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Check out the scheduled Authors from the 2013 Collingswood Book Festival!

Collingswood Town Book Featured Author

   Will Schwalbe
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Will Schwalbe has worked in publishing (most recently as senior vice president and editor in chief of Hyperion Books); digital media, as the founder and CEO of Cookstr.com; and as a journalist, writing for various publications including The New York Times and the South China Morning Post. He is on the board of the Kingsborough Community College Foundation. He is the author of the memoir The End of Your Life Book Club and the coauthor, with David Shipley, of Send: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do It Better.

   Lisa Airey
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Lisa Airey is the author of Touching the Moon, a paranormal romance set in modern-day reality. Lisa has worked in the wine industry for 20 years, the most recent eight in education with the Society of Wine Educators and the French Wine Society. In these roles, she has authored and/or edited wine study manuals and developed or expanded certification programs for the wine trade. In her free-time, she writes fiction... naturally, with a glass of wine at the elbow. She is a Maryland Master Gardener and puts that training into practice in her sizable vegetable garden. To assist her, she has recruited the services of a very helpful staff: two Chinese geese, two mini-Rex rabbits and 2,000 red wigglers (worms)... all of which are "master composters." An adopted feral cat guards the perimeters and keeps the groundhogs at bay. She resides in Monkton, Maryland.

   Allen Barra

Allen Barra writes about sports for the Wall Street Journal, TheAtlantic.com and Salon.com. He is the author of several books including The Last Coach, A Life of Paul "Bear" Bryant and Yogi Berra, Eternal Yankee. His most recent book is Mickey and Willie: The Parallel Lives of Baseball's Golden Age.

   Jeffrey Dorwart

Dr. Dorwart will speak at SAGES OF AGES on October 2. He is the author of ten books on U.S., Delaware Valley and New Jersey history. He was born in Willimantic, CT. He was an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University from 1971-1975, an Associate Professor from 1976-1991, a Professor from 1991-2009, Professor Emeritus from 2010 to the present. He also was chair of the history department from 1994-1997. He is married with three children, and six grandchildren.

   Christopher Frankie

Christopher Frankie is the author of Nailed! The Improbable Rise and Spectacular Fall of Lenny Dykstra. One of the longest-serving members of "Team Dykstra" before the fall, Mr. Frankie offers a balanced account. He worked side by side with Lenny Dykstra as editor of The Players Club, Dykstra's high-end lifestyle and finance magazine, and as Dykstra's primary confidant. Mr. Frankie has been a financial journalist for over fifteen years, writing for Newsday, The Financial Times, and thestreet.com, among others. He lives in New York City.

   Pam Jenoff
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Pam Jenoff is the author of The Kommandant's Girl, which was an international bestseller and nominated for a Quill award, as well as The Diplomat's Wife, Almost Home, A Hidden Affair and The Things We Cherished. Born in Maryland and raised outside Philadelphia, she attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge University in England. Upon receiving her master’s in history from Cambridge, she accepted an appointment as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. Following her work at the Pentagon, Pam moved to the State Department. In 1996 she was assigned to the U.S. Consulate in Krakow, Poland. It was during this period that Pam developed her expertise in Polish-Jewish relations and the Holocaust. Working on matters such as preservation of Auschwitz and the restitution of Jewish property in Poland, Pam developed close relations with the surviving Jewish community. She left the Foreign Service in 1998 to attend law school and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She worked for several years as a labor and employment attorney both at a firm and in-house in Philadelphia and now teaches law school at Rutgers. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and three children.

   Larry Kane

With a 52-year career covering domestic and world events, Larry Kane is known as the "dean of Philadelphia television news anchors," and is the only anchor to have worked at all three network owned stations in the region. With his journalistic flair, inimitable voice, and exhaustive research, his new book, When They Were Boys, offers gripping, never-before-told stories and eyewitness accounts that tell of the Beatles’ challenges, conflicts, and hardships. Mr. Kane is currently the host of the "Voice of Reason" on the Comcast Network, and also a special contributor with commentary and analysis for KYW Newsradio, as well as an occasional writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He lives in Philadelphia, PA.

   Gerald Kolpan
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Gerald Kolpan has been an illustrator, graphic designer and rock musician, as well as a print and broadcast journalist. In the 1980s, Gerald was a contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered, and for over twenty years was the Emmy award-winning features reporter for Philly’s WTXF-TV. Balantine Books published his critically acclaimed first novel, Etta, in 2009. His latest novel, Magic Words, is published by Pegasus Books in association with W. W. Norton and Open Road Media. He lives in Philadelphia.

