Rebecca Albertalli

Rebecca AlbertalliRebecca Albertalli is a clinical psychologist who has had the privilege of conducting therapy with dozens of smart, weird, irresistible teenagers. She also served for seven years as co-leader of a support group for gender nonconforming children in Washington, DC. These days, she lives in Atlanta with her husband and son, and writes very nerdy contemporary young adult fiction. Her debut novel, SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA, releases from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in April of 2015. She is repped by Brooks Sherman of the Bent Agency, and is thrilled to be a part of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks team. Twitter: @beckyalbertalli

Hafsah Faizal

Hafsah FaizalHafsah Faizal was was born on the east coast on a hot summer day in 1993, raised on the west coast and is now stuck in the middle – in Texas – with more books than she can read. She’s the designer behind IceyDesigns and the blogger behind IceyBooks. She’s also the author of UNBREATHABLE, a YA space opera that released in 2013.

S.K. Falls

S.K. FallsS.K. Falls enjoys alternately hitting up the outlet malls and historic graveyards in Charleston, SC where she lives and imbibes coffee. Her husband and two small children seem not to mind when she hastily scribbles novel lines on stray limbs in the absence of notepads. She is represented by Thao Le of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. Twitter: @skfallssc

Natasha M. Heck

Natasha M. HeckNatasha M. Heck is a native North Dakotan. She attended Minnesota State University Moorhead and graduated with a degree in English emphasis Creative Writing. She works as an author’s assistant and is a columnist for YA Interrobang. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband Joey and their two cats, Topher and Sophie. Twitter: @natashamheck

Grace Hwang Lynch

Grace Hwang LynchGrace Hwang Lynch is a freelance writer, editor and photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area. A former television news reporter, she still spends her days driving around in a van and waiting for things to happen. In the meantime, she blogs about Asian fusion family and food at Her work has also been published on PBS Parents, BlogHer, and Salon. Twitter: @HapaMamaGrace

Bru Muller and Aina Dumlao

Bru Muller and Aina DumlaoAina and Bru are a the husband and wife team behind Undercurrent Media, a Los Angeles-based film production company that writes, produces, and edits short films and commercials. They’ve produced spots for Western Union, Secret, Head and Shoulders and Bayer, among others. See their portfolio at

Chelsea Pitcher

Chelsea PitcherChelsea Pitcher is an ocean-worshipping, karaoke-singing Oregonian with a penchant for rescuing animals and people. Fascinated by all things literary, she began gobbling up stories as soon as she could read, and especially enjoys delving into the darker places to see if she can draw out some light. Her debut novel THE S-WORD is available from Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster and THE LAST CHANGELING comes out in 2014 from Flux. Twitter: @Chelsea_Pitcher

Michael Raffaele (Legal Counsel for WNDB)

Michael Raffaele (Legal Counsel for WNDB)Michael D. Raffaele is a lawyer with the firm of Frankel & Kershenbaum, LLC. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, he represents families of children with special needs in matters of school discipline, juvenile delinquency, and criminal justice. Michael is currently writing his first novel, a peri-apocalyptic dark comedy. For exercise, he sings bass with Ensemble Companio. Michael lives with his wife and two daughters in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. Twitter: @mdraffaele

Diana Sousa

Diana SousaDiana Sousa grew up reading books, playing the cello and video games, and waiting for her Hogwarts letter. She writes fantasy and science-fiction, with some occasional adventures through the historical genre. She recently graduated with a Multimedia degree. When she’s not geeking out about the latest books, movies, TV shows, comics, or anything nerdy, she fidgets with code and explores the mysteries of drawing and writing. Twitter: @DianaSousaBooks

Jessica Verdi

Jessica VerdiJessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY, and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. She is the author of the contemporary young adult novels The Summer I Wasn’t Me, My Life After Now, and the upcoming What You Left Behind. Jess is a huge supporter of diversity of all kinds in children’s literature, and is continually reminded of how lucky she is to get to write and publish stories about things she thinks are important. By day, Jess is an Editor at Crimson Romance, Adams/F+W’s romance eBook imprint. She is represented by Kate McKean of the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. Some of her favorite things include seltzer, Tabasco sauce, TV, vegetarian soup, flip-flops, and her dog. Twitter: @jessverdi

White & Case (Legal Counsel for WNDB)

White & Case (Legal Counsel for WNDB)Ranked most diverse large law firm in the U.S., White & Case is a truly global law firm. A pioneering international law firm, with cross-border expertise and a diverse team of local, US and English-qualified lawyers. White & Case lawyers are integral, long-standing members of the community, giving their clients insights into the local business environment alongside their expertise in multiple jurisdictions. They work with some of the world’s most respected and well-established banks and businesses, as well as start-up visionaries, governments and state-owned entities.

Renee Ahdieh

Renee AhdiehRenee Ahdieh has written for Conde Nast Traveler and Seen Magazine, and is an honors graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her spare time, she likes to dance salsa and collect shoes. She is passionate about all kinds of curry, rescue dogs, and college basketball. The first few years of her life were spent in a highrise in South Korea; consequently, Renee enjoys having her head in the clouds. She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog. Her YA fantasy THE WRATH AND THE DAWN will be published by Penguin/Putnam in 2015.