YA Authors

Kris Chandler
When I’m not writing, I love to read, run, fish, row, hike, ski, ride horses, and spy on wildlife. There isn’t actually a job that pays me to do these things, so I write about them, and do plenty of research. My kids and I have great Adventures (when we say it with a capital A it means that something went badly and made the trip more interesting). I also love teaching, which I’ve done since I got my MFA in Creative Writing a million and one years ago.

Ally Condie
Ally Condie is the author of the MATCHED Trilogy, a #1 New York Times and international bestseller. MATCHED was chosen as one of YALSA’s 2011 Teens’ Top Ten and named as one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of 2010. A former English teacher, she lives with her husband and four children outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, writing, running, and listening to her husband play guitar.

Chris Crowe
Chris Crowe, born in Illinois to a father with wanderlust, attended 8 different schools before he graduated from high school in Tempe Arizona. He later taught high school English at his alma mater for 10 years before accepting a teaching position at a university in Japan. From there he bounced to BYU-Hawaii for 4 years, and then to BYU, where he now works in the English department. He loves sports, french fries, diet Dr. Pepper, French-burnt peanuts, hiking in Utah's foothills, watching SportsCenter, teasing his children, traveling, hanging out with his 4 kids---and with his new granddaughter Ella!---and spending time with his beautiful and patient wife, Elizabeth. He hates opera and soap operas, fat-free low-salt creamy peanut butter, burned popcorn, flying in single-engine planes, centipedes, digging ditches, losing his temper, and any sort of physical pain. In the last 10 years, he's had the good fortune to have dinner with 13 Newbery Medal winners---and he knows that's the closest he'll ever get to that prize.

James Dashner
James was born and raised in Georgia but now lives in the Rocky Mountains with his family. He has four kids, which some might think is too many but he thinks is just right. Once upon a time, James studied accounting and worked in the field of finance, but has been writing full time for several years. (He doesn’t miss numbers. At all.)
In his free time, James loves to read, watch movies and (good) TV shows, snow ski, and read. (Reading was mentioned twice on purpose.) Most of all, he’s thankful that he gets to make a living writing stories and considers himself pretty much the luckiest guy on the planet.

Bree Despain
Bree Despain is the author of the Dark Divine trilogy and the upcoming Into The Dark trilogy. Bree rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner-city teens from Philadelphia and New York. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, two young sons, and her beloved TiVo.

Cheri Earl
Cheri graduated with her M.A. in Creative Writing from Brigham Young University in 1995 and has taught writing and literature courses for the BYU Honors Program and Creative Writing Program for the past 16 years; she was awarded BYU Honors Professor of the Year in 2005. She recently published a non-fiction children’s book for American Girl co-authored with Rick Walton, but in real life she writes young adult novels; she won the Utah Original Writing Competition in 1994 for the YA novel, Flat Like Me, and took Honorable Mention in 1997 for the YA novel, The Swan. Cheri has been a co-organizer of the annual BYU Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Workshop since 2004.

Jessica Day George
All I've wanted to do all my life is sit and read. Eventually, about age 11, I started to write my own stories. I did manage to graduate from high school and then BYU, in Humanities/Comparative Literature with a minor in Scandinavian Studies. I've lived in three Idaho towns, Delaware, and New Jersey, in addition to three different places in Salt Lake Valley. I can speak Norwegian and German, read Old Norse, knit my own socks, play the viola and the piano, and spend hours lying down reading or watching TV. In 2007 my genius was realized when my first book, DRAGON SLIPPERS came out from Bloomsbury USA..

Shannon Hale
Shannon Hale started writing books at age ten and never stopped, eventually earning an MFA in Creative Writing. After nineteen years of writing and dozens of rejections, she published her first book, The Goose Girl, an ALA Teens’ Top Ten. Enna Burning and River Secrets are companion books to Goose. Her stand alone novels include Book of a Thousand Days, a CYBILS award winner, and Princess Academy, a Newbery Honor Book and New York Times best seller. She and her husband are co-writing a series of graphic novles for kids, beginning with Rapunzel's Revenge (2008). They reside in Salt Lake City with their toddler son, baby daughter, and their pet, a small, plastic pig.