   Susan Lehman
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Susan is a screenwriter, actor, and director who is currently an assistant professor of TV/Film at DeSales University in Pennsylvania. She has won the Austin Film Festival, the Set in Texas Screenplay Award, and the prestigious Horton Foote Excellence in Screenwriting Award. She is a recipient of a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship in Scriptwriting. Her work has also been recognized by the Moondance Film Festival, Cinephile, Best in the West, Writers Digest, and others. She is a member Dramatists Guild of America. Since moving to the Philadelphia area, Susan has continued to work as a teacher and story editor to local screenwriters. She taught at several local colleges and theatres including the Walnut Street Theatre and West Chester University, where she spent over ten years, before joining DeSales University. She is currently an Assistant Professor in TV/Film at DeSales University. Susan has also continued to work on her own projects including her new book, Directors: From Stage to Screen and Back Again, which is being published by Intellect Ltd., an affiliate of the University of Chicago Press.

   Jon McGoran
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Jon McGoran is the author of Drift, an ecological thriller about genetically engineered food, and its sequel, Deadout, coming out August 2014, both from Forge Books. Writing as D. H. Dublin, he is the author of Body Trace, Blood Poison, and Freezer Burn. He is editor in chief at Grid magazine, and a founding member of the Philadelphia Liars Club, a group of published authors dedicated to promotion, networking, and service work. .

   Paul Evans Pedersen Jr.
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Born and raised in Collingswood, Paul Evans Pedersen Jr. is an accomplished journalist, photographer, and musician and a multiple Grammy-nominated songwriter and recording artist. He has been a reporter for the Hammonton Gazette, Hammonton News, Vineland Daily Journal, and Weekly Retrospect. He has worked as a professional firefighter in both New Jersey and Houston, Texas, and as a volunteer firefighter in Collingswood, New Jersey. Paul is known to South Jersey fashionistas as the designer of “Pine Barrens Diamonds,” a line of jewelry he handcrafts from antique glass. The Legendary Pine Barrens: New Tales from Old Haunts is Pedersen’s second published collection and his first with Plexus Publishing, and features 21 stories and three songs along with 17 original illustrations by Jodi Weiss Pedersen.

   Larry Platt

Larry Platt is the former editor of the Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia magazine, and has written for the NY Times Magazine, GQ, New York, Men's Journal and many others. He is the co-author, with Jamie Moyer, of Just Tell Me I Can't: How Jamie Moyer Defied the Radar Gun and Defeated Time.

   Cheryl Tapp and Linda Todd

Cheryl Tapp and Linda Todd will speak at SAGES OF AGES on October 2. They are the authors of If Beaches Could Talk. Having sand in their shoes since birth, sisters Cheryl and Linda felt compelled to write a book about beach etiquette. After spending summers at the shore, their parents decided that it was time to leave the sultry heat of Philadelphia and make Atlantic City their home.Along with their parents and older brother, this began a new life. After teaching their own children how to behave properly on the beach, they felt a need to share their concerns with all beach goers.

   Joe Vallee, Matt Goldberg, Ryan Downs, Billy Vargus

Joe Vallee, a musician and a regular contributor to FOX 29’s Good Day Live, launched Philly2Philly.com with Dennis Bakay in June 2009 and has reached over 2 million views. Ryan Downs has served as a contributing sports writer to Philly2Philly.com. Matt Goldberg (www.tipofthegoldberg.com) is the author of four previous books and has published well over 200 eclectic sports columns for publications including Philly2Philly.com, jewocity.com and Bleacher Report. Bill Vargus is best known for his work as a sports anchor in the Philadelphia area, most recently for Fox 29. For the past three years, Billy V. has been a full-time actor, producer and voice-over artist. Joe, Dennis, Ryan, Matt and Billy are the co-authors of A Snowball’s Chance: Philly Fires Back Against the National Media.

   Judy Wicks
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Judy Wicks is an entrepreneur, author and activist working to build a more compassionate, environmentally sustainable and locally based economy. Her memoir Good Morning, Beautiful Business: the Unexpected Journey of an Activist Entrepreneur and Local Economy Pioneer was published in March 2013. Judy is founder of Philadelphia’s landmark White Dog Café known for its leadership in the local food movement and environmental stewardship. She founded several non-profits including Fair Food Philly and the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, and cofounded the nationwide Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award.

