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2022 Debuts

There is so much experience in this group of eight 2022 Debuts, and they all very kindly said they'd be delighted to help with any questions you may have after listening to their presentations. Even if you just get in touch with them to say thank you, I'm sure they'd love to hear from you!

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Becky Dean

Love & Other Great Expectations

YA contemporary, Delacorte Press, June 2022

Becky Dean is a fan of adventures both real and fictional. When she’s not writing or traveling, she can be found drinking tea, watching science fiction shows, or quoting The Lord of the Rings. Though she lives in Texas with her husband, she remains a Southern California girl at heart.


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Betty Yee

Gold Mountain

YA historical, Lerner/Carolrhoda, April 2022

Betty G. Yee was born and raised in Massachusetts. She spent much of her early life reimagining her favorite stories or writing sequels to them. Betty has been an elementary school teacher for over twenty years. When she’s not teaching or writing, she enjoys traveling, bike riding, eating french fries and immersing herself in the words and worlds of other writers. She lives with her two bossy cats, Zara and Piper. Her stories can be found in The Drum Literary Magazine, Hunger Mountain, Frost Fire Worlds, and RAZ Kids. She is the recipient of SCBWIs 2011 Multi-Cultural Works-In-Progress Grant. 


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Sathya Achia


YA fantasy-adventure, Ravens & Roses Publishing, August 2022

Sathya Achia was born and raised in Ontario, Canada, where she grew up devouring books and playing along the pebbly shores of Lake Huron, before moving to the United States. Sathya’s creative work is influenced by her South Indian Kodava culture. She spent many a summer in the remote hills and lush jungles of the Western Ghats in India, where she learned the art of storytelling from her grandparents. Her debut YA fantasy-adventure novel, In My Hands, (Ravens & Roses Publishing) is available now. Her short story, The Crane in the Mist, appears in the anthology, Tales Untold: Mythos Around the World (Ravens & Roses Publishing/Nov 2022). Website

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Lisa Stringfellow

A Comb of Wishes

Middle grade fantasy

HarperCollins/Quill Tree Books, February 2022

Lisa Stringfellow writes middle grade fiction and has a not-so-secret fondness for fantasy with a dark twist. Her debut fantasy A Comb of Wishes is a 2022 New England Book Award finalist. Lisa is a middle school teacher and lives in Boston, Massachusetts with her children and two bossy cats.


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Anita Jari Kharbanda

Lioness of Punjab

YA Historical, Yali Books, September 2022

Anita Kharbanda is an Indian-American engineer by trade, and storyteller by heart. The healing power of letters filled with family history inspired Anita to start writing. Yali Books published her debut YA novel, Lioness of Punjab. The story is told from the perspective of Mai Bhago, the first female, Sikh warrior.


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Sarena Straus


YA Science Fiction, Winding Road Stories, October 2022

Sarena Straus is a lawyer turned author. She writes novels for the curious and adventurous, for people who are intrigued by a “what happens if,” scenario, and who like to explore the outcomes. In addition to novels, Sarena has published numerous legal articles and works of poetry. She's also been an editor for a legal magazine and a tv and radio criminal case commenter.


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Laurel Goodluck

Forever Cousins

Picture book, Charlesbridge, October 2022

Laurel Goodluck writes picture books with modern Native themes that reflect Native children’s cultural experiences and everyday life, showing Native children that they have a perspective that is unique and powerful.

Charlesbridge will release Laurel’s debut picture book, Forever Cousins (Fall 2022), illustrated by Jonathan Nelson. The Heartdrum imprint of HarperCollins will release Rock Your Mocs, illustrated by Madelyn Goodnight, in Fall 2023. Too Much, illustrated by Full Circle Literary client Bridget George, is slated for Spring 2024 from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Laurel comes from an intertribal background of Mandan and Hidatsa from the prairies of North Dakota, and Tsimshian from a rainforest in Alaska.

Laurel lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her Navajo husband, and was a recipient of a 2019 mentorship with We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) Picture book Mentorship paired with award-winner author Traci Sorell. She is an active regional chapter member of New Mexico SCBWI and volunteer Equity and Inclusion Lead.


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Brynn Barineau

Jaguars and Other Game

Adult Historical Fiction, Orange Blossom November 2022

Originally from Atlanta, Brynn Barineau has a bachelor’s in international studies and master’s in international communication from American University. She moved to her husband’s native Rio de Janeiro after college with too many sweaters and not enough Portuguese and began writing as a way to process life in a new country. Her fiction is rooted in the power and possibilities of relationships across cultures. She’s back in Atlanta rediscovering her hometown with her Brazilian-American family.


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