Chad Morris grew up wanting to become a professional basketball player or a rock star. (Inspired by Animal from the Muppets, he’s been banging on drums since he was eight years old.) After high school, he wrote and performed sketch comedy while going to college, and eventually he became a teacher and a curriculum writer. He lives in Utah with his wife and five kids. Chad would love to teach at Cragbridge Hall.
Unlike Oscar Cragbridge, however, he hasn’t really invented anything, though his son once sketched out blueprints for a machine that would turn celery into cookies.
Find out more at chadmorrisauthor.com
Monica Tesler is the author of Bounders, a science fiction adventure series from Simon and Schuster. She lives in a coastal community south of Boston with her husband and their two boys. She earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Michigan, and she has worked as an attorney for more than fifteen years. She writes on the commuter boat, in coffee shops, and at her kitchen table.
DANA LANGER is a New York based high school teacher. She holds a BA in creative writing and an MA in teaching from Brandeis University where she received the Dafna Zamarripa-Gesundheit Fiction Prize. SIREN SISTERS (Simon&Schuster/Aladdin, 2017) is her debut novel.
Shelly Brown's debut GHOSTSITTER (Future House Publishing, 2016) is about a boy and a girl who see ghosts even though Shelly, sadly, hasn’t seen any ghosts herself. But she has seen lots of movies, traveled to different countries, read hundreds of books, acted in oodles of plays, and made thousands of friends. She has worked as a comedian, a tour guide, and a shake-maker, but is currently a substitute teacher for some of the coolest kids ever. In her spare time she helps her husband, author Chad Morris, write more awesome children’s books.
Maryann Cocca-Leffler of Amherst, NH, is the Author and Illustrator of over 60 books for children. Maryann’s books, “Janine and the Field Day Finish” (2016) and “Janine.” (2015), were inspired by her daughter, Janine. Together they have developed a corresponding website, www.janinesparty.com, with a mission to help change public perception of children with disabilities. Other books include, A Homemade Together Christmas, Bus Route to Boston and Thanksgiving at the Tappletons (written by Elieen Spinelli). A graduate of Massachusetts College of Art, Maryann is also a playwright, having written a play based on her Princess KIM books. Princess K.I.M. The Musical won a National New Play Festival in 2012 and is now represented by Stagerights.com, a licensing agency in LA to bring the play National.
When not in her studio, Maryann enjoys traveling and visiting schools to connect children and books. Maryann’s daughter Kristin Leffler is the Media Manager at the beautiful Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor. www.maryanncoccaleffler.com
Annabelle Fisher is the author of The Secret Destiny of Pixie Piper, which reviewers have called, “entertaining,” “fresh,” “creative,” and “pretty darn charming.” She’s taught courses in writing middle grade and young adult literature in the Graduate Creative Writing Department of Manhattanville College, as well as writing workshops for kids, teens, and adults. She lives in Westchester County, New York, not too far from where the Headless Horseman roams at night.
Laura Freudig grew up on Mount Desert Island and graduated from Amherst College with a degree in English. She has lived in Massachusetts, England, Virginia, New York, Washington, Maryland, but she prefers this beautiful island. She is married to Tony, and has six children, a dog, a cat, two goats, two ducks, and fifteen chickens. She likes to sing, play the piano, read, write, and plant things.
Maria Padian is a freelance writer, essayist and author of young adult novels, including Brett McCarthy: Work in Progress; Jersey Tomatoes Are the Best; Out of Nowhere; and Wrecked. She lives with her family in Brunswick, Maine.
Ronni Arno writes middle-grade and young adult novels, because she thinks kids are cool, and so are the books they read. Ronni lives on the coast of Maine with her husband, 2 daughters, and a dog named Hazel. Her debut, RUBY REINVENTED, publishes with Simon & Schuster/Aladdin in Fall 2015. POPPY SEEDS publishes with Simon & Schuster/Aladdin in Summer 2016. When she's not writing, Ronni stalks her kids for story ideas, kayaks, and eats chocolate... but not usually at the same time. You can visit Ronni at www.ronniarno.com.
Nan Lincoln was a reporter and arts editor for the Bar Harbor Times for 26 years and currently writes for the Mount Desert Islander and the Ellsworth American.
Her habit of rescuing wild things started as a child with an abandoned baby squirrel, progressed to an injured pigeon, a baby blue jay, a pair of orphaned raccoons and finally a seal pup she found one spring abandoned on a beach near her home in Pretty Marsh, Maine. She named the pup Cecily and took care of her until she was strong enough to survive in the wild. Nan’s adventure of raising a seal pup one summer is recounted in her two books “The Summer of Cecily” a chapter book for ages 10 and up and “Cecily’s Summer” a children’s picture book telling the story from Cecily’s point of view.Nan lives in Bass Harbor now, and whenever she is on or near the ocean she gives a call out for Cecily and often a seal, sometimes many seals, appear
Editor of the Mount Desert Islander, which has consistently won first place for general excellence with the Maine, New England National Newspaper Association, Earl Brechlin is a former adjunct teaching faculty for journalism at the College of the Atlantic, and a Registered Maine Guide. His books include 12 Walks on Mount Desert Island, Hiking on Mount Desert Island, Bygone Boston and several others. His articles and photographs have appeared in Newsweek, Down East, Runner's World, Chevy Outdoors, and others. Earl was also the past-president of both the New England Press Association and Maine Press Association.