Mette Ivie Harrison
Mette Ivie Harrison writes YA fantasy. I love stories where you can find out how people might react if the world was a different way. I write characters who feel as real as your best friend, and make them go through stuff you would never want a friend to go through, but they always make it out in the end.

Kimberley Heuston
Kimberley Heuston was born in Provo, Utah and grew up in Massachusetts, New York City, and Vermont. She has a BA in History and Science from Harvard and an MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College. She teaches English and European history at the Waterford School in Sandy, Utah, when she is not figuring out a way to go on a trip. She loves ice cream, swimming, reading with the sun on her feet, doing anything (well, almost anything) with her four children, bragging about her children (did you know that her daughter Jennifer painted the cover of The Shakeress when she was only seventeen years old?), teaching, babies, Kit Tyler, and traveling almost anywhere at almost any time. She hates grading papers, Dolores Umbridge, painting the living room, and big parties with people she doesn't know. She's also not very good at keeping things clean, although she can do it if she has to.

J.R. Johansson
I have two young sons and a wonderful husband. My family is a handful, but they always keep me busy and happy. My B.S. degree is in public relations and I have a background in marketing. My abnormal psychology minor inspired many of my characters. When I'm not writing, I love reading, playing board games, and sitting in my hot tub. My dream is that someday I'll find a way to do all three at the same time. I currently live in a valley between majestic mountains and a beautiful lake where the sun shines nearly 300 days per year.

Elana Johnson
Elana is the author of the Possession series, which includes full-length novels POSSESSION and SURRENDER, and short stories REGRET. She runs a personal blog on publishing and is a founding author of the QueryTracker blog, a regular contributor to The League of Extraordinary Writers, and a co-organizer of WriteOnCon. She is a member of SCBWI, ANWA, and LDStorymakers. 

Sara Larson
Sara is the author of the acclaimed YA fantasy novel DEFY, and its sequels, IGNITE and ENDURE. She can't remember a time when she didn't write books -- although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband and their three children. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day (while mourning the loss of nap time) and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in "the art of multitasking." When she's not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction. You can find her at www.SaraBLarson.com

Lindsey Leavitt
Lindsey Leavitt is a former elementary school teacher and present-day writer/mom to three (mostly) adorable girls. She is married to her high-school lab partner and lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is the author of the PRINCESS FOR HIRE series, SEAN GRISWOLD’S HEAD, & GOING VINTAGE.

R.C. Lewis
R.C. Lewis teaches math to teenagers—sometimes in sign language, sometimes not—so whether she’s a science geek or a bookworm depends on when you look. That may explain why her characters don’t like to be pigeonholed. Coincidentally, R.C. enjoys reading about quantum physics and the identity issues of photons.

Dene Lowe
Despite the wide range of experiences one of the constants in Dene Low’s life has been the desire to be an author of young adult and adult contemporary literature, fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, and adventure books. Dene enjoys attending conventions, conferences, and writing workshops across the North American Continent, and has been known to wax eloquent about the subject of writing and the challenges of being an author. She enjoys many hobbies, and gets a kick out of the surprise people reveal when they learn that she’s a licensed pilot, a motorcycle enthusiast, and thoroughly enjoys hugging corners in her sports car.Dene Low currently resides in Utah with her husband and their black lab.

Valynne Maetani
I grew up in Utah and ventured into the world to obtain a Bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. In a former life, I was a project manager and developed educational software, based on my training in Orton-Gillingham and the Wilson Reading Method, for children with learning disabilities. I have also managed script editing for stories for disadvantaged youth, and thanks to a brother in the movie biz, I've worked as a film producer and have edited several screenplays, including My Little War in Juarez, the winner of the 2010 Creative World Award. I currently live in Salt Lake City with my husband and three crazy girls, who are carbon copies of me. I've discovered that living with myself isn't a bowl of cherries all the time. Who knew? 

