Julia Byers, Founder and Director
As the founder and director of Chapter One Events, LLC, Julia has arguably the best job in the world. She gets to organize and run all Ch1Con events; co-run the Ch1Con Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts; and of course meet lots of really awesome people. (Hi there!)
When she isn’t busy being the Ch1Con director, Julia is also a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, majoring in Honors Creative Writing & Literature with a minor in Global Media Studies, and of the inaugural Columbia Publishing Course UK at Exeter College, Oxford University. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Teen Ink magazine, the White Ash Literary Magazine, and the 82nd Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition Collection. Recently she received Highest Honors for her creative writing honors thesis and won the Children’s/Young Adult Fiction category of the 82nd Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, a 2014 Hopwood Underclassmen Fiction Award, the Arthur Miller Award, and an honorable mention in the Children’s/Young Adult Fiction category of the 84th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, among other honors.
Previously Julia worked as a remote intern for Folio Literary Management; studied literature abroad at St Peter’s College, Oxford University; was an administrator, editor, and writer for the Teens Can Write, Too! blog; blogged for The Book Creators; wrote film and event reviews for [art]seen; was the publicist and assistant manager for a local used bookshop; volunteered with 826Michigan; co-chaired U of M’s Publishing Career Forum; interned for the Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency; produced and acted in a play that a student theatre troupe performed at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe; and was an editorial intern for Scholastic. Currently, she is taking a short hiatus from adulting to travel (and watches way too much Netflix).
Ariel Kalati, Associate Online Administrator
Ariel knows the internet better than
probably literally anyone, and puts this knowledge to good use as Ch1Con’s Associate Online Administrator. She helps run Ch1Con’s year-round online events and assists in everything else we need in relation to The Inter-Webs.
Ariel is an undergraduate student at Sarah Lawrence College studying creative writing and literature. She has been writing from a young age and has been published in Teen Ink and A Celebration of Poets anthology, as well as winning the Morris J. and Betty Kaplun Essay Contest. She was a speaker at the first two Ch1Cons and now volunteers as part of the team. Additionally, she attended BookCon 2014. Her writing life now consists of class assignments and editing her young adult novel.
Emma Ryan, Tumblr Expert
Emma has a black belt in tagging stuff and reblogging the best bookish posts. You can follow her work here.
Emma is a freshman in college, studying Creative Writing somewhere in the Midwest. Her family and green tea notwithstanding, she loves stories more than anything in the world. Her primary obsessions are middle grade fiction and fairy tales. She also enjoys reading classic lit, YA romances, and modernizations/adaptations of any sort. She writes short stories, Tumblr posts, tweets, and MG fantasy novels. In her free time, Emma can be found on-or-near a stage, watching The West Wing, or petting a cat.
Find Emma Online: Twitter
Brett Jonas and Christina Li, Chief Creative Consultants
Brett and Christina are two of the smartest and kindest people to ever live, which is why they make such amazing Chief Creative Consultants. From helping decide all the nitty gritty details of the conference, to keeping the rest of the team’s outrageous ideas in check, they keep the heart of Ch1Con beating.
Brett Jonas is a professional fangirl who has been writing YA novels since she was fifteen. After being homeschooled her whole life, she’s now taking classes at the local community college and working in her family’s business, Goat Milk Stuff, with her seven younger siblings. When she’s not writing, reading, working, or doing homework, you can find her wasting time on Twitter, where she loves making friends and using too many exclamation points.
Christina Li is a senior in high school who writes YA novels by night and can daydream like nobody’s business. She loves milk chocolate, drinks way too much tea, and aspires to be just like Hermione Granger. In the past, she has blogged for the Art and Literature section of the online magazine Paper Droids, where she discussed trends of YA literature. You can find her on her Twitter, her blog, or maybe just out in a coffee shop somewhere. She’s represented by Jessica Regel of Foundry Media.
Allison Mulder, Creative Consultant
Human magic eight ball Allison has a knack for knowing the best decisions for Ch1Con. Which is why we maybe mined her for opinions for way too long before formally inviting her to join the team.
Allison Mulder served as an unofficial shadow member of the Ch1Con team–tagging along with staff at the con and helping them set up–for two years before Julia blew her cover by granting her an official position. Allison grew up in assorted small Midwestern towns, and credits the internet with nurturing her nerdiness. A graduate of Northwestern College in Orange City, IA, she majored in Writing & Rhetoric with a minor in Literature, and spent several years copy editing for the campus lit mag as well as the campus newspaper. If you (rather unwisely) count the Magic Tree House rip-offs Allison produced as an eight-year-old, she’s spent approximately fourteen years writing fantasy, science fiction, and (often by accident) horror. Her first pro sale–a creepy tooth fairy story published in Crossed Genres Magazine–may have terrified several in-real-life neighbors.
With patience, sensitive equipment, and a fully-stocked backpack of granola bars, you can sometimes glimpse Allison at her blog. Or, track her far more easily on Twitter, where she broadcasts any significant life happenings, gushes over her current fictional obsessions, and uses far too many X-Files gifs.
Katelyn Pettit, Transition Consultant
Katelyn knows everything there is to know about non-profits, so she’s leading the initiative over the next couple years to transition Chapter One Events, LLC to an NPO (as well as doing lots of other awesome things, of course).
Katelyn recently graduated with honors from Oakland University, where she received her undergraduate degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. She has previously interned at Dzanc Publishing, worked as a freelance editor, and studied Medieval Literature at Brasenose College, Oxford University.
Katelyn is currently working at the Detroit Zoo where she is heading several creative projects, including writing scripts for a worldwide conference and exhibition that will take place early next year. When she isn’t forgetting to update her blog (*ehem, oops*) she can be found curled up in her bed watching Korean dramas (who knew they were so entertaining?!) or at Target where she spends way too much money.
Patrice Caldwell, Marketing Consultant
Patrice could convince a lifelong vegan to enter a hot dog eating contest, which is why the world should be grateful she uses her marketing powers for good as a member of the Ch1Con team, instead. (Seriously. This girl can market.)
Patrice is a twenty-three-year-old introvert gone wild. By day, she’s an editorial assistant, and by night (and early morning, depending on her mood) she’s a writer. You can learn more about Patrice, her writing, and her sense of fashion, favorite treats, or musings at her blog. You can also find her on Twitter, her secondary home. She hails from the great state of Texas, and graduated from Wellesley College in 2015 with majors in Political Science and English. In 2014, she won the SCBWI Student Writer Scholarship thanks to one of her manuscripts, Alex de Vega and Pandora’s Box.
Lynn Byers, Event Aide
As our most adulty member, Lynn has organized and run numerous events for various groups. She is an avid reader, has attended writing conferences across the United States, assists in making sure all things Ch1Con run smoothly, and is always up for helping make dreams come true.
The Chapter One Young Writers Conference is brought to you courtesy of countless volunteers. Those listed above are only a few of the amazing people who can count themselves as members of the Ch1Con team, and we’re supremely grateful for all of them.
Special thanks to Kira Brighton, Molly Brennan, Michael Waters/John Hansen (and everyone at Teens Can Write, Too!), Aisha Al-Amin, all of our previous speakers and volunteers, and our attendees. You guys rock our socks off!