Meet the Authors

Wendy Ulmer

Wendy Ulmer is a former public-school music and English teacher with 21 years experience. Prior to teaching, she was a Registered Music Therapist, working in both clinical and public school settings.

Wendy earned a BS in Music Education from Lebanon Valley College and a Masters in Education in the Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley University.

She is the author of eight books for children, including The Journals of Anterg, inspired by the village in Pennsylvania where she grew up. Today Wendy lives on Arrowsic Island, near Bath, where she can be found combing the beach for treasures or roaming through the woods looking for dragons.

Diane Magras

Diane Magras is the award-winning author of the New York Times Editors’ Choice The Mad Wolf’s Daughter, as well as its companion novel, The Hunt for the Mad Wolf’s Daughter. She grew up on Mount Desert Island in Maine, whose woods, cliffs, and ocean seem to always make it into her writing. She's also a bit obsessed with castles, Scotland, and tea. Her next book, Secret of the Gloaming Beasts, a fantasy set in a whole new world, will be out next summer.

Daniel Minter

Daniel Minter is an artist whose work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. His overall body of work often deals with themes of displacement and diaspora, ordinary/extraordinary blackness; spirituality in the Afro-Atlantic world; and the (re)creation of meanings of home. He is the illustrator of over a dozen books for children, including Going Down Home with Daddy, for which he received a 2020 Caldecott Honor Award, and Ellen’s Broom, which won a Coretta Scott King Illustration Honor Award. Visit Daniel Minter’s website at www.danielminter.net.

Melanie Ellsworth

Melanie Ellsworth writes picture books in lovely mid-coast Maine. As a former ESOL teacher and literacy specialist with a Masters in Language and Literacy, Melanie loves all parts of the writing process, from gathering ideas to revising to sharing books. Visit Melanie on her website (www.MelanieEllsworth.com), on Twitter (@melanieells), on Instagram (@melaniebellsworth), or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MelanieEllsworthAuthor.)

Megan Frazer Blakemore

Megan Frazer Blakemore is an award-winning author and school librarian living in Southern Maine. Her books have been recognized with the Lupine Honor, the Maine Literary Award, the Kirkus Review's "Best Books of the Year", a Junior Library Guild Selection, and by the Texas Bluebonnet List.

Rodman Philbrick

Rodman Philbrick began writing in 6th grade. His first published works were detective and mystery novels. In 1993 he published Freak the Mighty, his first book for young readers, and began a career writing for middle schoolers.

Rajani LaRocca

Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in the Boston area, where she practices medicine and writes award-winning books for young readers. She’s always been an omnivorous reader, and now she is an omnivorous writer of fiction and nonfiction, novels and picture books, prose and poetry. She finds inspiration in her family, her childhood, the natural world, math, science, and just about everywhere she looks. To connect with Rajani and learn more about her and her books, visit her at www.RajaniLaRocca.com and on Twitter and Instagram @rajanilarocca.

Cathryn Falwell

Maine author and illustrator Cathryn Falwell has created more than two dozen children’s picture books including A Space for Me, Feast For 10, Turtle Splash!, Word Wizard, David’s Drawings, and Rainbow Stew. Several of her titles have been distributed to children by their healthcare providers through Maine’s Raising Readers program. In 2015, she received the Katahdin Award for lifetime achievement in children’s literature by the Maine State Library Association.

Ms Falwell presents programs in schools, libraries, and nature centers where she delights in meeting her young readers and their teachers and families. She also volunteers with community social justice organizations and enjoys traveling, painting, cooking, snowshoeing, kayaking, and spending time with her family.

Please visit cathrynfalwellbooks.com for more.

Kevin Hawkes

Kevin Hawkes is the author and illustrator of over 50 books, including the NY Times Best seller, Library Lion. He lives in Southern Maine where he enjoys gardening, riding a old bicycle, and exploring the woods and waters of Maine. He is the 2020 recipient of the Katahdin Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as 3 Lupine Honor Awards. Other awards include a Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators, Orbis Pictus Honor Book, Horn Book Honor Award, Kate Greenway Medal, and the National Jewish Book Award.

Meadow Rue Merrill

Meadow Rue Merrill has been making up stories for as long as she can remember. After many years as a journalist writing true-life stories about local people and places, she now writes fiction for children, including the Lantern Hill Farm picture book series, celebrating the holidays in a way that builds children's faith.

Jarrett Lerner

Jarrett Lerner is the author of EngiNerds, Revenge of the EngiNerds, The EngiNerds Strike Back, Geeger the Robot Goes to School, and Geeger the Robot: Lost and Found, as well as the author-illustrator of the activity books Give This Book a Title and Give This Book a Cover. Jarrett is also the author-illustrator of the forthcoming Hunger Heroes graphic novel series and the forthcoming illustrated novel in verse A Work in Progress (all published by Simon & Schuster/Aladdin). He cofounded and helps run the MG Book Village, an online hub for all things Middle Grade, and is the co-organizer of the #KidsNeedBooks and #KidsNeedMentors projects. He can be found at jarrettlerner.com and on Twitter and Instragram at @Jarrett_Lerner. He lives with his family in Medford, Massachusetts.

Anna Crowley Redding

Anna Crowley Redding is the author of Google It, Elon Musk: A Mission to Save the World, and Black Hole Chasers. The recipient of multiple Edward R. Murrow and Associated Press awards, Crowley Redding uses her Emmy award-winning investigative reporting skills to dig into compelling topics that are shaping our world. Her works have been translated into multiple languages, garnered national news coverage, and been recognized by the National Association of Science Teachers for excellence. Crowley Redding lives outside of Portland, Maine with her family.

