Meet Our Authors
Sona Charaipotra

An entertainment and lifestyle journalist published by everyone from the New York Times to TeenVogue, Sona Charaipotra is also a former reporter at People and editor at the dearly departed TeenPeople. A collector of presumably useless degrees, she double-majored in journalism and American Studies at Rutgers before getting her masters in screenwriting from New York University (where her thesis project was developed for the screen by MTV Films) and her MFA from the New School. When she's not hanging out with her writer husband and two chatter-boxy kids, she can be found poking plot holes in teen shows like Pretty Little Liars. But call it research: Sona is a strong believer that three-act structure can work in fiction, too. She is proud to serve as head of content for We Need Diverse Books. Find her on the web at or on Twitter @sona_c

Dhonielle J. Clayton

Born and raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Dhonielle J. Clayton spent much of her childhood hiding beneath her grandmother's dining table with a stack of books. As an English teacher at a ballet academy, Clayton rediscovered her passion for children's and young adult literature. To ground herself in the canon, she pursued her Masters in Children's Literature from Hollins University before receiving her MFA in Writing for Children at the New School. She is a former middle school librarian, where she pestered children to read and curated a diverse collection. An avid traveler, Dhonielle's lived in several foreign countries, but she's now settled in Harlem, where you'll find her writing late into the night, lurking in libraries, and hunting for the best slice of New York pizza. She is the COO of We Need Diverse Books and her debut fantasy, The Belles, hits shelves in February 2018 via Disney-Hyperion. Find her on the web at or on Twitter @brownbookworm

Karuna Riazi

Karuna Riazi is a born and raised New Yorker, with a loving, large extended family and the rather trying experience of being the eldest sibling in her particular clan. She holds a BA in English Literature from Hofstra University, and is an online diversity advocate, blogger, and publishing intern. She is a 2017 honoree on NBC Asian America's Redefining A-Z list, featuring up and coming talent within the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community, and her work has been featured on Entertainment Weekly, Amy Poehler's Smart Girls, Book Riot and Teen Vogue , among others. Karuna is fond of tea, Korean dramas, writing about tough girls forging their own paths toward their destinies, and baking new delectable treats for friends and family to relish. The Gauntlet (S&S/Salaam Reads, March 28, 2017) is her middle grade debut, and it’s companion, The Battle, is due in 2019. Find her on Twitter @KarunaRiazi

Anna Meriano

Anna Meriano grew up in Houston, Texas,
 with an older brother and a younger brother but (tragically) no sisters. She graduated from Rice University with a degree in English and earned her MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Writing for Children from The New School in New York. She works as a part-time teacher and tutor in Houston, where she lives with her dog Cisco. Anna likes reading, knitting, playing full-contact quidditch, and translating English song lyrics into Spanish and American Sign Language. Her favorite baked goods are the kind that don’t fly away before you eat them. Find her on Twitter @AnnaMisboring

Meg Cannistra

Meg Cannistra grew up bouncing between Sarasota, Florida and Brooklyn, New York. A young kid in a big family, her childhood was spent chasing after sisters and cousins and sharing stories while learning to cook. Meg has a BA in English from Flagler College and an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Hamline University. She now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her boyfriend. When she’s not taking pictures of her cats, Doom and Gloom, she writes magical, mysterious, and sometimes scary stories. Her debut novel, The Trouble with Shooting Stars, is scheduled for Summer 2019. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @MegCannistra.

Nandini Bajpai

Nandini Bajpai grew up in New Delhi, India, one of four sisters and many cousins, in a family that liked to read.

She lived and worked in India, Australia, and the US, before settling in the Boston area with her husband, kids, and a fluctuating number and variety of pets. Although she dabbled in corporate finance, business analysis, and fostering shelter animals, her first love is writing. In India, she is the author or Red Turban White Horse (Scholastic India), Starcursed (Red Turtle), and Rishi and The Karmic Cat (Red Turtle). The YA contemporary A Match Made in Mehendi is her US debut, due to hit shelves in Spring 2019.

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