   Lisa Zeidner
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Lisa Zeidner is the author of five novels, most recently Love Bomb, and two books of poems. Her stories, reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Slate, GQ, Tin House and elsewhere. She is a professor at Rutgers University in Camden, NJ, where she teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing. Since her grown son Nicolas decamped, she lives with her husband and greyhounds in Cherry Hill, NJ.

   Ellen Jensen Abbott
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Ellen Jensen Abbott thinks that life would be perfect if she could move to the White Mountains of New Hampshire where she grew up. Until she can convince her friends and family to join her, she’s content to be writing, teaching English, and living in West Chester, PA. Her debut novel, Watersmeet was an IRA Young Adult Award Notable Book, and was nominated for YALSA’s Teen Top Ten. The sequel, The Centaur’s Daughter, is “fast paced and full of romance, suspense, and adventure and handles prejudice and acceptance in thought-provoking ways,” according to The School Library Journal. Her third book, The Keeper, is being published in Fall of 2013. NYT Bestselling Author, Cynthia Leitich Smith, praises The Keeper: "Amid fierce action and page-turning intrigue, an unforgettable heroine redefines her world." 

   Kathleen Benner Duble
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Kathleen Benner Duble had sixteen car accidents before she was twenty-one. Being an at-home writer keeps her from hitting the road (or anyone else)! She is the author of eight books for children, including Phantoms in the Snow and Bravo Zulu, Samantha! Kathleen loves digging for unique historical fiction plotlines and encouraging students and lovers of books to look for great stories right in their own backyard!

   Ty Drago
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Ty Drago is the author the critically acclaimed UNDERTAKERS books for middle graders.  The first installment in this five-part series, Rise of the Corpses, was released by Sourcebooks in 2011 and has been since adapted for the silver screen by Final Destination creator Jeffery Reddick. The second book in the series, Queen of the Dead, was released in 2012. The third, Secret of the Corpse Eater, hits the shelves in March, 2014, this time published by Month9Books.  There is also an UNDERTAKERS three-part novelette, Night of Monsters, available for FREE at www.smashwords.com or www.barnesandnoble.com. Ty is currently working on the penultimate installment, Last Siege of Haven. His other works include Phobos, a science fiction "noir" published by Tor in 2003, and The Franklin Affair, a history mystery published by Regency Press in 2001. Ty is also the founder, publisher and managing editor of ALLEGORY (www.allegoryezine.com), an award-winning online magazine of science fiction, fantasy and horror.

   Kit Grindstaff
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Kit Grindstaff is the author of The Flame in the Mist. Set in an imagined past, this dark fantasy-adventure features 13-year-old Jemma, a fiery-headed heroine held captive in Agromond Castle, yet destined to save mist-shrouded Anglavia. Kit was born near London and grew up in the rolling countryside of England. After a brief brush with pop stardom (under her maiden name, Hain), she moved to New York and embarked on her career as a songwriter. Kit now lives with her husband in the rolling countryside of Pennsylvania. The Flame in the Mist is her first novel.

   Rose Kent
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Rose Kent is a Navy veteran, a former food company manager, and a big believer in the power of story to change minds, heal hearts and cause belly laughs. Her first middle-grade novel, Kimchi & Calamari (HarperCollins), featured a funny adopted Korean boy who was inspired by her kids, two of who are Korean & adopted. Kimchi & Calamari has been named to numerous state reading award lists, including Illinois, Florida and NY. Rose's most recent book, Rocky Road (Knopf Books for Young Readers), celebrates ice cream, resilience, and the power of community to help us do hard things. Rose lives in upstate NY with her husband (a Jersey boy) and kids.

   David Lubar
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David Lubar has written more than thirty books for teens and young readers. His novels, including Hidden Talents and Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie, are on reading lists across the country, saving countless students from a close encounter with Madam Bovary. His novel, Dunk, set at the Jersey shore, won Pennsylvania's Young Adult Book Award and was used by the New Jersey Library Association for their One Book New Jersey program. His Weenies short story collections have sold more than two million copies. He had several books come out this year, including Hyde and Shriek, and Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder, and Revenge (he's actually a much nicer person than these titles would indicate.) He is a popular speaker at schools and conferences around the country. He also designed and programmed many video games in an earlier eight-bit life, including Home Alone and Frogger 2. In his spare time, he takes naps on the couch. He grew up in New Jersey, went to Rutgers, and now lives in Nazareth, PA with one awesome female and various annoying felines.

