About Us

YAtopia launched in January 2011 with eight aspiring Young Adult writers who wanted to blog about books, publishing, writing, and the writing life. Since then, we've grown into a place aspiring Young Adult, Middle Grade, and New Adult authors come for inspiration, conversation, and competition. Our current members are:

Kate Foster

Kate is the editorial director of Australian publishing house  Lakewater Press, runs a freelance editing business, and is an award-winning middle grade author. She has mentored new writers as part of Pitch Wars, Nest Pitch, and FicFest. Originally from a small village in south-east England, she now lives with her tribe of males on the Gold Coast in Australia. She's been a blogger for YAtopia for a few years and now coordinates and interviews guests for the Guestopia spot each month. 

Lori Goldstein

As a young girl, Lori Goldstein would make a tent with her bed sheet and clasp a flashlight in one hand and a book in the other. She’d read into the wee hours, way past her bedtime. Today, she not only reads past her bedtime, she writes too.
Thanks to Azra, the sixteen-year-old genie in Lori’s debut novel, her wish to be a published author has been granted. The currently titled Becoming Jinn, a Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy, will magically appear in Spring 2015 from Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s. The spell will last through Spring 2016 when the sequel is revealed. Lori is represented by Lucy Carson of The Friedrich Agency
With a degree in journalism from Lehigh University and more than 10 years of experience, Lori is a freelance copyeditor and manuscript consultant for all genres. She focuses on the nitty-gritty, letting writers focus on the writing.
Too much of Lori’s day involves chatting books, obsessing over The Vampire Diaries, and perfecting the art of efficient writing through Twitter. Find her at @loriagoldstein, follow her blog at www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com, or swing by Goodreads to see her favorite reads.

K.T. Hanna

K.T. writes and reads all types of speculative fiction, loves nail-biting thrillers, and curling up with a good paranormal novel. In 2012 she participated in the inaugural #PitchMadness, and has been slush diving with glee for every #PitchMadness since. This love of finding hidden slush gems as well as a turn as a #PitchWars mentor led her to seek to refine her skills further. She’s been a New York City Agency intern since mid 2014, ecstatically devouring manuscripts and filling in reader reports.
Originally from Australia, where she studied law, business, and psychology, K.T. now lives in Kansas with her husband, daughter, corgi and cat. She’s lived on three continents and is bilingual in German. After seven years as a Human Resources Manager, she’s turned her critical eye and organizational skills to become one half of Chimera Editorial Services.
Note: She is still searching for her Tardis.

Sharon Johnston

Sharon is a public relations specialist and a former journalist from Australia who writes in her spare time. Although she normally writes about the strange and the weird, her first publication is a general fiction short story call "Growth" as part of The Australian Literary Review's anthology The Basics of LifeSharon loves YA, science-fiction, speculative fiction, paranormal and anything that comes from the deepest darkest parts of someone's mind. 

Well-known for her fantastic taste in shoes, Sharon has actually been stalked by women wanting to know where she got her high heels from. She invites you to read her personal blog and she is a Twitter fiend so follow her @S_M_Johnston.

Fiona McLaren

Fiona lives on the sun-soaked island of Cyprus, and is a full-time scriptwriter for an independent animation company. Their first production is due to release soon. She also works as an editor for Cornerstones Literary Consultancy, and edits on a selective freelance basis. Her experience as an intern at two separate literary agencies, and selling articles and web content, means that if something has words, she’ll try it.

She is represented by Maura Kye-Casella at Don Congdon Associates for her Young Adult works.


Emily G. Moore

Emily is a poet, freelance writer, and storyteller (the first of which her mom still has recorded on a cassette tape.)  She is a long distance member of For Pete’s Sake Writers Group in Washington, active in an email writer’s response group, and represented by Jessica Schmeidler of Golden Wheat Literary. She’s the blog assistant for YAtopia. Her essay WEARING TERESA’S BOOTS is scheduled to be featured in Hope Paige’s Anthology on Loss in 2017.  

When she’s not telling “Mommy Made stories” to her two daughters or nagging her husband to edit her latest kid lit manuscript, she can be found off-roading in her suped-up ATV, swimming, or in a long, plot-refreshing bubble bath. She tweets @egmoorewriter, posts on Facebook, and blogs at www.emilygmoorewriter.blogspot.com


Jessie Mullins

Jessie Mullins is wife to her middle/high school sweetheart and has embarrassing, love-struck diaries from back in the day she can use for YA fuel. Together, they have a son who just so happens to be the sweetest boy in the world. During naps times, Jessie blogs on YAtopia and her personal mommy blog, Her Arms Are Strong. She writes and adores YA. Her husband makes fun of her for liking stuff that's made for teenagers, and if he doesn't stop the teasing, she's going to write in her diary about it. 


 Sarah Nicolas

Sarah is a thirty-something who currently lives in Central Florida with the sweetest mutt on the face of the planet. She is the author of Dragons are People, Too and also writes romance as Aria Kane. Fantasy and Sci-Fi are her favorite genres, but she loves all YA and New Adult. Sarah believes that some boys are worth trusting, all girls have power, and dragons are people too.

