Picture Book Mentorship
Russ Busse is a Senior Editor at Abrams, where he works primarily on Entertainment titles and Licensed programs, as well as graphic novels and picture books. Among others, he has edited licensed books for Marvel, Lucasfilm, Warner Bros. and Hasbro, working with bestselling authors like Barry Lyga and Gina McIntyre. He gravitates towards anything with a lot of heart and humor (an off-the-wall premise is a major plus), and he generally looks for genre-bending stories that bring readers in immediately, with strong characters and unique twists. His Netflix queue is always in shambles.
Middle Grade or YA Mentorship
B A Binns is an award-winning African American author of contemporary, multicultural children’s novels and adult short stories. This African American author of contemporary, multicultural children’s novels and adult short stories, has degrees in Biochemistry and Computer Science. She is the eldest of five children and grew up on Chicago’s south side. Like many of her characters, she was forced to assume adult roles at a young age. Now she hopes to inspire both readers and fellow authors of color.
She is a member of the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Children’s Authors and Illustrators of Color (ACAIC), Romance Writers of America (RWA), the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and BCALA (Black Caucus of the ALA).
She teaches on-line writing classes to authors interested in inserting diversity in their works, and speaks at high schools and libraries across the Midwest.
Her debut young adult novel Pull won several awards, including the 2009 Golden Rose contest, the 2010 National Readers Choice Award. It was named one of the 2012 YALSA Quick Picks For Reluctant Young Adult Readers. She has also written Being God (2012) and Minority Of One (2013), and numerous short stories. Her debut middle grade novel, Courage, was published in 2018.
She blogs about YA and multicultural issues on http://babinns.com/blog, She is also a guest blogger once a month at the Romancing the Genres blog – http://romancingthegenres.blogspot.com/
Middle Grade or Young Adult Mentorship
Matthew J. Kirby is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of the middle grade novels The Clockwork Three, Icefall, The Lost Kingdom, Infinity Ring Book 5: Cave of Wonders, and The Quantum League series, the Dark Gravity Sequence, and the Assassin’s Creed series, Last Descendants. He was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start, he has won the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery, the PEN Center USA award for Children’s Literature, and the Judy Lopez Memorial Award, and has been named to the New York Public Library’s 100 Books for Reading and Sharing, and the ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults lists. He is also a school psychologist, and currently lives in Utah with his wife and three step-kids. You can find him online at www.matthewjkirby.com.