   Elisa Ludwig
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Elisa Ludwig is the author of Pretty Crooked, her debut YA novel, the first of a trilogy, which was released in March 2012 (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins). The sequel, Pretty Sly, is due in March 2014. She studied writing at Vassar College and Temple University and now lives in Philadelphia with her husband Jesse. When not writing, she is cooking, crossfitting, and obsessing over Antiques Roadshow. She is a law-abiding citizen but she does occasionally jaywalk. Visit Elisa at her website and on www.facebook.com/ElisaLudwigYA, and follow her @ElisaLudwigYA.

   James Mascia
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James Mascia is the author of several books for younger readers including the Young Adult series, High School Heroes, and his picture books about Paris Pig. Along with writing, he is also a full time teacher of Literature and Writing at both the secondary and college levels. He lives to write and believes that the best stories are still told with a pen and paper. He lives in Maryland with his loving wife, Shelley.

   Evan Roskos
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One of Narrative’s Best New Writers, Evan Roskos’s fiction has appeared in Granta’s New Voices online feature, as well as in Story Quarterly, The Hummingbird Review, and BestFiction. He earned an MFA from Rutgers University - Newark and teaches literature and writing courses for Rowan University and Rutgers University in Camden. His debut novel Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) was published in March 2013 and was just optioned by Kreate Films. He lives in Collingswood, NJ with his wife and son.

   Jordan Sonnenblick
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Jordan Sonnenblick was a public school teacher for fourteen years, but always wanted to be a writer, so one day in 2003 he sat down and started his first young adult novel, Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie. Drums was published in 2004. Jordan was as surprised as anybody when the book took off: it received several starred reviews, was named to the American Library Association’s Teens’ Top Ten List, sold over 500,000 copies, and has been translated into twelve foreign languages. Jordan’s second novel, Notes from the Midnight Driver, was published in 2006, and was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. The Italian translation of Notes won the prestigious Premio Cento prize. Jordan’s third book, Zen and the Art of Faking It, was a BookSense Pick and a Family Circle Book of the Month; his fourth, After Ever After, won the American Library Association’s Schneider Family Book Award. Mr. Sonnenblick’s fifth teen novel, Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip, was published by Scholastic in March 2012, and is an American Library Association Best Fiction for Young Adults pick and a spring 2012 Junior Library Guild selection. His sixth teen book, Are You Experienced? (Macmillan, 2013), is a fall 2013 Junior Library Guild selection. Jordan has also written the Dodger and Me trilogy of funny fantasy books for middle-grade readers, which includes Dodger and Me, Dodger for President, and Dodger for Sale, all published by Macmillan Mr. Sonnenblick lives in Bethlehem, PA with his supportive wife and lovable children. Plus a lot of drums and guitars in the basement

   Elissa Brent Weissman
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Elissa Brent Weissman is an award-winning author of novels for 8-12 year olds. Nerd Camp won the 2011 Cybils Award for middle grade fiction, was shortlisted for the Maine Student Book Award, and was featured as a best summer novel for kids in the Washington Post. (Look for Nerd Camp 2.0 summer 2014!)  Her most recent book, The Short Seller, about a 12-year-old girl who plays the stock market, was a Must-Read in Girls' Life magazine. Named one of CBS-Baltimore's best authors in Maryland, Elissa lives in a Baltimore row house with her husband and two young children.

   Marcie Aboff
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Marcie is the author of many published picture books, elementary and middle grade readers, chapter books, and activity books. Her short stories have been featured in a variety of children's magazines. Along with her own three children - two in college and one in high school - and her work at a state university, days are never dull! When she’s not writing or visiting schools, she likes to play tennis, jog, read, listen to music, see really good movies, learn something new, and eat as much chocolate as she can.

   Kim and Danny Adlerman (aka Kin Eagle)
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Kim and Danny Adlerman first met when they were both working for a children's publishing house in New York City. Their books include Hey, Diddle Diddle, It’s Raining, It’s Pouring, Africa Calling, and How Much Wood Could A Woodchuck Chuck? - a wonderful read-aloud or sing-along book for parents and children to share together. Oh No, Domino! features words and illustrations by Kim and a song on CD by Danny. Listen UP! is a full length CD by Danny Adlerman and Friends. And Mommy’s Having a Watermelon (illustrated by Megan Halsey) is their newest arrival.

