Katy Kelly is the author of two award-winning Random House series for second- fifth grade readers. “Lucy Rose” and “Melonhead” are both set on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, where, not coincidently, Kelly grew up. The daughter of writers, she says she learned to write at the dining room table. “The six of us were a talkative lot and we all wanted to report the adventures of the day,” Kelly says. “If you wanted to be heard, you had to hold your audience. You had to cut out the boring bits, make it funny, heighten the drama and build suspense.” Today her goal is the same. “I want my stories to be make readers to stay up late because the have to read one more chapter– or two or three. And I want them to laugh their heads off.”
She has succeeded. The New York Times called work “Hilarious.” School Library Journal says her books are “laugh out loud funny, rivaling Stink and Fudge in its trouble-maker quotient.” Publishers Weekly says Melonhead “has an excellent shot at winning over reluctant readers,” While Booklist says Lucy Rose is, “in the spirit of Junie B. Jones, Amber Brown and mother of them all, Ramona, comes Lucy Rose.”
Dianne Ochiltree is a nationally recognized author of books for young readers, many of which have appeared on ‘best of’’ reading lists, been featured in book clubs, and been translated into foreign language editions. Her recent titles include It’s a Seashell Day (Blue Apple Books, 2015), It’s a Firefly Night (Blue Apple Books, 2013), and Molly, by Golly! The Legend of Molly Williams, America’s First Female Firefighter (Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills Press, 2012). Dianne is also a writing and publishing coach for aspiring children’s writers as well as a workshop presenter. Her chocolate Labrador Retriever Sally is a certified therapy dog, and together they visit schools and nursing homes in their area. Dianne and her husband live by the beach in sunny Sarasota, Florida. Connect with Dianne: www.DianneOchiltree.com
Darlyn Finch Kuhn is that rare animal – a Florida native. In addition to her two poetry collections (Red Wax Rose and Three Houses) Kuhn’s work has appeared in literary journals, newspapers, magazines and online. Her poems have been featured on Poetic Logic on the local NPR affiliate, and been read by Garrison Keillor on the Writers Almanac. She was interviewed on World Radio Paris. Kuhn is the eponymous “Scribbler,” of the Scribbles literary e-newsletter. She produces book trailer videos with her husband at Brad Kuhn & Associates in Orlando, Florida. Her debut novel, Sewing Holes, is available now from Twisted Road Publications, amazon.com, and wherever books are sold.
Darlyn Finch Kuhn will present during the Writers Conference.