Ammi-Joan Paquette is the author of the Princess Juniper series, for which book #2, Princess Juniper of the Anju, is newly out this year. Her other books for young readers include Ghost in the House, Nowhere Girl, The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies / Mermaids, and Rules for Ghosting. She is the recipient of a PEN New England Discovery Award honor, and her books have been recognized with starred reviews and on a variety of “Best of the Year” lists. In her non-writing life, she is a senior literary agent with Erin Murphy Literary Agency, representing many top children’s and teen authors. Visit her on the web at www.ajpaquette.com.
Genevieve (G.A.) Morgan is a writer and editor living in Portland. Maine. She graduated with a BA in English from Bowdoin College. After moving to California to pursue an acting career, wound up instead as the managing editor at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. After five years learning the trade, she left to co-found a book packaging company that produced a variety of work, including Saints: A Visual Almanac of the Virtuous, Pure, Praiseworthy and Good and its (more dastardly) follow-up: The Devil. She has written books for Smith & Hawken, Williams- Sonoma, Starbuck’s, The Nature Company, Harper Collins, Borders Books, and Hay House publishers, and was the wellness editor for Maine magazine. Her work on health topics has appeared in The Bangor Daily News, as well as Body and Soul and Insight magazines. She was the editorial producer and weekly co-host of The Dr. Lisa Radio Hour, a Maine Media Company production, during its inaugural year. As a volunteer, she worked for many years with kids and teens as the president of the board of The Telling Room. In addition to Undecided: Navigating Life and Learning after High School (Zest Publications/April 2014), she is the author of a YA fantasy-adventure trilogy called The Five Stones. The first volume, The Fog of Forgetting (Islandport Press), will be released in July 2014.
Trisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather irreverent black lab. She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life. She writes Young Adult Contemporary fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/ Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press. To find out more about Trisha and her quest to reel in the perfect tuna, please visit her website: www.trishaleaver.com
Adi Rule's haunting YA novel Strange Sweet Song is out now and Redwing is coming in 2016, both with St. Martin's Press. She lives in the Granite State, and has contributed "Last Laugh" essays to New Hampshire Magazine and a short story to the NH Pulp Fiction Anthology Live Free or Die! Die! Die!. She has three cats who hate each other. Drop her a note about your cats, or something else, at www.adirule.com.
Cerredwyn grew up in the horse and art worlds. In college, she studied psychology, English, biology, anthropology, and theatre and almost didn’t get her degree when she angered the administration. She managed to graduate and continued her studies in Eastern religions, advanced mathematics, textiles, and psychopharmacology. The eclectic course selection confused her professors and she did not complete her master’s. While living in Vienna, she wrote a document on cocaine for the United Nations and waltzed at a masked ball at the Hofburg Palace. In Oregon, she worked as a journalist for local and national magazines. Her favorite assignment was interviewing New Age gurus. She also enjoyed her time as a mounted security officer and coloring flash in a tattoo shop.
Her current life consists of spending time with her beloved husband and awesome daughter. She loves to ride dressage horses, sings in a choir, and reads avidly. As an entrepreneur, she edits books, meets with designers, chooses marketing plans, signs contracts, does school visits and book signings, and of course, writes. She has written numerous picture books, a middle-grade novel, and is currently working on the second Rainbeau Harley book.
Only in hindsight have the disparate elements of her life begun to make sense.
Fantasy meets reality in Ellen Booraem’s middle-grade novels—most recently TEXTING THE UNDERWORLD, in which a scaredy-cat boy and a banshee travel from South Boston to That Other Place. She is also the author of SMALL PERSONS WITH WINGS ( “best of the year” for Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and The Washington Post) and THE UNNAMEABLES (a Junior Library Guild selection that made “best of the year” lists for Kirkus, VOYA, and YALSA.) A Brooklin resident, Ellen was a Maine newspaper reporter and editor for twenty years, serving most recently as arts editor of The Ellsworth American. Her fourth fantasy, set in 1651 Maine, is scheduled for publication in 2017 with Kathy Dawson Books, a Penguin imprint.
Festival cofounder, Carrie Jones, is an internationally and New York Times bestselling author of eight young adult novels including the NEED series. Featured on NPR, Glamour Magazine and other national media outlets, her anthology DEAR BULLY collected the true stories of authors who have survived bullying or were the bullies themselves.
With seven more books under contract, Carrie writes for middle graders, young adults, and dabbles in non-fiction picture books about unconventional spies. Her books, columns, sports reporting, and news photos have won multiple awards, including the Independent Bookseller's Award. She lives in Bar Harbor with far too many rescue dogs and her non-furry human family. A die-hard volunteer, she advocates for diverse books, kids, kindness initiatives and good ice cream. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Tumblr. www.carriejonesbooks.com