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Rising Writers

Sarah Driver

Sarah Driver is a nurse and midwife, and a graduate of the Bath Spa Writing for Young People MA, during which she won the Most Promising Writer prize in 2014. Sarah started writing stories as a small child and lists her influences as Spellhorn by Berlie Doherty, A Necklace Of Raindrops by Joan Aiken and the Carbonel books by Barbara Sleigh – those gorgeous, magical stories that create and nurture readers.


Sarah Driver



Mary Torjussen

Mary Torjussen grew up in Stoke-on-Trent. There was no television in her family home so books have always been her escape – she spent hours reading and writing as a child. Mary worked as a teacher in Liverpool before completing an MA in Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University and becoming a full-time novelist. She is a voracious reader of psychological suspense and is fascinated by thrillers where the main threat comes from within the home.

Jaroslav Kalfar

Jaroslav Kalfar was born and raised in Prague, Czech Republic, and immigrated to the United States at the age of fifteen, speaking little to no English at that time but learning it by watching Cartoon Network. He graduated from University of Central Florida, where he received Frances R. Lefkowitz Scholarship, the Outstanding Fiction Writer award, and the Founder's Scholar Award for being the top graduate in the College of Arts and Humanities. He earned his M.F.A. at NYU, where he was a Goldwater Fellow and was one of the three nominees for the new NYU E.L. Doctorow Fellowship Award upon graduating. He is twenty-seven years old.

Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas is an exciting and powerful new voice in YA fiction. She was born, raised and still lives in Jackson, Mississippi. She studied Creative Writing at Belhaven University, where she was one of the only black students — a theme which she visits in The Hate U Give. A former teen rapper, she won the inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grant, awarded by the We Need Diverse Books campaign. The Hate U Give is her first novel.

The Hate U Give

Angie Thomas