She also blogs at http://www.sarahnicolas.com/ and is obsessed with Twitter, so she'd love for you to follow her @sarah_nicolas. Tumblr is her newest favorite distraction. 

Megan O'Russell

Megan O’Russell is the author of The Tethering Series, books one and two of which are currently available from Silence in the Library Publishing. Megan's romance novella Nuttycracker Sweet,will be released this holiday season by Fiery Seas Publishing. Megan’s work has also been featured in Athena’s Daughters 2, an anthology of women in Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Awethology Light, and will be featured in the new Sudden Insight anthology to benefit the SPCA.

Originally from New York, Megan is a professional actress who spends her time traveling the country for different shows. When not on stage or writing, Megan spends time with her beloved ukulele and her wonderful husband. To follow Megan’s writing adventures, you can visit her website at meganorussell.com.

Sarah Tipton

Sarah Tipton decided to stay a teenager forever. Until she finds the fountain of youth, she’s living life vicariously through writing and reading. Five kids and three dogs call her, “Mom,” and she homeschools them all in North Pole, AK. Well, she homeschools the kids, not the dogs, though sometimes the dogs seem easier to teach! Since 2012, Sarah's entered, been a finalist, and won multiple contests, finally achieving her dream of winning ACFW's Genesis in Young Adult in 2015. After that win, she decided to move forward in her career by indie publishing a project that literally takes her back to her teen years when she first met the characters. 

In addition to writing, she loves reading, crocheting, TV watching, running, and CrossFit. But to fit in all that fun, she has to multitask. Anyone up for a round of read-cro-TV-run-Fit? You can join that crazy fun and vicariously living on her website www.sarahtiptonbooks.com or connect with her on Facebook.

Destiny Cole

Whether it’s fantastical worlds or creepy villains, Destiny Cole wants to tell the kind of stories that stay with you long after the last page is turned. Writing primarily YA thriller and mystery books, Destiny is repped by Kirsten Carleton at Prospect Agency.  She and her family currently reside in Dallas, Texas.

Find her at destinycole.com or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter: @destinywrites

Faye Griffin

Faye’s favourite YA books are anything with fantasy, historical or fairytale elements (bonus points if it combines all three) and she counts it a personal challenge to fill every shelf in her house with books. This love for fiction has driven her to pursue a career as a literary agent and she is currently applying for UK internships.

Faye is in her final year of university at Nottingham University, UK, where she runs and edits the pro-feminist magazine ARTEMIS. She is also an avid Sherlock fan, and counts the time that she made eye contact with Benedict Cumberbatch as one of her finest achievements.

Chris Bedell

Chris's previous publishing credits include Thought Catalog, Crab Fat Literary Magazine, Short-Story.me, Quail Bell Magazine, Pidgeonholes Magazine, Abbreviate Journal, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, The Vignette Review, Chicago Literati, Sprout Magazine, Inklette Magazine, Entropy Magazine, and The Drunken Odyssey. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is pursuing an MFA in Creative and Professional Writing at William Paterson University. Furthermore, he has a creative nonfiction personal essay forthcoming in the Creative Truth as well as a short story in Adelaide Magazine.

YAtopia was founded by Sharon, Sarah, and the following YAtopian retirees, who still come visit for YAtopian National holidays.
Leigh Fallon was born in South Africa, raised in Dublin, Ireland and moved to Cork in her 20s. Her debut novel, Carrier of the Mark, was published by HarperTeen in September 2011. You can check it on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Goodreads.

She can be found lurking in cyberspace on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Inkpop, and many more.  You can find out more about Leigh at http://www.leighfallon.com/

Represented by: Tina Wexler - ICM (International Creative Management), New York.

Chanelle Gray is an author and book reviewer from London. Her debut novel My Heart Be Damned will be published in Fall 2012. Add it to Goodreads here.

Chanelle blogs at Beyond Words and also uses twitter. She is represented by Victoria Marini of the Gelfman and Schneider Lit agency.

Wendy Higgins is a former high school English teacher turned on-the-go mom. She lives with her husband and two children in Northern Virginia. Sweet Evil, Wendy's debut novel, was published by HarperTeen in 2012.

You can continue to follow her writing journey on her personal blog and Twitter.


Nyrae Dawn lives in Southern California with her incredible husband and two beautiful daughters. Her YA novels include What a Boy Wants, What a Boy Needs, Freeing Carter, Measuring Up, Karma Bites and Misplaced.

When not writing or devouring books by some of her favorite authors, you can find her online at her personal blog or on twitter at @nyraedawn. She also writes adult fiction under the name Kelley Vitollo.

Kelley York has been a writer and artist for as long as she can remember, and she has a goofy-looking trophy from a first grade story contest to attest to that. She is the author of Hushed and Hollowed.

Kelley keeps her own blog at Flowers for Ghosts, and you can follow her on Twitter, @elixing.

DJ is a proud writer of young adult paranormal-romance who suffers from Sexy New Idea Syndrome and currently writes from his bedroom. His novel Hunted was published by Pendrell Publishing in 2011.

