Each year, PAYA hosts a festival filled with tons of bookish fun to raise money for libraries. This year’s festival is going to take place on August 25.Below you will find more info.
2012 PAYA Festival
1585 Paoli Pike
West Chester, PA
Signings will begin at noon. A writing workshop will be held from 10-12pm.
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.
Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia. All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true. Well, mostly. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write. She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press), the Lux Series (Entangled Teen), Don’t Look Back (Disney/Hyperion) and a yet untitled novel (Disney/Hyperion).
Cyn Balog is a normal, everyday Jersey Girl who always believed magical things can happen to us when we least expect them. She is author of young adult paranormals FAIRY TALE (2009), SLEEPLESS(2010), and two other forthcoming novels from Delacorte. She lives outside Allentown, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters.
Charlotte Bennardo: I’m living one dream; my book, Sirenz, co-authored with best gal pal Natalie Zaman, debuts from Flux in June. I’d like to be able to chase my other dreams where ever they take me, but that’s dependent upon money, time, political unrest, contractual agreements, book revisions, if cat will let me, and if I have to make dinner.
Josh Berk is the author of the teen novels The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin (named a best book for teens of 2010 by Kirkus Reviews & Amazon.com) and Guy Langman: Crime Scene Proscrastinator (to be published in 2012). He lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Jessica Burkhart: Twenty-five year old Jessica Burkhart (aka Jess Ashley) is a writer from Brooklyn. She’s obsessed with reality TV and all things sparkly. Currently, Jess pens the 20-book Canterwood Crest series for tweens (Aladdin MIX). She also has an essay in the upcoming anthology, Dear Teen Me. When she’s not writing contracted projects, Jess spends her time with her BFF/partner-in-crime, Kate Angelella. Jess and Kate own Violet & Ruby Productions–a book packager that’s set to deliver e-books to teens and tweens. Visit Jess online at http://www.JessicaBurkhart.com.
Cesya MaRae Cuono was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania on August 11, 1987. Ever since she was little she enjoyed reading and imagining new things. She now hails from a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania (home of Yuengling). She is a 2007 graduate of Cosmix School of Makeup Artistry where she certified in Multi-Media and Production Makeup, a 2009 graduate of McCann School of Business and Technology where she majored in Specialized Marketing and Management, and a 2010 graduate of Alvernia University where she majored in Business Administration. During her boring classes, Cesya would sit and write random scenes in her head to pass the hour-long lectures she had to sit through. Apparently it paid off. Now all the crazy worlds that are in her head can shine on paper.
Sarah Darer Littman is the award-winning author of CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSET CATHOLIC, PURGE, LIFE, AFTER and the upcoming WANT TO GO PRIVATE? In addition to writing for teens, she is a columnist for Hearst Newspapers (CT) and for the website CTNewsJunkie.com. She lives in Connecticut with her family and three exceptionally cute dogs, in a house that never seems to have enough bookshelves.
Shannon Delany has written stories since she was a child. She began writing in earnest when her grandmother fell unexpectedly ill during a family vacation. In 2008 her greatly abbreviated version of 13 to Life (written in just five weeks) won the grand prize in the first-ever cell phone novel contest in the western world through Textnovel.com .
Jaclyn Dolamore is the author of Magic Under Glass, Between the Sea and Sky, Magic Under Stone, and next year, a new series with Hyperion. Her childhood was spent reading as many books as she could lug home from the library and playing elaborate pretend games with her sister. She has a passion for history, thrift stores, vintage dresses, drawing, and organic food. She lives in western Maryland in a 19th century house with her partner Dade and three weird cats.
Margie Gelbwasser is the author of INCONVENIENT, published by Flux in November 2010. INCONVENIENT, named a 2011 Notable Book for Teens by the Sydney Taylor Awards Committee, tells the story of Alyssa Bondar. Alyssa must cope with an alcoholic mother, tuned-out dad, first boyfriend, and end of a long friendship. Margie’s next novel, PIECES OF US, is told in 4 POV (one of them second) and deals with cyber-bullying, abuse, and how each teen’s secrets affect the other 3. It will be published by Flux March 8, 2012.
Alissa Grosso is the author of the young adult novels Popular (Flux, 2011) and Ferocity Summer (Flux, 2012). She is also a library sales representative for Unique Books and a freelance writer. In the past she has worked as a newspaper editor, a children’s librarian and a long, long time ago as a tavern wench complete with Colonial style costume.
