mediums. She’s taught fine arts classes, run women’s workshops on collage-making, organized healing-centered group art projects, and led guided visualizations on how to activate creativity with schools and nonprofits. When she’s not working, you can find Jocelyn hiking in the beautiful Pacific Northwest mountains, creating art, doing yoga, or enjoying dance parties with her little family.

John Wolf

John Wolf

John Wolf is a librarian lurking in the Pacific Northwest. When he’s not shelving books or processing holds, he likes making things up and putting them on paper. Recent work has appeared in the Fornever After anthology, Coffin Blossoms anthology, StarShip Sofa, and Tough Crime. He subsists on a strict diet of good coffee, bad movies, and funny podcasts.

Karen Eisenbrey

Karen Eisenbrey

Karen Eisenbrey lives in Seattle, WA, where she leads a quiet, orderly life and invents stories to make up for it. Karen writes fantasy and science fiction novels, as well as short fiction in a variety of genres and the occasional poem or song if it insists. She is the author of four novels: The Gospel According to St. Rage; Barbara and the Rage Brigade; Daughter of Magic; Wizard Girl, and Death's Midwife, all from Not A Pipe Publishing. Karen shares her life with her husband, two young adult sons, and one elderly cat.

Kelly Garrett

Kelly Garrett

Emmeline Duncan is a mystery writer based out of Portland, Oregon. The first installment of her new Ground Rules series, Fresh Brewed Murder, was released on March 30th, 2021. Emmeline also writes for teens as Kelly Garrett. Her debut YA novel, The Last To Die, was an Oregon Book Awards finalist and was re-issued by Sourcebooks Fire in November 2019. Kelly is also a 2020 Oregon Literary Fellow.

Emmeline/Kelly is a board member of the Northwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and co-organizes Friends of Mystery’s Bloody Thursday lecture series. She’s also a member of Sisters-In-Crime, Willamette Writers, and SCBWI.

Kristen Buehner

Kristen Buehner

Kristen Buehner (KB) is a newer library worker, pastime violin player, and all-around distractible person. She has a Bachelors of Arts in Creative Writing and English Literature from Pacific University and is thinking about trying this library thing out long-term. Their hobbies include snuggling with their kitties, checking out more books than is humanly possible to read from multiple libraries, and scrolling through various phone apps before finally realizing she has other hobbies like writing and practicing violin. You can find KB at CP (Cascade Park).

Kristin Burchell

Kristin Burchell

Kristin Burchell writes novels for middle grade and YA readers, including The Witches of Proposal Rock and the upcoming Court of Venom. Her novels have won recognition from Willamette Writers and Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, the perfect home for dreaming up ghost stories. When not writing or teaching, she can be found reading, stargazing, and hiking with her husky in the Columbia River Gorge.

Laura Stanfill

Laura Stanfill

Laura Stanfill is the publisher of Forest Avenue Press and the author of the novel Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary, forthcoming in April 2022 from Lanternfish Press. In 2021, she was the runner-up for the Publishing Professionals Network’s Distinguished Service Award, and Forest Avenue earned an Oregon Literary Fellowship as well as a place on Reedsy’s list of best small presses. Stanfill is a 2018 graduate of the Yale Publishing Course after winning the inaugural scholarship from the Independent Book Publishers Association. Publishers Weekly designated her as a 2017 Star Watch honoree. She founded the Main Street Writers Movement to encourage writers to build community at the local level. Her zine, Sad House: Parenting, Grief, and Creativity in the Coronavirus Crisis, was published by Microcosm Publishing. She believes in indie bookstores and wishes on them like stars from her home in Portland, Oregon, where she resides with her family and a dog named Waffles. Join her newsletter at laurastanfill.substack.com.

Laurel Gale

Laurel Gale

Laurel Gale writes books for children. Her middle grade novels include Dead Boy and Story Magic. She lives with her husband and their ferrets in Washington. In addition to writing, she enjoys hiking, playing board games, and reading.

LeeAnn McLennan

LeeAnn McLennan

Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, LeeAnn Elwood McLennan was always looking for any opportunity to read—under the covers in bed, in the car, and in class using the book-hidden-in-the-textbook trick. When her father introduced her to sci-fi/fantasy through a book of short stories from Astounding Stories, the possibilities in every word captivated her interest, and her daydreams involved other worlds, magical powers, and time travel. Despite graduating from Clemson University with a degree in English, LeeAnn has spent her career working in computer engineering-related fields.

Linda Graham

Linda Graham

Linda L. Graham grew up in Indiana but has lived in Oregon for most of her adult life. Her first book, a memoir entitled Indiana Summer: From Cornfields and Lightning Bugs, was published in 2016. It is a poignant and often humorous account of growing up in Indiana during the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. Linda enjoys camping and walking in the scenic Northwest, connecting with friends and family. She lives with her husband, Raul, and their two Manx cats. Linda and Raul enjoy swimming with dolphins whenever they get a chance.

Lisa Gerlits

Lisa Gerlits

Lisa Gerlits is an art teacher, muralist, and author of the middle grade novel, A Many Feathered Thing. She lives with her Dutch husband, three kids, one cat, and a varying number of chickens in beautiful Silverton, Oregon, where she can walk behind waterfalls and pick berries all summer long. She coordinates SCBWI OR’s Great Critique events.

Lydia K. Valentine

Lydia K. Valentine

Lydia K. Valentine is a playwright and poet, director and dramaturg, editor and educator. Through her own writing and the projects to which she contributes under Lyderary Ink, Lydia always seeks to amplify the voices of those who are often stifled, ignored, and marginalized in what has been the accepted narrative of the United States. Lydia’s writing has appeared in online and print publications such as Angels Flight * literary west, The Pitkin Review, and Shout! An Anthology of Resistance Poetry and Short Fiction. Her first poetry collection, Brief Black Candles, is expected in winter 2020 from Not a Pipe Publishing.

