2023 Annual Conference Authors

We are proud to offer attendees the opportunity to interact with almost 20 authors while you're at the 2023 Annual Conference. There will be no shortage of book signings available. Books from each author will be available for purchase on-site via KidsInk. We will have several giveaways for copies of each author's book during the conference. 

Indiana Humanities Authors

We are thankful for our valuable partnership with Indiana Humanities and the work they do to advance the arts in the state of Indiana. They will have several booths available for author meet-and-greets on Monday, November 13 from 10:00am-3:00pm and Tuesday, November 14 from 10:00am-2:00pm. Stop by their booth to meet some of your favorite award-winning authors and get a copy of their book signed. You can learn more about the Indiana Humanities 2022 Shortlists via this webpage

Monday, November 13

  • 10:00-11:00am: John David Anderson (Shortlist, Middle Grade) & Sofi Keren (Shortlist, Genre)
  • 11:00am-1:00pm: Tamara Winfrey-Harris (Shortlist, Young Adult) & Kim Howard (Winner, Children's)
  • 1:00-2:00pm: Judith L. Roth (Shortlist, Children's) & Rob Harrell (Shortlist, Middle Grade, Keynote in 2022)
  • 2:00-3:00pm: Chris Elliott (Shortlist, Debut) & Larry D. Sweazy (Shortlist, Genre)

Tuesday, November 14

  • 10:00-11:00am: Laura Martin (Shortlist, Middle Grade) & Ray Boomhower (Shortlist, Nonfiction)
  • 11:00am-12:00pm: Dr. Tyrone McKinley Freeman (Shortlist, Debut) & J.R. Jamison (Shortlist, Debut)
  • 12:00-2:00pm: Helen Frost (Winner, Middle Grade) & Paul Allor (Winner, Genre)

Paul Allor

Paul Allor is a comic book writer, editor and educator, known for balancing intensely character-driven stories with bombastic ideas and dynamic plotting. Their creator-owned books include Hollow Heart for Vault Comics, Monstro Mechanica for AfterShock Comics, Tet for IDW Publishing and Past the Last Mountain for CEX Publishing, among others. 


John David Anderson

 John David Anderson is the best-selling and critically-acclaimed author of a dozen novels for young people, including Ms. Bixby’s Last DayPostedGrantedSidekickedFinding Orion, and One Last Shot. A lifelong resident of Indianapolis, he spends his days hiking, biking, guzzling rootbeer, playing with Lego, encouraging young people to read, and making stuff up. His hair is much grayer in real life.


Ray Boomhower

 A native of Mishawaka, Indiana, and a former newspaper reporter for Indiana newspapers, Boomhower has written extensively on World War II media history, including biographies of such noted war correspondents as Scripps-Howard columnist Ernie Pyle and Time magazine reporter Robert L. Sherrod. Boomhower has also published biographies of President Benjamin Harrison, fighter ace Alex Vraciu, photographer John A. Bushemi, Original 7 astronaut Gus Grissom, longform journalist & speechwriter John Bartlow Martin, and educator and activist May Wright Sewall. 


 Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is a lifelong resident of Fort Wayne, Ind., where he works as a high school history teacher. He developed an interest in history as an adolescent, including a passion for the Civil Rights movement. Chris and his wife and teenage son still reside in the Summit City. Chris is also the proud stepfather to three adult stepchildren and grandfather to one grandchild. In his free time, he enjoys reading, traveling, and sports. 


Dr. Tyrone McKinley Freeman

Tyrone McKinley Freeman, Ph.D., is the grandson, son, nephew and cousin of African American Baptist preachers and First Ladies. His experiences growing up in the Black Church influence his storytelling and writings about the history of African American philanthropy. He currently serves as Associate Professor of Philanthropic Studies at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI where he writes about the history of philanthropy, African American philanthropy, and philanthropy and higher education.  


Helen Frost 

Helen writes for readers of all ages. For younger readers, she has written eleven novels-in-poems, and seven nonfiction picture books. One of her picture books, Hello, I’m Here, was shortlisted for a 2020 Indiana Authors Award and her middle grade book, All He Knew, won a 2022 Indiana Authors Award. All He Knew also won the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. Her work for adults includes two collections of poetry, two anthologies, and two plays. In 2009-2010 she received a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Poetry.


Rob Harrell 

 Rob Harrell is the author of the middle grade novel Wink, the Life of Zarf series and the graphic novel Monster on the Hill, which was recently adapted into the animated film Rumble. In addition, Harrell created the comic strip Big Top and now writes and draws the daily strip Adam@Home. His latest book is the graphic novel Batpig: Go Pig or Go Home, the third in the Batpig series after Batpig: When Pigs Fly and Batpig: Too Pig to Fail. Rob was one of our keynotes at the Annual Conference in 2022!