In addition to novel-writing, he is also a singer/songwriter and book blogger. His reviews and songs can be found on his site, DJ's Life in Fiction. As he continues to grow as a person and a reader, DJ hopes to continue growing as a writer and can't wait to see where his stories take him. Find Hunted on Facebook and GoodReads!


The following YAtopians have retired from the blog. We would like to thank them for their contributions!

Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist and author of all things young adult paranormal, dystopian, and horror. Her Young Adult Paranormal Romance novelette NEW PRIDE and novel SHIFTING PRIDE debuted in 2012 from Etopia Press. A spin off short story based on the lions of Tsavo, TSAVO PRIDE, is now available on Amazon. ENDURE is a YA paranormal dystopian with sci-fi elements. Its sequel, EVOKE, is coming late 2013/early 2014 by Etopia Press. ZODIAC COLLECTOR, a YA paranormal romance, is coming 2014 by Spencer Hill Press. When she's not writing, she is working at the hospital, blogging at AuthorLaura Diamond--Lucid Dreamer, and renovating her 225+ year old fixer-upper mansion.

Jaquira Díaz is the Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. Her work has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, has been selected as Notable in Best American Essays 2012, and will be anthologized in Girls on Fire, and Sins and Needles: Writers and their Tattoos. She teaches fiction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also works as Senior Editor of Devil’s Lake. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Sun, The Southern Review, Slice Magazine, and Pushcart Prize XXXVII: Best of the Small Presses, among other publications.

To find out more, or if you’d like to send free cupcakes or puppies, you can find her at jaquiradiaz.com or follow her on twitter: @jaquiradiaz.

Lindsay Leggett is a writer and an editor for Month9Books. She loves the juxtaposition of beauty and grit, urban crawls, indie everything, and time well spent in the woods. She currently lives in Northern Ontario, with plans to dominate... er, travel the world. 

Lindsay is the author of Flight and has a number of works-in-progress on the way. She spends most of her time writing and editing, but can often be found watching copious amounts of anime, playing video games, or riding horses.

Find her at www.burningtree.ca for fun blogs and vlogs, interactive writing, and random fun.

Ryan Greenspan is a self-proclaimed few quirks short of an oddball, which he thinks is probably why he mostly writes zany stories for middle-grade readers. He lives in the great white north of Winnipeg, Canada where it's so very cold and snowy that he has to snowshoe in his toque and parka to university every day. It's there that he studies English in hopes of becoming a middle school teacher. When he's not writing, he's playing hockey, playing with his beagle, watching reality TV, or cooking vegetarian food. He likes to write about superheroes and science and is working toward the goal of writing the next big middle-grade series. Follow him on Twitter @TheHeraldRyanG or check out his new blog at http://theamazingwriterman.blogspot.com!

Jen Malone is a middle grade and young adult author. Her middle grade novels include At Your Service (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin, 2014) RSVP Book #1 (S&S, 2015), RSVP Book #2 (S&S, 16) and her YA debut WANDERLOST releases with HarperCollins in 2016. She lives north of Boston with her husband and three children, teaches and at Boston University, and pines for a pet hedgehog. Twitter: @jenmalonewrites

Louise Gornall is a graduate of Garstang Community Academy, currently studying for a BA (Hons) in English language and literature with special emphasis on creative writing. She writes books that often involve characters fleeing for their lives/fighting/falling in love. YA aficionado. Brit bird. Film nerd. Identical twin. Junk food enthusiast. Rumoured pink Power Ranger. Represented by Mandy Hubbard of D4EO.  

You know those author bios where they try to be way too funny for their own good and end up eating pavement? This isn't one of them. Sean Grigsby lives in central Arkanas with his wife and son, where he works full-time as a firefighter/EMT. Before that, he moonlit as a stand-up comedian, radio DJ, and an endless list of other professions you probably don't care about. Having a father in the military, he's lived all over the globe, but grew up mostly in Memphis, TN. Sean's short stories have appeared in several anthologies, including Children of the Moon and Daylight Dims. 


Davey Beauchamp is the creator of the Writers for Relief charity anthology series, the Agency 32 series, the multi-award nominated Amazing Pulp Adventures Podcast along with Podcasting’s Rich Sigfrit, and Gallifrey Pirate Radio, a video podcast dedicated to Doctor Who. He also writes a short story or two when given the chance between going to a multitude of sci-fi/fantasy/lit conventions talking about writing, reluctant readers, libraries, and fandom. He is currently working on the Amazing Pulp Adventures RPG with Scaldcrow Games to work with the Bare Bones System, which is coming out next June.

Davey earned a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from UNCG and works at the Lexington Public Library in Davidson County as their Teen Specialist and Technology Guru.

Suzanne van Rooyen
Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller and peanut butter addict from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing, she teaches dance and music to middle schoolers and entertains her shiba inu, Lego. Her books include Obscura BurningThe Other Me, and the forthcoming I Heart Robot from Month9Books. Suzanne is rep'd by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.

You can find Suzanne on her website, on Twitter @Suzanne_Writer or on Goodreads.