Miranda Paul - is a children's writer who is passionate about creating stories for young readers that inspire, entertain, and broaden horizons. In addition to more than 50 short stories for magazines and digital markets, Miranda is the author of several forthcoming picture books from imprints of Lerner, Macmillan, and Random House. Her debut, One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia, was named a Junior Library Guild Selection. She is the Executive Vice President of Outreach for We Need Diverse Booksª (www.diversebooks.org) and the administrator of http://RateYourStory.org a site for aspiring writers. Learn more at www.mirandapaul.com.
Iastou Ceesay- has organized more than 80 Gambian women to crochet coin purses and other things out of strips of plastic from recycled plastic bags. Originally started when Isatou worked for Peace Corps, it is now coordinated through Future in Our Hands, where Isatou is a full-time organizer and trainer of women's skill centers. Peace Corps volunteers continue to work with her and the women she has trained. Isatou presents art workshops in schools for children of all ages.
Kwame Alexander- is a poet, author of 18 books, and founder of two literacy organizations: Book-in-a-Day and LEAP for Ghana. He conducts writing/publishing workshops at schools and conferences, has owned several publishing companies, written for the stage and television (TLC's "Hip Hop Harry"), recorded a CD, performed around the world, produced jazz and book festivals, hosted a radio show, worked for the U.S. Government, and taught high school. His most recent book, The Crossover, was the recipient of this year's Newbery Award. In 2015, Kwame will serve as the Bank Street College of Education's first writer-in-residence. Visit him at http://KwameAlexander.com
Susanne Gervay- is one of the most acclaimed authors for youth in Australia. She has published books for all ages. Her rite-of-passage book I Am Jack, focused on school bullying, has been translated into several languages, including Vietnamese and Korean. It recently was released in the United States. Other books include Super Jack and Always Jack. A dramatic version of I Am Jack has been performed in Australia and the USA. For more info visit http://www.sgervay.com/