   Robert Agnello
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An Emmy Award winning artist, Robert Agnello has written music for television shows, including Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego, Disney’s Out of the Box, Pete and Pete and lots of others. He has performed on TV and has toured around the world with The Spencer Davis Group and other bands. In recent years, he started On The Lamb Productions, a production company geared to projects with a moral and social conscious.

   Baze and His Silly Friends

Multi–award winning BAHSF are a super creative, super silly, and super duper talented children/family rock band. Performing across the northeast at festivals, school events and private parties, these cats hit the stage at 1000 mph and take children and adults on the ride of lives with their energetic rockin' tunes! BAHSF songs are fun, interactive and encourage children to use their imagination and creativity to learn about the world in which they live. production company geared to projects with a moral and social conscious.

   Artie Bennett
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Artie Bennett is the executive copy editor for a children’s book publisher and he writes a little on the side (but not the backside!). His itch to write gave us The Dinosaur Joke Book: A Compendium of Pre-Hysteric Puns (currently extinct) when he was a much younger man. The Butt Book, however, was his first "mature" work. The Butt Book was showered with praise and won the prestigious Reuben Award for Book Illustration. His "number two" picture book, fittingly, is entitled Poopendous! According to the Huffington Post, "It appears there is no topic Mr. Bennett can’t make funny and educational." Peter Panda Melts Down! (his third picture book) will be coming out in February 2014. Artie was the youngest (at about age thirteen) person to originate and sell a crossword puzzle to the New York Times. He went on to sell several dailies and two large Sunday puzzles to the Times before he began college. It’s been downhill ever since. He and his wife, Leah, live deep in the bowels of Brooklyn, New York, where he spends his spare time moving his car to satisfy the rigorous demands of alternate-side-of-the-street parking.

   Daryl Cobb 
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Daryl is an author (14 children’s books)/singer/songwriter and premier educational performer. In 2012 he released his first children’s novel Pirates: The Ring of Hope. Kirkus Reviews called it "[A] spirited swashbuckling tale of mystery and magic. The characters are rich and beautifully rendered, and the story is sprinkled with humor... Much of the dialogue... is delightfully silly." In 2012 Daryl also added Mr. Moon to his list of published picture books, which include the Bill the Bat series and Greta's Magical Mistake. Daryl lives in Hunterdon County New Jersey with his family and when he is not writing, singing or playing with his kids, he is visiting schools across the country and abroad. His educational programs have received BOCES (New York State Arts In Education) rating of EXCELLENT and have been receiving high marks from educators for years. Daryl’s current project FROGS A Happy Life is due out late 2014.

   Alison Ashley Formento
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Alison Ashley Formento is the author of award-winning nature picture books This Tree Counts!, This Tree, 1, 2, 3, These Bees Count!, These Seas Count!, and the forthcoming (non-rhyming title) These Rocks Count! - all published by Albert Whitman & Company. Awards include the 2011 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People; The Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, Youth Picture Book, 2013 Children's Book Council/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, and 2013 Skipping Stones Honor Award Winner. Her debut young adult novel Twigs (published by Merit Press/F+W Media), released this September, was featured in Publisher's Weekly as a notable new release for teen readers. Alison has written for several national publications including The New York Times, The Writer, and Parenting. She regularly visits schools and libraries and donates a portion of her book sales to AmericanForests.org.

   Dan Gutman
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Dan is the author of many children's books, including Ted & Me, The Genius Files, and Mayor Hubble Is In Trouble. Some of his other books are Roberto & Me, My Weird School, The Christmas Genie, Return of the Homework Machine, Satch & Me, Casey Back at Bat, The Million Dollar Putt, and Jackie Robinson and the Big Game. When he is not writing books, Dan is very often visiting a school. He lives in Haddonfield, NJ, with his wife and children.

   Phyllis Hazelet
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Phyllis has lived at the NJ shore since she was a small child. She is the author of her first rhyming picture book, How Come There Are No Spots On Me? about a little Dalmatian puppy who hasn't gotten his spots yet. Could his spots be on the floor or maybe they rolled out the door! Phyllis lives with her husband Tom, two Dalmatians, Penny & Gabby, and a cat named Bear. She enjoys writing, winter sports and traveling.

