Picture of Gail Carson Levine

Gail Carson Levine writes for children and young adults – novels, picture books, nonfiction, and poetry. She’s best known for her novel, Ella Enchanted, which won a Newbery honor medal in 1998 and became a major motion picture in 2004. Other books include the historical novel, Dave at Night, and the two nonfiction how-to’s, Writing Magic, Creating Stories that Fly, and Writer to Writer, From Think to Ink. Her latest is Stolen Magic, the second in the mystery series that began with A Tale of Two Castles, about detective dragon Meenore and ITs assistant Elodie.



Picture of Jim C. Hines

Jim C. Hines is the author of twelve fantasy novels, including the Magic ex Libris series, the Princess series of fairy tale retellings, the humorous Goblin Quest trilogy, and the Fable Legends tie-in Blood of Heroes. He’s an active blogger, and won the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer. He has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a Masters in English, and lives with his wife and two children in mid-Michigan.



Past Writers in Residence

Picture of Cinda Williams Chima

Cinda Williams Chima grew up with talking animals and kick-butt Barbies. She began writing poetry and stories in third grade and novels in junior high school. These days she writes fantasy fiction for teens of all ages. Her Heir Chronicles contemporary fantasy series started with The Warrior Heir in 2006. Chima’s high fantasy Seven Realms series launched with The Demon King in 2009. Both series have been New York Times bestsellers. Chima’s books have been named to the Kirkus Best YA list and the VOYA Editors’ Choice, among numerous others. She lives in Ohio with her family, and is always working on her next novel.



Picture of Wesley Chu

Wesley Chu was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Chicago, Illinois, when he was just a pup. It was there he became a Kung Fu master and gymnast. Besides working as an Associate Vice President at a bank, he spends his time writing and hanging out with his wife and their Airedale Terrier. Wesley’s debut novel, The Lives of Tao, was a Goodreads Choice Awards 2013 Finalist for Best Science Fiction. The sequel, The Deaths of Tao, received a starred review from Booklist and Shelf Awareness.



Picture of Merrie Haskell

Merrie Haskell grew up half in North Carolina, half in Michigan. She wrote her first story at age seven. She attended the University of Michigan, graduating from the Residential College with a degree in biological anthropology. She works in a library with over 7.5 million bound volumes. Her first three books are The Princess Curse, Handbook for Dragon Slayers, and The Castle Behind Thorns. She has won the Schneider Family Book Award (Middle Grades) and the DetCon1 Middle Grade Speculative Fiction award, and she was a finalist for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature.  Merrie lives in Saline, Michigan.



Picture of Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of The Glamourist Histories series of fantasy novels. She has received the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, three Hugo awards, and the RT Reviews award for Best Fantasy Novel. Her work has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. Her stories appear in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, and several Year’s Best anthologies. Mary, a professional puppeteer, also performs as a voice actor, recording fiction for authors such as Seanan McGuire, Cory Doctorow and John Scalzi. She lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and over a dozen manual typewriters.



Picture of Nnedi Okorafor

Nnedi Okorafor was born in the United States to two Igbo (Nigerian) immigrant parents. She holds a PhD in English and is a tenured professor at Chicago State University. Though American-born, Nnedi’s muse is Nigeria. Her first novel, Zahrah the Windseeker, winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature, takes place in a highly technological world based on Nigerian myths and culture. Many of her other short stories and novels take place, literally or figuratively, in Nigeria as well.




Sarah Prineas was born in Lyme, Connecticut, and now lives in Iowa with her husband, children, and pets. She holds a PhD in English and wrote fantasy stories for adults before writing The Magic Thief , a Booklist Top Ten First Novel for Youth in 2008, the rest of The Magic Thief trilogy, and the Winterling books. She loves dragons, and even has a collection of dragon action figures!