Jennifer Nielsen
Jennifer Nielsen lives on the edge of a mountain in Northern Utah with her husband, three children, and a dog that won't play fetch.  She enjoys old books, rainy days, and hot chocolate, preferably all at once. www.jennielsen.com

Shelia Nielson
I never did figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I graduated from college with a BFA in illustration, have worked as a children's librarian for fifteen years and now am the author of the YA novel, Forbidden Sea. I live with my pets, a parrot and a tiny toy poodle. I was born and raised in California but have come to also love Utah where I now live.

Aprilynne Pike
Critically acclaimed, #1 New York Times best-selling author Aprilynne Pike has been spinning tales since she was a child with a hyper-active imagination. At the age of twenty she received her BA in Creative Writing from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. When not writing, Aprilynne can usually be found out running; she also enjoys singing, acting, reading, and working with pregnant moms as a childbirth educator and doula. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Aprilynne now lives in Arizona with her husband and four kids; she is enjoying the sunshine.

Sara Raasch
Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then -- her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures.

Sydney Salter
Sydney Salter writes middle-grade and young adult fiction. She is the author of My Big Nose & Other Natural Disasters, Jungle Crossing, and Swoon At Your Own Risk. Sydney lives in Utah with her husband, two daughters, lazy cats, big hairy dogs, and a pair of quiet tortoises. When not writing, Sydney likes to read, think up adventures, experiment with new recipes, sample exotic chocolates, hike with her family and go to movies and rock concerts with her husband.

Chantele Sedgwick
Chantele Sedgwick writes young adult and middle grade fiction. Her latest release is LOVE, LUCAS with SWITCHING GEARS coming Fall 2016. Chantele is a harpist, wife to one and stay-at-home mom to four. She loves happy endings, Kit Kats and (judging by her bookshelves), buys way too many books. She lives with her family in Northern Utah.

Ilima Todd
Ilima Todd was born and raised on the north shore of Oahu and dives for octopus with her dad every time she visits—otherwise she’s diving into books in the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her husband and four children. She graduated from BYU with a degree in physics and eats copious amounts of raw fish and avocados without regret. But mostly she loves being a wife and mama and wouldn’t trade that job for anything in the world. Ilima is the author of the REMAKE series. 

Wendy Toliver
Wendy Toliver lives in Eden, Utah with her you can find her acting, playing sports, skiing and snowboarding, volunteering, and trying to conquer evil laundry piles. She earned her BA in speech communication/broadcast from Colorado State University. www.wendytoliver.com

Dan Wells
Dan Wells writes in a variety of genres, from dark humor to science fiction to supernatural thriller. Born in Utah, he spent his early years reading and writing. He is the author of the Partials series and the John Cleaver series. He has been nominated for both the Hugo and the Campbell Award, and has won two Parsec Awards for his podcast Writing Excuses.
Carol Lynch Williams
Carol Lynch Williams is the award-winning author of nearly 20 middle grade and young adult novels. Her books have been on several states' reading lists. She has been speaking about writing, editing writing and writing for more than ten years. Carol is a member of SCBWI, a conference organizer and lover of homemade eggrolls.

Sara Zarr 
Sara Zarr is the acclaimed author of five novels for young adults. She’s a National Book Award finalist and two-time Utah Book Award winner. Her books have been variously named to annual best books lists of the American Library Association, Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal, the Guardian, the International Reading Association, the New York Public Library and Los Angeles Public Library, and have been translated into many languages. In 2010, she served as a judge for the National Book Award. She has written essays and creative nonfiction for Image, Hunger Mountain online, and Response as well as for several anthologies, and has been a regular contributor to Image‘s daily Good Letters blog on faith, life, and culture. Born in Cleveland and raised in San Francisco, she currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband.
Amy Finnegan

Amy Finnegan writes her own stories because she enjoys falling in love over and over again, and thinks everyone deserves a happy ending. She likes to travel the world—usually to locations where her favorite books take place—and owes her unquenchable thirst for reading to Jane Austen and J.K. Rowling. Her debut novel, NOT IN THE SCRIPT, came about after hearing several years of behind-the-scenes stories from her industry veteran brother. She’s also been lucky enough to visit dozens of film sets and sit in on major productions such as Parks and Recreation and Parenthoodwww.AmyFinnegan.com