Meet the Team

2017-2018 Chapter One Young Writers Conference Team

Director: Emma Rose Ryan


Emma Rose Ryan is an undergraduate studying Creative Writing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She’s been a member of the Chapter One Young Writers Conference team since the event’s inception, and she is honored to be taking over as Director for 2018. 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.

Deputy Creative Consultant: Zoe Noble


Zoe is a high school senior and word enthusiast from Iowa. Aside from writing novels, short fiction, and poetry, her favorite pastimes include reading, making music, 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 school and 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 in eighth grade, 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


Rona Wang is a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying mathematics with computer science. She has won five Scholastic national medals and was published in The Best Teen Writing, as well as the Ch1Con anthology. Her writing has also been recognized by the Sierra Nevada Review, the Claremont Review, and the Adroit Prizes. When not writing, she is involved with activism and the art of cat video appreciation. She is originally from Portland, Oregon.

Graphic Design Consultant: Nicole Dowling


Nicole is an undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is studying Graphic Design and hopes to work as an Illustrator in Chicago after graduation. Her favorite books include Madame Bovary and The Poisonwood Bible. She enjoys painting, drawing, and digital design. When she isn’t creating art, Nicole can be found practicing American Sign Language or singing Broadway tunes to herself. She can also be found practicing HTML and CSS. Visit her website at to view some of her work!

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

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.


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