Martha Wiley

Martha Wiley

Martha has been a reader and writer since kindergarten (rather a long time). For 30 years, she wrote and edited Environmental Impact Statements for development projects ranging from railroads, landfills, bridges, highways, and wastewater treatment plants. She is also a published travel writer. She is currently at work on a short story collection about immigrants to Germany.

Melanie McCree

Melanie McCree

Melanie writes both short fiction and full-length novels, usually a mashup of fantasy, thriller and mystery, with lots of humor thrown in. She won Honorable Mention in a Writer's Digest yearly contest, and has had her short stories published in a Chicken Soup for the Soul collection and (on one memorable Halloween) in The Columbian. She once wrote an interactive online adventure story as part of a library's Summer Reading program, and for a while she edited and wrote content for a Tween newsletter. She currently has one novel completed (and under consideration for publication) in her GF-13 series, a fantasy-thriller tentatively titled Daggers Drawn. You can find her blog and read some of her short stories on her website.

Melissa Wiley

Melissa Wiley

Melissa Wiley is the author of The Nerviest Girl in the World, The Prairie Thief, Fox and Crow Are Not Friends, the Inch and Roly series, and other books for kids. Melissa has been blogging about her family’s reading life and tidal homeschooling adventures at Here in the Bonny Glen since 2005. She is @melissawiley on Twitter and @melissawileybooks on Instagram.

Michelle Nguyen

Michelle Nguyen

Michelle Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American comic illustrator based in Portland, Oregon, who has contributed to books such as the Eisner and Ignatz-award winning anthology Elements:Fire, the Grumpy Cat and Pokey series, and The Underfoot series. Michelle obtained her Fine Arts degree from Portland State University and achieved her lifelong dream of working in comics by joining Oni Press in 2018. After assisting publisher and president James Lucas Jones for nearly three years, Michelle was promoted to associate publisher in 2021 where she works on acquisitions, contracting, talent management, and more.

Mollie Hunt

Mollie Hunt

Native Oregonian Mollie Hunt has always had an affinity for cats, so it was a short step for her to become a cat writer. She writes the award-winning Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series featuring Lynley Cannon, a sixty-something cat shelter volunteer who finds more trouble than a cat in catnip, and the Cat Seasons sci-fantasy tetralogy where cats save the world. She also pens a bit of cat poetry.

Mollie is a member of the Oregon Writers’ Colony, Sisters in Crime, the Cat Writers’ Association, and Northwest Independent Writers Association (NIWA). She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and a varying number of cats. Like Lynley, she is a grateful shelter volunteer.

Perry Russell

Perry Russell

Perry Russell is a high school junior from Vancouver, Washington who likes to watch superhero movies, eat peanut butter-banana waffles, and psychoanalyze book characters with her five siblings. Over quarantine, she entered the Imagined Ink writing contest and was excited to find that her story won one of the categories.

Robin Kaplan

Robin Robinson

Robin Robinson writes and illustrates books and comics for kids, including 2021's No One Returns from the Enchanted Forest from First Second, and lives in a house that looks like someone threw a Halloween party in a library and forgot to clean up afterwards.

Rosie Wilder

Rosie Wilder

Rosie Wilder has an MFA in creative writing (fiction) from Eastern Washington University. She typically writes novel-length fiction about people with magical powers. She lives in Vancouver with her roommate and their four cats. She is not published, so don't ask.

Ruby McConnell

Ruby McConnell

Ruby McConnell is a registered geologist and outdoor adventurer who writes about nature, art, and culture with a particular emphasis on the intersection of the environment and human experience. A recipient of numerous honors including the Literary Arts Oregon Literary Fellowship, she has written extensively about the Pacific Northwest and the environment in scientific and literary journals. McConnell is the author of several previous titles including A Girl’s Guide to the Wild, A Woman’s Guide to the Wild, and Ground Truth: A Geological Survey of a Life, which was a finalist for the 2021 Oregon Book Award for Creative Non-fiction. She lives in Oregon with her husband, Paul.

Sheela Preuitt

Sheela Preuitt

Sheela Preuitt is an author of children’s books and a freelance writer for publications with a south Asian slant. In her nonfiction works, she enjoys focusing on STEM/STEAM topics for children. As a fiction picture book writer she finds it immensely gratifying to share inclusive narratives featuring differently-abled kids who simply want to be who they are.

Sheela holds a Master's in Science Education and a Master’s in Computer and Information Science. When she is not writing or reading or coding, she can be found hiking in nature trails, cooking mostly-healthy foods, sewing or crocheting utilitarian things.

Sloane Leong

Sloane Leong

Sloane Leong is a cartoonist, artist and writer of Hawaiian, Chinese, Mexican, Native American and European ancestries. She’s written and drawn two acclaimed graphic novels, Prism Stalker and A Map to the Sun, and has short fiction credits with Fireside Magazine, Dark Matter Magazine and Entropy Magazine. She is currently living near Portland, Oregon.

Stephanie Feldstein

Stephanie Feldstein

Stephanie Feldstein is the Population and Sustainability Director at the Center for Biological Diversity, where she heads a national program that addresses the connection between human population growth, overconsumption, and the wildlife extinction crisis.   She is the author of The Animal Lover’s Guide to Changing the World, and her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, NPR, Salon, The Guardian, The Washington Post, and more. When she’s not advocating for animals and the environment, she can usually be found writing fiction in the company of her rescued dogs and cats named after literary figures.

Tony Parker

Tony Parker

Multiple Eisner-nominated illustrator. Former college professor. Done both licensed and creator-owned work. Will give hugs when we're all through this.

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