These authors have embraced diverse characters with regard to race, class, gender, and queerness in YA by centering stereotypically marginalized characters. In doing so, they have given voice to their audience’s diverse spectrum of identities.
Due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, StoryFest 2020 is going virtual. From September 15 - September 29, we will premiere 13 live and pre-recorded events. These events will feature top authors and creators in genre fiction, comics, young adult fiction, and middle grade fiction. In cross-genre panels, they will explore the big ideas at the heart of telling stories in today's world.
About the Panelists:
Coco Ma is a Canadian author and pianist. At the age of fifteen, she wrote the first book of the Shadow Frost Trilogy and hasn’t looked back since. After learning the piano during her childhood, she has performed on some of the world’s greatest concert stages and graduated with a precollege diploma in piano performance from the Juilliard School in New York City. Currently, she studies at Yale University. At this point, she wishes she could mention having a dog or a small dragon, except pets (and happiness, apparently) are tragically prohibited at her dormitories. When she isn’t writing, practicing piano, or wreaking havoc, you might find her bingeing Netflix or eating cake. Lots of cake. Visit Coco on Twitter @chaosforcoco, on Instagram @cakeforcoco, and at coco-ma.com.
Natasha Diaz(@TashiDiaz) is a freelance writer and producer. As a screenwriter, Natasha has been a quarterfinalist in the Austin Film Festival and a finalist for both the NALIP Diverse Women in Media Fellowship and the Sundance Episodic Story Lab. Her personal essays have been published in the Establishment and the Huffington Post.
Jenny Lee is a television writer and producer who has worked on BET’s Boomerang, IFC’s Brockmire, Freeform’s Young & Hungry, and the Disney Channel’s number-one-rated kids’ show, Shake It Up. Jenny is the author of four humor essay collections and two middle grade novels. Anna K: A Love Story is her debut YA novel. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and 135-pound Newfoundland, Gemma (and yes, it’s a toss-up on who’s walking who every day).
Mintie Das was born in India, raised in Macomb, Illinois and now lives in Finland. She's been traveling the globe since childhood and always finds inspiration in the discovery of the unknown. Mintie spent twelve years organizing international events for governments around the world and the UN. Mintie's Storm Sisters: The Sinking World was translated into seven languages. Brown Girl Ghosted marks her US debut. Instagram: @MintieDas Twitter: @MintieDas Website: mintiedas.com
Tobly McSmith is the co-creator/writer of seven somewhat successful musical parodies, including Friends! The Musical Parody. Tobly was born in Texas. He now lives in New York City with his two cats, Buster and Bananas McSmith. Tobly is proud to be transgender.