Authors & Illustrators Reception

Monday, June 10th 4:30 pm- 6:30 pm

Crowne Plaza Peachtree City

     Natalie Nelson is an Atlanta-based illustrator, picture book maker, and collage artist. She is the illustrator of several books for children, including THE KING OF THE BIRDS by Acree Graham Macam, UNCLE HOLLAND by JonArno Lawson, and A STORYTELLING OF RAVENS by Kyle Lukoff. Her newest picture book, HOW EMILY SAVED THE BRIDGE, by Frieda Wishinsky, chronicles the life of Emily Roebling and the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Scott Ludwig lives, runs and writes in Senoia, Georgia.  Scott and his wife Cindy, both University of Florida graduates have two sons, one grandson and three cats to keep them ‘entertained.’  In their free time they like to explore Coweta County, travel and work around their forever home in the country.  Scott retired in 2018 after a 39+ year in logistics.  He now has a variety of jobs that require a lot of his time, effort and energy and pay absolutely nothing.  But he wouldn’t have it any other way.


Scott is the author of 15 books including Best Foot Forward, a fiction novel written with adolescents in mind, although the book has been enjoyed by parents and grandparents as well.  Scott also writes a weekly column for the Newnan Times-Herald.

     Guest Speaker


     Nic Stone was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, GA, and the only thing she loves more than an adventure is a good story about one. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring and lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the US to write full-time. Growing up with a wide range of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, Stone strives to bring these diverse voices and stories to her work.

You can find her goofing off and/or fangirling over her adorable little family on most social media platforms.

     Nury Castillo Crawford, mother of three sons, life-long educator for over 20 years, Owner of 1010 Publishing and a published author. She was born in Peru, South America. She emigrated to the
United States when she was ten years old. The transition to a new environment and culture was
a shock to her, but with the love and support of her family, she flourished and grew up to become a successful entrepreneur, educational leader and author.

    Lauren Karcz is a fan of new books, old dogs, long sentences, Broadway shows, adverbs, and
wandering art museums. She's a professional language nerd, having worked as an ESL teacher, a
language test developer, and now as a writer. Lauren lives with her family in Atlanta. Her first novel,
THE GALLERY OF UNFINISHED GIRLS, was a 2017 Junior Library Guild Selection and a 2019
ALA Rainbow List honoree.

     Julane Fisher is the author of The Sour Lemon Series, Southern middle grade fiction. Her debut novel, Sour Lemon and Sweet Tea was awarded Readers’ Favorite® 5-star Review and is a Selah Awards finalist. Sour Lemon Strikes Out released in April 2019 and is a powerful story of bullying, friendship, and responsibility. Julane’s blog, 2Wrds,
is a collection of encouraging and inspirational stories. A huge fan of music, Julane gets much of her inspiration from song lyrics. Her favorite foods are homemade chocolate chip cookies and coffee. Julane lives in north Georgia with her husband, twin boys, and their two mischievous Labrador retrievers.

     Kim Osborn Sullivan writes fiction and nonfiction for both adults and kids. Her books can be counted on for laughs, likeable characters, and happy endings. A lot of them have monsters, too. In addition to writing, she publishes books and zombie maps through her company Kissing Frog Books, LLC.
       Kim grew up in Chicago and later traded her parka for a view of Georgia pine trees and a pool outside her window. She lives with her husband and an assortment of rescued cats in a neighborhood that isn’t currently known for Bigfoot sightings, but there’s always hope for the future. She holds a Ph.D. in political science and spent many years as a college instructor.

     Kevin Brown was born in the Bronx, New York, fully immersed in the culture of Hip Hop. As a true hip-hop-head of the 80’s, he tried his hand at breakdancing, tagging graffiti on project buildings, beatboxing, scratching records, and making pause tapes. But it was the inner music the rhymes made that lit a flame of passion within and influenced him to write. As a teenager, he was addicted to crafting intricate rhyme schemes.  But as he matured, the burning desire to condense all of his thoughts into rhyme-form began to wane and a new flame of passion was lit; one of a storyteller. He went from budding emcee to budding novelist instantly. Once he discovered his true calling, he created the Hard Knocks High series for reluctant readers and at-risk-teens. As a former reluctant reader, he writes books that he would have enjoyed when a teen. Hard Knocks High, where the classroom and the streets collide, is a young adult series that features relatable characters and realistic stories laced with life lessons.

     Laura Freeman is a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honoree. Her work on “Hidden Figures” written by Margot Lee Shetterly, which was also recognized with an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Children, reached the New York Times Best Seller list and was listed in this year’s “Ten Books All Georgians Should Read”. Her art has also been honored by the Society of Illustrators, and in the Annuals for Communication Arts and American Illustration.
     She has illustrated over thirty children’s books and her editorial images are frequently seen in the NY Times and other periodicals. Laura's art can also be found on a wide range of products, from dishes and textiles to greeting cards.
     Originally from New York City, Laura now lives in Atlanta with her husband, two sons, two cats and a fish.

     Doug Cturtle is a retired elementary school library media specialist. He used his Dewey Zoo story for years to teach Dewey Classification to his students. His retirement dream was to share the story with others in the form of a fully-illustrated picture book. After more than two years of collaboration with British illustrator Charlie Kaye, he independently published Mr. Dewey’s Zoo in March 2019. Doug lives on St. Simon’s Island with his partner and their fur baby. He works as a library assistant at the “Library
by the Sea” and enjoys reading, swimming, biking, and walking on the beach.

     George Weinstein is the author of the Southern historical novel Hardscrabble Road; the Southern mystery Aftermath; the novel of forgotten U.S. history The Five Destinies of Carlos Moreno; and the contemporary romance The Caretaker. In October 2019, his suspense novel Watch What you Say will be published. His work also has been published in the Atlanta press and in regional and national anthologies, including A Cup of Comfort for Writers. George is the current President of the Atlanta Writers Club and has managed the Atlanta Writers  conference for a decade, helping nearly three thousand writers on their quest for publication. On his website,, you can read the first chapter George's books for free and discover more about him and his work.

     Miles Davis fueled his fertile imagination with books, cartoons, and comics while traveling as a child of a military family. Drawing became an escape and a way to pass the time on long layovers and soon blossomed into a lifelong passion for art and storytelling. Miles earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Auburn University in 2003, where his passion for art brought him to Atlanta to start his career.

     Merissa Corbet Davis grew up captivated by the creative arts. From a young age, she enjoyed crafting, music and technology. Her passion for the graphic arts drove her to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia, and she now serves as co-founder of three creative endeavors.

     Miles and Merissa are currently working on the next two books in the Butterpup & friends™ series, as well as a new book independent of the series. They also selectively illustrate and design books for independent authors with intriguing manuscripts.

     Jo Watson Hackl’s debut novel, Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe (Random House Children’s Books),
was awarded the Southern Book Prize and named an Indie Next Pick and an Okra pick. The book combines outdoor adventure with an art mystery clue trail. It is inspired by the Mississippi ghost town where Jo grew up and Mississippi artist Walter Anderson, who left a secret painted room when he died. Jo is also the founder of, a free resource for information and inspiration about the outdoors. A first-generation college graduate, Jo loves sharing the backstory behind the book, research, writing and revision techniques, how poetry improves prose writing, how to incorporate nature into the school day, and how the power of writing transported her from the rural Mississippi ghost town where she grew up to Yale Law School. Free resources for educators and readers are available on her website.


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