   Dar Hosta James
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Award winning New Jersey author/illustrator Dar Hosta is the creator of the children's picture books I Love The Night, I Love The Alphabet, Mavis & Her Marvelous Mooncakes, If I Were A Tree, Animalization, and Doggie Do! Dar grew up in Columbia, Missouri as the daughter of an artist and enjoyed a childhood where creativity was happening all the time. Today, she lives with her husband, her two sons, and two big dogs in a little house on a sunny hillside.

   Jane Kirkland
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Jane was a best-selling computer book author when, one day, she spotted a Bald Eagle soaring over the parking lot of her grocery store. That moment changed her life. Today she is the award-winning author of No Student Left Indoors: Creating a Field Guide to Your Schoolyard, as well as the award-winning series of Take a Walk® books for young readers. At this year's festival she will feature her newest book Bo and Ms Beanz, Best Friends Forever. This early reader nonfiction chapter book is about diversity, friendship, adoption, patience, and love

   E.B. Lewis
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E.B. Lewis has illustrated more than fifty books for children, including Nikki Grimes' Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman, the 2003 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner; Alice Schertle's Down the Road, an ALA Notable Book; Tolowa M. Mollel's My Rows and Piles of Coins, an ALA Notable Book and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book; Bat Boy and His Violin by Garvin Curtis, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and Jacqueline Woodson's The Other Side, a 2002 Notable Book for the Language Arts.

   Galen Longstreth
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Galen Longstreth grew up on Mercer Island, Washington, where she spent a lot of time outdoors with her family their dog, Sunday. One summer she learned a game called "Yes, Let’s," which involved a lot of running and laughing. It was incredibly fun and she’s never forgotten it. Galen has taught kindergarten, sold children’s books, and written book reviews. She is currently working on a graphic novel script and a number of picture books. She and her brother, comics artist Alec Longstreth, are currently collaborating on a picture book about summer camp. Galen’s work has appeared in comics anthologies published by Tugboat Press. Yes, Let’s is her first book. She lives in Philadelphia.

   Ann Malaspina
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A former newspaper reporter, Ridgewood author Ann Malaspina writes nonfiction and multicultural books for children. Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper, about the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal, was named a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 2013, IRA-Children's Book Council's Children's Choices 2013, and Bank Street College's 2013 Best Children's Books of the Year. Her latest book Heart on Fire: Susan B. Anthony Votes for President captures a little-known event in the life of the famous suffragist. Both books were named to the Amelia Bloomer Project List of the American Library Association. Ann is also the author of the award-winning picture books Finding Lincoln and Yasmin’s Hammer.

   Kathy O'Connell

Since 1988, Kathy O'Connell has hosted Kids Corner, an interactive radio show for kids and their families. With over 40,000 telephone calls placed to the radio show each month, Kids Corner is the most listened to public radio show for children in America, according to an Arbitron/National Public Radio study. A pioneer in modern children's radio, Kathy has won numerous major broadcasting awards, including two George Foster Peabody Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting and the Major Armstrong Award. Asked to create her autobiography in six words, O'Connell's response is: "Spent whole life watching Soupy Sales." The legendary comedian was a proud friend and mentor whose work lives on today in Kathy O'Connell and Kids Corner.

   The Rockdoves
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The Rockdoves are a kindie/family music group with a mission: to create music with artistry, intelligence, humor, and respect for kids and their families. The band was formed in 2009 by New York City singer-songwriters Daniel Cole and Kim West, who have been writing and performing music together for over eight years. A shared interest in children's music, along with a spontaneous creative moment during a rehearsal, gave birth to the first Rockdoves song, “See The Seasons”, and to their unique brand of “cool music for kids made with parents in mind”. Daniel’s experience as a preschool teacher, coupled with Kim’s theatrical background, proved to be the perfect creative combination to inspire a collection of positive, thoughtful tunes for children. After releasing their debut album, “From the Birds”, in October 2010, The Rockdoves were soon featured in Time Out New York Kids magazine, and their songs “Don’t And Do Blues” and “Giraffe Laugh (and other animal sounds)” were selected to be part of Tor Hyams’ Kindiecast podcasts. Through an active social media presence and dynamic live performances, their fan network and industry buzz continue to blossom and grow. Their much anticipated follow up album, “Be A Song”, was released in December 2012.

