|Second Story, the Loft's reading series for writers of children's and young adult literature curated by authors Swati Avasthi and Heather Bouwman, presents novelists Will Alexander and Kelly Barnhill.|
Will Alexander studied theater and folklore at Oberlin College and English at the University of Vermont. He currently lives, writes, and teaches in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His short stories have been published in many magazines and anthologies, including Weird Tales, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Interfictions 2, and Fantasy: The Best of the Year 2008. His novel, Goblin Secrets, received the 2012 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.
Kelly Barnhill is an author, teacher and mom. Her newest book, Iron Hearted Violet, is the story of a plain and reckless princess, a quick-thinking stable boy, a forbidden book, a wicked god, and the very last dragon in existence. Ms. Barnhill’s first novel, The Mostly True Story of Jack—a story about lost children and possibly-sinister corn fields and a dangerous, hidden magic bubbling under the wide, wide land—received four starred reviews. Prior to her life as a writer, she has worked as a waitress, a teacher, a secretary, a park ranger, an activist, a janitor, a coffee barista, and a phone book delivery girl. The sum of these experiences have prepared her for exactly nothing—aside from building stories, which she has been doing happily for the last few years. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her three brilliant children, her amazing husband (architect and house-designing extraordinaire, Ted Barnhill), and their emotionally-unstable dog.