Friday Author Panel and Author Sessions
Our featured authors will share their journeys as writers and readers on Friday through a panel discussion followed by breakout sessions.
L.M. Elliott is best known as the author of Under a War-torn Sky, a WWII story of a B-24 bomber pilot and the French Resistance, named a Notable Book in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC), a Jefferson Cup Honor Book for historical fiction, a Bank Street College Best Book, and winner of Borders’ Original Voices Award. Its sequel, A Troubled Peace, in which pilot Henry Forester returns to post-war France to find the young Resistance boy who saved his life, is also a NCSS/CBC Notable. Her latest novel, Across a War-tossed Sea, will be the final companion to Henry’s adventures, as two young British evacuees escape Hitler’s Blitz and stay with the Virginia family of his hometown girlfriend, Patsy. Elliott’s other novels include Annie, Between the States, a NYC Public Library Book for the Teen Age and IRA Teacher’s Choice; Give Me Liberty; and Flying South, winner of the Joan G. Sugarman Children’s Literature Award. Elliott has created five award-winning picture books: Hunter’s Best Friend at School, Hunter and Stripe and the Soccer Showdown, and Hunter’s Big Sister, as well as the Valentine’s Day book, A String of Hearts, and Thanksgiving Day Thanks. Laura lives in Virginia with her family.
Meg Medina is an award-winning Cuban American author who writes picture books, middle grade, and YA fiction. She is the 2014 recipient of the Pura Belpré medal and the 2013 CYBILS Fiction winner for her young adult novel, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass. She is also the 2012 Ezra Jack Keats New Writers medal winner for her picture book Tia Isa Wants a Car. Meg’s other books are The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind, a 2012 Bank Street Best Book and CBI Recommended Read in the UK; and Milagros: Girl From Away. The first American citizen in her family, Meg was raised in Queens, New York by her mother – and a clan of tios, primos, and abuelos who arrived from Cuba over the years. She was the fortunate victim of their storytelling, and credits them with her passion for tales. Meg’s work examines how cultures intersect through the eyes of young people, and she brings to audiences stories that speak to both what is unique in Latino culture and to the qualities that are universal. Her favorite protagonists are strong girls. In March 2014, she was recognized as one of the CNN 10 Visionary Women in America. When she is not writing, Meg works on community projects that support girls, Latino youth and/or literacy. She lives with her extended family in Richmond, Virginia.
Meg_Medina (Twitter) http://www.facebook.com/meg.medina.10
A.B. Westrick is the author of Brotherhood (Viking/Penguin 2013), an ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, a Junior Library Guild Selection, and winner of the NCSS Notable Trade Book Award. She has been a teacher, paralegal, literacy volunteer, administrator, and coach for teams from Odyssey of the Mind to the Reading Olympics. A graduate of Stanford University and Yale Divinity School, Westrick holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She and her family live near Richmond, Virginia.
Jason Wright is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author. Jason is a weekly columnist for the Deseret News and Northern Virginia Daily and articles by Jason have appeared in over 50 newspapers and magazines across the United States including The Washington Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. He is the author of The James Miracle (2004); Christmas Jars (2005); The Wednesday Letters (2007); Recovering Charles (2008), Christmas Jars Reunion (2009); Penny’s Christmas Jar Miracle (2009); The Cross Gardener (2010); The Seventeen Second Miracle (2010); The Wedding Letters (2011); and, The 13th Day of Christmas (2012). Jason is also a popular speaker who speaks on faith, the Christmas Jars movement, the Joy of Service, the lost art of letter writing, and many other topics. He has been seen on CNN, FoxNews, C-SPAN, and on local television affiliates around the country. Jason is from Charlottesville, Virginia, but has also lived in Germany, Illinois, Brazil, Oregon and Utah. In 2007, while researching Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley for his novel The Wednesday Letters, Jason fell so in love with the area that he moved his family westward from northern Virginia to the Valley. Jason is married to Kodi Erekson Wright. They have two girls and two boys.