Gwendolyn Heasley is a graduate of Davidson College and the University of Missouri-Columbia where she earned her master’s degree in journalism. When she was a little girl, she desperately wanted to be the next Ann M. Martin- the author of the beloved The Baby-Sitter’s Club series. She’s incredibly grateful that the recession rendered her unemployed and made her chase her nearly forgotten dream. She lives in New York City, teaches college and eats entirely too much mac and cheese for an adult. She’s also currently at work on her third novel for Harper Collins.
Wendy Higgins: After earning a Creative Writing degree from George Mason University and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford, I taught high school English until becoming a mommy. I’ve always had a heart for teens, and writing YA stories gives me the opportunity to delve into the ambiguities of those pivotal years before adulthood. I live in the D.C. area with my husband, daughter, and son.
Amy Holder: Since graduating college with a degree in psychology and a minor in sociology, I’ve worked in the early education, social service, and freelance writing and design fields. After some career soul-searching, resulting in my desire to pursue my love of writing professionally, I’ve captured the writing dream I’ve had since childhood. Today, I reside in the Philadelphia area with my furry pets. No, I’m not a crazy cat lady… yes, I’m a huge animal lover.
Amalie Howard grew up on a Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. She received a bachelor’s degree from Colby College in Maine in International Studies and French, and a certificate in French Literature from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. Traveling the globe, she has worked as a research assistant, marketing representative, teen speaker and global sales executive. In between writing novels and indulging her love of reading great books, Amalie is also a freelance writer for a local Westchester periodical, and blogs at amaliehoward.com. She is represented by the Liza Royce Agency and is a member of SCBWI. BLOODSPELL, a Seventeen Magazine Summer Read for 2011, is her first novel.
Jennifer Hubbard (www.jenniferhubbard.com) lives and writes near Philadelphia, PA. She is a night person who believes that mornings were meant to be slept through, a chocolate lover, and a hiker. She has written short fiction as well as the contemporary young adult novels The Secret Year (Viking, 2010) and Try Not to Breathe (Viking, 2012).
Brigid Kemmerer was born in Omaha, Nebraska, though her parents quickly moved her all over the United States, from the desert in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the lakeside in Cleveland, Ohio, and several stops in between, eventually settling near Annapolis, Maryland, where she lives now with her family. Brigid started writing in high school, and her first real “novel” was about four vampire brothers causing a ruckus in the suburbs. Those four brothers are the same boys living in the pages of The Elemental Series, so Brigid likes to say she’s had four teenage boys taking up space in her head for the last seventeen years. (Though sometimes that just makes her sound nuts.) Storm, Book 1 of The Elemental Series is her first novel.
Beth Kephart: My first book, A SLANT OF SUN, a memoir, was a National Book Award finalist. My second, INTO THE TANGLE OF FRIENDSHIP, was supported by an NEA grant. These gifts give a writer momentum, and hope. To date I’ve published five memoirs, an autobiography of a river called FLOW: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF PHILADELPHIA’S SCHUYLKILL RIVER, and the first of what will be four young adult novels for HarperTeen. UNDERCOVER has been named a best book of the year by Kirkus, Amazon, School Library Journal, Not Your Mother’s Bookclub, and others. Most recently I’ve published a corporate fable called ZENOBIA. A picture book is in the works, as is a novel for adults.
Jackie Kessler grew up in Brooklyn, NY, with a cranky cat and overflowing shelves filled with dolls and books. Now she’s in Upstate NY with another cranky cat, a loving husband, two sons, and overflowing shelves filled with dragons and books (except when her sons steal her dragons). She has a bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature, and yet she’s never read any Jane Austen (with or without zombies). She also has a master’s degree in media ecology. (The living study of technology and culture. Which is cool, but she still can’t figure out how to use Tweetdeck.) Jackie spends a lot of time writing, reading, and getting distracted by bright and shiny new ideas. (She just came up with a new idea right now.) She has a weakness for chocolate and a tendency to let her cat take over her office chair.
