Meet the Team

2019-2020 Chapter One Young Writers Conference Team

Conference Director: Emma Rose Ryan


Emma Rose Ryan is an undergraduate studying Creative Writing at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. She’s been a member of the Chapter One Young Writers Conference team since the event’s inception, and she was honored to take on the role of Director in 2017. Emma writes middle-grade and YA fiction, focusing on paranormal and urban fantasy genres. When she’s not writing, Emma can be found reciting Shakespeare, watching The West Wing, or petting someone else’s cat.

Chief Creative Consultant: Zoe Noble

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Zoe is a history major at Iowa State University. Aside from writing novels, short fiction, poetry, and songs, her favorite pastimes include playing music, fiber arts, and dog-watching. Her writing has been featured in her school newspaper and Transitions, Ch1Con’s first-edition short fiction and poetry anthology, and she has performed her original music at various open-mic nights and art shows around her community. If not watching Netflix in blanket caves with her hedgehog or living vicariously through her Sims, she can be found retweeting animals @thenoblezoe.

Marketing and Social Media Manager: Christel Thompson

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Christel Thompson is a poet and novelist, based in Chicago. Fluent in four languages, pursuing a B.L.A at the University of Illinois, and actively immersing herself in all the culture possible, Christel can be found reading by day and unable to get to sleep by night. Outside of her literary endeavors, Christel is a portrait photographer, avid tea-drinker, and professional makeup hoarder. She has professed that she’s loathe to speak about herself in the third person but has been known to be persuaded on occasion.

Deputy Marketing Manager: Joey Brant


Joey is a high school freshman, and can often be found reading Sarah J. Maas under his desk during class. His favorite books to read are Young Adult Fantasy and Young Adult Contemporary Fiction. While he hasn’t found his niche in writing, he enjoys writing fantasy and horror the most. When Joey is not reading or writing, he is most likely binge-watching Scandal or listening to Billie Eilish.

Freelance Creative Consultant: Rona Wang is a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying mathematics with computer science. Rona is a friend of the conference who helps us bring Ch1Con to the best and brightest young authors.

Graphic Design: Thank you to  Nicole Dowling  for her freelance graphic design work!

Special thanks to the Ch21Con team, Kira Brighton, Molly Brennan, Michael Waters (and everyone at Teens Can Write, Too!), Aisha Al-Amin, Lynn Byers, Kathleen Ryan, all of our previous speakers, volunteers, and attendees. You guys rock our socks off!