Varian Johnson is the author of several novels for children and young adults, including The Parker Inheritance, which won both Coretta Scott King Author Honor and Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor awards; The Great Greene Heist, an ALA Notable Children’s book and Kirkus Reviews Best Book; and the graphic novel Twins, illustrated by Shannon Wright, an NPR Best Book. Varian was born in Florence, South Carolina, and attended the University of Oklahoma, where he received a BS in Civil Engineering. He later received an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and is honored to now be a member of the faculty. Varian lives outside of Austin, TX with his family.
Kim Tate is a fifth-grade dual language teacher at International Prep Academy in Champaign, Illinois, where she is a member of her school improvement leadership team, as well as co-chair of her school’s equity committee. In addition to being a children’s fiction enthusiast, Kim is a 2021-2022 Teach Plus Illinois Policy Fellow and an NWP Panda Fellow. She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Millikin University, where she received her B.S. in Elementary Education. She is currently completing her MEd in Education Policy, Organization & Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.