A.S. King is the author of the highly acclaimed EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, a 2012 ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and Andre Norton Award nominee, and the Edgar Award nominated, 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ. She is also the author of the ALA Best Books for Young Adults and Cybils Award finalist, THE DUST OF 100 DOGS and the upcoming ASK THE PASSENGERS. After a decade living self-sufficiently and teaching literacy to adults in Ireland, she now provides literacy outreach for teens throughout the US. You can learn more at http://www.as-king.com
Elisa Ludwig studied writing at Vassar College and Temple University. She has been pick-pocketed twice, and once caught someone mid-pocket. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband. PRETTY CROOKED is her first novel, and the first of a trilogy. You can visit her online at http://www.elisaludwig.com.
Jennifer Murgia has been writing ever since she was nine years old. After receiving recognition for her poetry, she went on to use her talents to bring characters to life in fiction novels that are authentic, intriguing, and personal. She currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.
Dianne Salerni is an elementary school teacher and author who has published educational materials for teachers and short stories. Her first novel, We Hear the Dead (Sourcebooks 2010), was optioned for film by One Eye Open Studio. her second novel, The Caged Graves, will be published by Clarion Books. Salerni lives in Chester County, Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters.
Tiffany Schmidt grew up in Massachusetts where she spent a significant part of her childhood getting into mischief and sitting in the naughty chair. All those time outs turned out to be a blessing; they forced her to sit still long enough to hone her storytelling skills. Her audience was the family dog. She now lives in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband and impish twin boys. She’s repped by Joe Monti at Barry Goldblatt Literary. She still gets into mischief, she still has dogs, and she still tells stories. She very much hopes you like them.
Victoria Schwab suffers from a case of wanderlust. Her condition is made worse by the fact that wandering is a good way to stir up stories. When she’s not haunting Paris streets or trudging up English hillsides, she’s tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up monsters. Right now, Victoria lives in New York, where she spends her days searching for the perfect cupcake, and her nights listening to music in a local steampunk bar. She also writes books.
Rebecca Serle is a full-time writer, which means she gets to wear pajamas to work. She went to the University of Southern California, then got her MFA from the New School in NYC. (She likes New York much more than LA, but don’t tell anyone that.) Rebecca loves shiny hair, coffee, yoga, and pretending to be British. She, too, experienced heartbreak once. It worked out okay, though, because she turned the experience into her first novel, WHEN YOU WERE MINE. Find out more at rebeccaserle.com.
Susan Shaw, a life-long Pennsylvanian, graduated from Radnor High School and earned her B. S. in music education from Temple University. She and her husband live in Wayne, where they raised three children. She is the author of five young adult novels: Black-eyed Suzie (Boyds Mills Press, 2002), The Boy From The Basement (Dutton Books, 2004), Safe (Dutton Books, 2007), One Of The Survivors (Simon and Schuster, 2009), and Tunnel Vision (Simon and Schuster, 2011).
Award-winning author Jeri Smith-Ready has been writing fiction since the night she had her first double espresso. She holds a master’s degree in environmental policy and lives in Maryland with her husband, cat, and the world’s goofiest greyhound.
Maria V. Snyder earned an MA in Popular Fiction Writing from Seton Hill University. Her freelance articles appear in magazines and newspapers, and she enjoys teaching fiction writing classes at the local college.
Jessica Spotswood: I’m the author of BORN WICKED, the first book in The Cahill Witch Chronicles. I grew up in a tiny one-stoplight town in Pennsylvania, where I could be found swimming, playing clarinet, memorizing lines for the school play, or—most often—with my nose in a book. I’ve been writing since I was little but studied theatre in college and grad school. Now I live in Washington, DC with my brilliant playwright husband and a cuddly cat named Monkey.
J.R. Wagner drafted his first story, a sequel to Return of the Jedi, when he was ten years old. A self-proclaimed Star Wars geek, he had lofty aspirations of working with George Lucas on filming the project. In 1990, he began filming his version of The Lord of the Rings in his parents’ basement, but the plug was pulled after he nearly burned down the house. Since then, J.R. has written two full-length screenplays and a thriller novel.
K.M. Walton is the author of Cracked and the upcoming release Empty. As a former middle-school language arts teacher she is passionate about education and ending peer bullying. She writes full time now and lives in Pennsylvania with her family. You can find her online atKMWalton.com and on Twitter at @KMWalton1.
There will be food, a basket raffle, and other fun activities throughout the day. The authors will be signing in one-hour shifts. More details to come.