   Jim Romer
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Jim Romer started his career as a cartoonist, animator and toy designer for companies like Disney and Russ Berrie. He then became a Creative Director, traveling to Asia to oversee product designs. In 2012, Jim fulfilled a lifelong dream by publishing his first children’s book, Bobby’s Biggest Bubble. The follow-up, Bobby’s Ginormous Jelly and a Halloween eBook, Bladimir Blarfarg and the Worm-Wired Glasses are planned for 2013. Jim lives in New Jersey with his wife, Carla, and their two dogs.

   Judy Schachner
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Judy Schachner is the #1 NY Times Best Selling Author/Illustrator of over 18 books for children, including the Skippyjon Jones series, Yo Vikings, The Grannyman and Willy and May. She has won many awards, including the first E. B. White Read Aloud Award. Judy was born into an Irish Catholic working class family from New England. Money was as tight as their apartment was tiny and though she may not have had the easiest of childhoods, she credits her imagination with helping her survive it. She can't ever remember a time when she was not drawing and like most budding artists she doodled on everything, including her father's bald head. She drew herself into stories where she was the smartest in her class and into a family where mothers lived to be a ripe old age. In many ways, Judy feels that her own life has resembled the fairy tales she loved reading as a child, complete with a happy ending. And the best part of this author/illustrator's story? She married a prince of a guy and they had two beautiful daughters and just like the mothers in her earliest tales, she plans on living to a ripe old age.

   2 of a Kind
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Two of A Kind delights audiences of all ages with their music, good humor and audience participation. This award-winning, nationally touring, husband-wife duo specializes in interactive musical programs for children and families. David and Jenny Heitler-Klevans have been singing together since 1987. Their beautiful harmonies accompanied by David's powerful, rhythmic guitar playing and Jenny's multi-ethnic percussion instruments create magic on stage. In 2012, Two of a Kind released their 8th CD entitled Sing Me Your Story, which has won Parents' Choice and Creative Child awards.

   Nancy Viau
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Nancy Viau is the author of two nature-inspired picture books: Look What I Can Do!, which School Library Journal calls "wonderfully expressive" and "a gently affirming tale perfect for parent-and-child sharing," and Storm Song, a fun read-aloud filled with rhythmic text that captures the excitement of thunder, lightning, and rain. Viau is also the author of the middle-grade novel Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head. She lives with her family in Mullica Hill, NJ but loves to travel anywhere her frequent flyer miles take her.

   Juliette Watts
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Juliette Watts is an illustrator from Collingswood, New Jersey. She began her art career as Medical Illustrator for the VA Medical Center in Philadelphia, and now works as Scientific Illustrator and graphic designer for the Forest Service. Her first picture book, Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down?, written by Roberta Burzynski, was published by the Forest Service this year. It has been nominated for the National Gifford Pinchot Excellence in Interpretation and Conservation Education Award. Juliette says, "Many of the trees featured in this book are Collingswood trees. They are the trees I see every day, so I feel a strong attachment to them." Juliette is a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, and the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She has studied with Neil Waldman, Eric Rohmann, Floyd Cooper and others through the Highlights Foundation. She has received the Zimmerman Award for Life Drawing from Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia, and has participated in a number of regional and national natural science art exhibitions.

   Timothy Young
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Timothy Young is the author/illustrator of They're Coming! and Shadows On My Wall, from Schiffer Publishing. He previously published I'm Looking For A Monster! (Random House), a pop-up book. He majored in illustration at Pratt Institute and has over 30 years experience as a professional artist.

   Brother Daoud Bey

Brother Daoud Bey is the host of the Poetry in the Park poetry series at Hopkins House, sponsored by the Camden County Cultural and Heritage Commission and Camden County College. He is also an entertainment professional who works in various media including filmmaking. He is instrumental in organizing the Arts for Teens program each year at Rutgers-Camden, which offers a daylong showcase of the talents of  the county's young dancers, painters, actors, writers and other artists. Bey has a long-time connection with the spoken-word community of the region and this is his second round hosting a popular slam at our festival.

