We’re children’s authors who love to teach!

Our visiting writers are all graduates and faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults program—a leader in the children’s writing field. They are all published authors with expertise in sharing their craft with kids.

2018-2019 Roster

Note: Our roster changes from year to year to accommodate our authors’ busy schedules and the needs and locations of host schools.

Mary Atkinson is a former teacher and educational consultant who now works full time as a poet and writer for children. She has a Masters in Education from Lesley University in addition to her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College. Her poetry for children has appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her fiction and non-fiction picture books have been published widely in educational markets. She has recently published three chapter books for upper elementary and middle schoolers: Tillie Heart and Soul, Owl Girl, and Mario’s Notebook.

Carrie Jones is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of the young adult Need series (Bloomsbury), middle grade Time Stoppers series (Bloomsbury), the young adult sci-fi Flying series (Tor Teen), as well as numerous picture book biographies about spies. She also co-edited the Dear Bully anthology. Carrie grew up in New Hampshire and now lives in Maine. She participates on many boards in her community and nationally, with a focus on literacy, diversity in children’s books, and ending human trafficking. Carrie is also a volunteer firefighter, writing coach, and mentor at the Writing Barn.

J. Albert Mann is the author of five novels for young readers, including the middle grade Sunny Sweet series (Bloomsbury) and the historical young adult novel Scar (Boyds Mills Press). Her short stories and poetry have been published by Highlights for Children, where she won the Highlights for Children Fiction Contest and with the Editor’s Choice Award. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum Books is set to publish her next historical novel about the early life of Margaret Sanger. Jennifer is the Director of the We Need Diverse Books Internship Grant Committee. She lives in Boston and prefers books with unhappy endings.

Erin E. Moulton is the author of four middle grade and young adult novels: Flutter, Tracing Stars, Chasing the Milky Way, and Keepers of the Labyrinth (Philomel/Penguin). She is also editor of the recent anthology Things We Haven’t Said. Her books have been selected and nominated for national and state award lists, including the Amelia Bloomer List, the Kentucky Bluegrass Master List, and the Isinglass Teen Read Award List. Flutter was a 2011 Kid’s Indie Next pick. Erin works as teen librarian at the Derry Public Library, where she leads teen programming. She loves fostering new voices of all ages.

Eric Pinder writes books for all ages, including fiction and nonfiction about animals, weather, and mountains. His books for children include Counting DinosThe Perfect Pillow, and the Ladybug Award nominees How to Share with a Bear and If All the Animals Came Inside. When not busy writing, he rides his bike in the great outdoors, reads voraciously, and teaches creative writing at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. For many years Eric also worked as a weather observer atop Mount Washington, the “Home of the World’s Worst Weather,” which inspired his first book for children, Cat in the Clouds.

Tamara Ellis Smith’s debut middle grade novel, Another Kind of Hurricane (Schwartz & Wade/) was a Summer 2015 Kids Indies Next List pick, a 2015 Indies Introduces Top Ten Pick, one of Bank Street’s Best Books of the Year, an SCBWI Crystal Kite Award finalist, and a Vermont Book Award finalist. Tamara helped found an arts-in-education organization in New York City that brought writers and artists into public schools to teach creative writing, visual and dramatic arts. She is passionate about inspiring kids to find their own voices and stories. She lives in Vermont where she is currently working on picture books and another middle grade novel.

Past Authors Include

William Alexander is a National Book Award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of fantasy and science fiction for kids. His novels and audiobooks include an Eleanor Cameron Award, an Earphones Award, a Junior Library Guild Selection, a finalist for the International Latino Book Award, two Minnesota Book Award finalists, and two CBC Best Children’s Book of the Year Awards. Will is a second-generation Cuban-American immigrant. He studied theater and folklore at Oberlin College, English at the University of Vermont, and creative writing at Clarion. He teaches at the Vermont College of Fine Arts program in Writing for Children and Young Adults.

An Na was born in Korea and grew up in San Diego, California. A former middle school English and history teacher, her books for young readers include A Step from Heaven, The Fold, Wait for Me, and The Middle Place. Her awards and honors include the Michael L. Printz Award, International Reading Association Award, National Book Award Finalist, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, New York Times Book Review Notable, and Junior Library Guild Selection. She lives in Vermont and is both a graduate and faculty member of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program.

N. Griffin is the author of The Whole Stupid Way We Are (Atheneum), for which she was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Flying Start Authors of 2013, as well as Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11 (Candlewick). She has taught kindergarten through high school and has been a consultant for educators since 2001. She loves working with kids and teachers and sees writing as a wonderful way of connecting the two. The next two books in the Smashie McPerter series are forthcoming, as well as a second young adult novel with Atheneum. Ms. Griffin lives outside of Boston and also spends time in Vermont. She has a lot of dogs.

Adi Rule is the middle grade/YA author of Hearts of Ice (Scholastic), The Hidden Twin and Strange Sweet Song, which won the 2016 NH Writers Project literary award for Outstanding Young Adult Book as well as the Vermont College of Fine Arts Houghton Mifflin/Clarion Prize (St Martin’s Press). Her work has appeared in Hunger Mountain journal of the arts and two New Hampshire Pulp Fiction anthologies; she also contributes essays and features to New Hampshire Magazine. She has been a middle school teacher, a classroom music/drama teacher, a private music teacher, and a children’s theater camp director. Adi was also a member of, and a soloist for, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Kekla Magoon is the author of eleven novels for young readers, including The Rock and the RiverHow It Went DownX: A Novel, and the Robyn Hoodlum Adventures series. She has received an NAACP Image Award, the John Steptoe New Talent Award, two Coretta Scott King Honors, The Walter Award Honor, and been long listed for the National Book Award. She also writes non-fiction on historical topics. Kekla conducts school and library visits nationwide and serves on the Writers’ Council for the National Writing Project. Kekla holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she now serves on faculty.

Karuna Riazi (special guest) is the author of The Gauntlet and The Battle, lead middle grade titles from the Salaam Reads imprint of Simon & Schuster. A born and raised New Yorker, Karuna is a well-known online diversity advocate and blogger with a BA in English literature from Hofstra University. She is fond of tea, baking new delectable treats for friends and family to relish, Korean dramas, and writing about tough girls forging their own paths toward their destinies.

Karuna served as a feature author for our special 2018 project with The Telling Room in Portland, ME, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Want to join our roster?

If you are a published VCFA writer living in New England, we’d love to include you in next year’s roster. If you are a pre-published writer or want to help out as a classroom assistant or another way, we want to hear from you too!

Contact: [email protected]

Live far from New England but still want to be involved? No problem! We created an online portal for sharing teaching resources and ideas across VCFA’s world-wide network. Join the conversation.