Kim Howard

 Kim Howard is a children’s book author and former teacher. Her debut picture book Grace and Box was published in 2021 by Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan. Grace and Box is a 2022 Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award nominee, a 2022 Panda Book Awards nominee, and was included on the 2021 Redbud Read Aloud Masterlist for Oklahoma. The School Library Journal called it “a surefire hit for story time.”  Kim's next book Do Mommies Ever Sleep? is available for preorder now. 


 J.R. Jamison

J.R. is the award-winning author of the memoir Hillbilly Queer, host of the NPR podcast and radio show: The Facing Project (recorded and produced at Indiana Public Radio), and a founder of the national Facing Project network—a nonprofit organization in 18 states and over 100 communities that creates a more understanding and empathetic world through stories that inspire action. His work has been featured in The Guardian, The Huffington Post, PangyrusWriter’s Digest, and in various print literary journals. Currently, he is writing his debut young-adult novel. 


Sofi Keren

 Sofi is a writer in love with romance and her home city of Indianapolis. She writes stories that combine the two. She has published two novels: False Starts & Artichoke Hearts and Painted Over, which was also nominated for Indiana Authors Awards in the genre and emerging categories. In addition to her romance novels, she writes short speculative fiction under the name Summer Jewel Keown, which has been published in Pulp LiteratureBikes Not Rockets, and the forthcoming Taylor Swift-themed anthology Kiss Your Darlings. She co-edited the anthology Non-stalgia with Ryan Everett Felton.


 Laura Martin

Laura Martin is a mom by day and a middle grade author by night, although in her heart she will always be a seventh-grade language arts teacher. After spending six years teaching the fine art of dream chasing as a teacher, she is enjoying every minute of this lifelong dream of being an author. She lives in the Indianapolis area with her husband and four kids. You can connect with her on Instagram @LauraMartinBooks or at www.lauramartinbooks.com.


 Judith L. Roth

From earlier days, she has writing credits in far-flung genres (poetry, articles, curriculum, songs), but writing for children was always the goal. She now has six published picture books. Her last four are Goodnight, Dragons; Venetian LullabyHiding Baby Moses (a JLG selection); and Cadence and Kittenfish: A Mermaid Tale, released in 2023. Her middle grade verse novel is Serendipity & Me.  


 Larry D. Sweazy

Larry D. Sweazy is a multiple-award winning, critically acclaimed author of 19 novels, 34 short stories, and over 60 non-fiction articles and book reviews. An early reader, he was raised in a home filled with paperback books brought home from the factory and watched a lot of 1960s westerns and 1970s detective shows on television. Larry was 49 when his first novel, The Rattlesnake Season (2009), was published. Since then, he has been awarded eight national writing awards, including the Western Writers of America (WWA) Spur Award (2), Best Books of Indiana Award (1), the Will Rogers Medallion Award (2), the Elmer Kelton Book Award (1), the Willa Award (1), and the WF (Western Fictioneers) Peacemaker Award (1).


 Tamara Winfrey-Harris

Gary, Indiana, native Tamara Winfrey-Harris is a writer who specializes in the ever-evolving space where current events, politics and pop culture intersect with race and gender. She says, “I want to tell the stories of Black women and girls, and deliver the truth to all those folks who got us twisted—tangled up in racist and sexist lies. I want my writing to advocate for my sisters. We are better than alright. We are amazing.”

  Please contact the ILF Office if you have questions about the authors present! 



Featured Authors

Lisa Fipps

With her debut middle-grade novel, Starfish, Lisa Fipps won 13 awards, including the 2022 Michael L. Printz Honor Book Award, and the novel in verse was selected for 44 state award/book lists. She’s done virtual and in-person author visits with thousands of children in America, Canada, and China, in addition to being a guest speaker and panelist at festivals and conferences. Starfish has been translated into Turkish, Korean, and Spanish, and will soon be coming out in other languages. Her second middle-grade novel in verse will be released in spring 2024. Lisa is also an award-winning former journalist, and an award-winning former library marketing director. You can learn more about her books on her website


Availability: Lisa will be available to meet-and-greet and sign copies of her book(s) on Tuesday, November 14 from 8:30AM - 10:00AM and again at 11:00AM - 12:30PM. 

Kim Freeman

Kim Freeman is a children's book writer based in Bloomington, Indiana. She enjoys writing books that inspire children to follow their dreams. Kim holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Indiana University and is a long-time member of SCBWI (the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators). Her most recent publication is Ice Cream Man: How Augustus Jackson Made a Sweet Treat Better


AvailabilityKim will be joining us at the conference on Tuesday, November 14 from 12:30-2:00pm to meet conference attendees and sign copies of her book(s). 

Margaret Peterson Haddix


AvailabilityMargaret will be joining us at the conference on Monday, November 13 starting at 6:15pm to meet conference attendees and sign copies of her book(s) during the Monday Night Reception.