- WINNER -
Daughter by Kate McLaughlin
Kate McLaughlin is a pseudonym for USA Today bestselling author, Kathryn Smith. Over the span of almost 25 years in the business, Kate has released approximately 50 works of genre fiction (romance, fantasy, thriller and YA) and has been published by Avon Romance, Avon True Romance, St. Martins, Signet Romance, Harlequin Teen, Orbit, Redhook and Wednesday Books. Her books have received rave reviews from Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and other review sites.
She has been nominated for many awards including (but not limited to) YALSA’s Best YA novel, The Ontario Library Association’s White Pine award (2022 and 2023 winner! 2024 nominee.), The Moonbeam Children’s award, Romantic Times best book in category, Romantic Times Scifi/Fantasy Chapter’s best book in YA and in Steampunk. Her books have been published internationally, translated for Brazil, Russia, China, Germany and many more.
Kate has appeared on news programs in Canada as well as Connecticut and was one of three authors featured in the Bravo Canada documentary ‘Who’s Afraid of Happy Endings?’. She has participated in blog tours for previous books, as well as panel appearances, class-room Skype events, book club appearances, and library visits. She has spoken in front of large audiences at BEA, BookCon, DragonCon, NY ComicCon, Thrillerfest, Romantic Times, and Romance Writers of America national conferences. She has also appeared on radio programs and several podcasts.
While not a huge fan of trying to “sell” herself, Kate realizes social media is necessary in a successful writing career and has been growing her platforms at a steady pace. She loves interacting with readers and is constantly striving to improve as both a writer and a person.
Currently, she lives in Connecticut with her husband and four senior cats who don’t realize they’re seniors.
- RUNNER-UP -
Four Years Trapped in My Mind Palace by Johan Twiss
Johan Twiss is an award-winning author who is passionate about writing clean science fiction and fantasy stories that are not only exciting, but suitable for tweens, teens, and adults alike. He has over nine published works, including his award-winning novel, 4 Years Trapped in My Mind Palace, and the I Am Sleepless series. He is the recipient of the Lonestar Ink Rising Star Award, and a finalist in the Screencraft Cinematic Book Competition. He’s also written over 40 children’s stories and counting for the Sleepy Stories App and doubles as an audiobook narrator when time permits.
He’s a loving husband and father of five amazing children, and enjoys playing sports, a variety of musical instruments, painting, and exploring the world on road trips with his family.
Johan is a favorite speaker at school assemblies and loves using funny and interactive stories and magic to inspire kids to read, create, and follow their dreams.