Dan Poblocki

Dan Poblocki is the author of many books for young people, including Ghost Hunter’s Daughter, The Ghost of Graylock, The Haunting of Gabriel Ashe, The House on Stone’s Throw Island, The Book of Bad Things, the Shadow House series, and the upcoming Liars’ Room. His stories have thrilled and chilled readers all over the world. In the US, they have won several state reading awards, have been named to the Best Books for Young Adults list by the American Library Association, and have been honored by the Junior Library Guild. Dan lives in Saugerties, New York in an old house where he tries very hard to ignore the things that go bump in the night.

Maria Padian

Maria Padian has worked as a news reporter, an essayist for public radio, a press secretary for a U.S. Congressman and a freelance journalist. Her award-winning novels for young adults focus on real-life issues facing contemporary teens. A graduate of Middlebury College and the University of Virginia, she lives in Brunswick, Maine with her family.

Maria's work in broadcast journalism has been awarded by the Associated Press and the Sigma Delta Chi Association of Professional Journalists. She is a three-time winner of the Maine Literary Award, a three-time recipient of the Maine Lupine Award, and in addition to being included in numerous state book award lists her novels have been noted as "Best Books" by the American Library Association, Kirkus, Bank Street College and Capitol Choices Noteworthy Books for Teens.

Samara Cole Doyon

Samara Cole Doyon is a second generation Haitian American living in Maine – a state comprised of unceded Wabanaki territory and claiming half the roots of her family tree. She is a poet and educator, holding a BA in English and a graduate-level teacher training certificate from the University of Southern Maine. She has been a regular contributor at Black Girl in Maine Media, has been featured in the Deep Water poetry column of the Portland Press Herald, and has authored children’s books Magnificent Homespun Brown (Tilbury House Publishers, January, 2020) and Magic Like That (Lee & Low Books, September, 2021). She lives with her husband, two children, and three guinea pigs in Lewiston, Maine.

Jerry Pallotta

Jerry is a children's author from Scituate, MA. He grew up going to Peggotty Beach with his 72 first cousins, which was the basis of his chapter book, Ocean Cousins. He has written over 90 children's books in his 30+ writing career including his alphabet series, math series, picture books, and a best selling kid-favorite, the Who Would Win? series. Jerry uses humor and amazing facts to inspire both literacy and reading.

Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Jennifer, a graduate of Harvard Graduate School of Education, is the author of over a dozen award-winning children’s books including Small as an Elephant (Parents’ Choice Gold Award), Paper Things (ILA Social Justice Award) and The Dollar Kids illustrated by Ryan Andrews ( Bank Street Best Book of the Year). Her newest launches are a picture book: This is My Room (No Tigers Allowed), a chapter book series: Twig and Turtle: Big Move to a Tiny House, and a middle grade romance: Crashing in Love, to be released in October 2021. She lives in Woolwich with her husband and Jack Russell Terrier.

Jennifer, a graduate of Harvard Graduate School of Education, is the author of over a dozen award-winning children’s books including Small as an Elephant (Parents’ Choice Gold Award), Paper Things (ILA Social Justice Award) and The Dollar Kids illustrated by Ryan Andrews ( Bank Street Best Book of the Year). Her newest launches are a picture book: This is My Room (No Tigers Allowed), a chapter book series: Twig and Turtle: Big Move to a Tiny House, and a middle grade romance: Crashing in Love, to be released in October 2021. She lives in Woolwich with her husband and Jack Russell Terrier.

Chris Van Dusen

Chris Van Dusen is an author/illustrator of children’s picture books. He’s written and illustrated several books, including The Circus Ship, the Mr. Magee series, and the If I Built books. He also illustrated the Mercy Watson books for author Kate DiCamillo. Chris and his wife Lori live in Camden, Maine.

Panel Moderators

Meg Steele Barker

Meg Steele Barker is the librarian at Fisher Mitchell School here in Bath. She previously worked in education at the Library of Congress and C-SPAN and taught middle school language arts for many year in the Washington, DC area. She just launched a walking tour business, Embark Maine Tours, exploring historic Bath and is excited to celebrate so many of her passions in one place at the Bath Book Bash!


Alexandra Hinrichs


Alexandra Hinrichs is the award-winning author of Thérèse Makes a Tapestry (Getty, 2016), The Traveling Camera: Lewis Hine and the Fight to End Child Labor (Getty, 2021), and I Am Made of Mountains (Charlesbridge, 2023). She works as a middle school librarian in Old Town, Maine, and is the mother of three young sons.



Russ Cox


Russ Cox was raised by a pack of crazed hillbillies in the back woods of Tennessee. Without much in the way of modern conveniences, like a television set or running water, he spent his time drawing, whittling, and throwing dirt clods at his cousins. With the bulk of his life spent in Pennsylvania, he met his wife; became a graphic designer; played in punk, alternative, and surf bands; had two kids; and started his own illustration studio, Smiling Otis Studio. Russ creates his art the old school way using paper, pencil, gouache, and watercolor. Using traditional tools gives Russ an opportunity to explore and experiment. He also works digitally if deadlines are tight or the style is better suited for the project. Russ lives in Maine with his wife and four cats. Learn more at https://www.smilingotis.com