   Lamont Dixon

Lamont Dixon, from Philadelphia, has been a prominent presence in the poetry scene for many years. As a performance poet and teaching artist, Lamont demonstrates what he describes as "vibepoetics" - the eclectic mixing of multiple artists disciplines to provide dramatic language arts education. His training includes the Philadelphia University of the Arts, Freedom Theater and Temple University's Full Circle Improv Troupe. His poetry has been published in African Voices, New Poet's Revolution , and Essence magazine. He also appears on many CDs including: Awaiting the Spirit, the Po-Jazz Connection and African Rhythm Tongues. Lamont was also co-executive producer for the Philadelphia. Segment of HBOs Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam. His latest book is Come Ride My Poems . His performances include: Turkey Hill Ice Cream Arts Festival, Chrysler National African-American Cultural Expo., Philadelphia Welcome America Poetry Series, New York's Nuyorican's Poet's Cafe, Zanzibar Blue Jazz Club, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Appel Farm, Music City's Jazz & Arts Festival, '05 W. Oak Lane Jazz Festival, and much more. Lamont has served as a teaching artist with Perkins Center for the Arts, Rowan University, and NJ & PA State Council for the Arts.

   Father Michael Doyle

Father Michael Doyle is pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Camden. He  was born in County Longford, Ireland. He became an assistant parish pastor in Camden,  in 1959 and served as a schoolteacher. In 1971, Father Doyle protested the Vietnam War, was arrested with a group that was called the "Camden 28," and won his own acquittal in 1973.  Some of his community activities have included a non-profit home renovation program to house low-income families and a free clinic for Camden residents. Father Doyle has written both prose and poetry about his Irish roots and about Camden and its needs. He has also been instrumental in supporting artists who hope to transform the South Camden neighborhood surrounding the church through their writing, visual arts and theater productions.

   Anna M. Evans

Anna M. Evans's poems have appeared in journals including the Harvard Review, Rattle, the Atlanta Review, the Evansville Review and 32 Poems. She is a graduate of the Bennington College MFA Program. Her poem, "Zeitgeber" (included in The Stolen From) recently won the 2012 Rattle Readers' Choice Award.Her chapbooks Selected Sonnets and Swimming are available from Maverick Duck Press. Her translations chapbook, Saint-Pol-Roux & Other Poems from the French, and her newest chapbook, The Stolen From: Poems About Memory & Alzheimer's, are available from Barefoot Muse Press. Anna is a former President of the Burlington County Poets of New Jersey, and a member of the Quick and Dirty Poets. She is editor of The Raintown Review, and Contributing/Online Editor for The Schuylkill Valley Journal. She is accredited by the New Jersey Artists in Education program to work with Children in Grades K-8, and she teaches poetry at the West Windsor Art Center, and writing at Richard Stockton College of NJ.

   Joan Hanna
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Joan Hanna graduated from Rowan University in 2009 receiving her BA in Writing Arts with a concentration in Creative Writing. Joan went on to an MFA in Creative Writing from Ashland University in 2011. She has published creative nonfiction, poetry, fiction and book reviews in various online and print journals. Joan is an Adjunct Professor  teaching creative writing at Rowan University and is also Assistant Managing Editor for River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative and Assistant Editor, Nonfiction/Poetry for r.kv.r.y. Quarterly Literary Journal. Her poetry chapbook, Threads, was published by Finishing Line Press in April 2013. Threads is Joan’s first chapbook publication. Visit her website at www.joanhanna.com and her personal blog at www.writingthroughquicksand.blogspot.com.

   Dawn Leas
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Dawn Leas's chapbook, I Know When to Keep Quiet, was released in 2010 by Finishing Line Press. She earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in San Pedro River Review, Literary Mama, Willows Wept Review, Southern Women's Review, Interstice, Connecticut River Review and elsewhere. In past lives she was a copywriter, freelancer, admissions director and middle-school English teacher. Currently, she is the associate director of the Wilkes University M.A./M.F.A. Creative Writing programs and a contributing editor at Poets' Quarterly.

   BJ Ward

Poet BJ Ward grew up in New Jersey. He earned a BA at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and an MA at Syracuse University. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Gravedigger’s Birthday (2002), a Paterson Poetry Prize finalist; 17 Love Poems With No Despair (1997); and Landing in New Jersey with Soft Hands (1994). His poems have been featured on Garrison Keillor’s National Public Radio program The Writer’s Almanac, and he has received fellowships from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the Artist/Teacher Institute, as well as a Pushcart Prize. He has taught at the Frost Place Seminar for Young Poets, the New Jersey Governor’s School for the Arts, and Warren County Community College. He lives in New Jersey.