Raised by a Pakistani father and American mother in the small town of Half Moon Bay, CA, L. Michelle Quraishi grew up searching for identity, belonging, and connection in books. Her experiences with straddling multiple cultures drive her commitment to exploring cultural edges and understanding. An SCBWI member since 2013, she’s written numerous picture books and is currently working on a middle-grade novel in verse. She now lives with her husband, two children, and mother in Walnut Creek, CA. Learn more at www.lmquraishi.com.
Natasha Tripplett loves to find the beauty in all things around her. She uses her words to help readers experience the details that make life rich. Natasha has written many picture books and has been published in various magazines. As a black woman, raised in a white family by way of adoption, Natasha has a unique perspective on issues of race and claiming one’s identity. Along with her husband and four children, Natasha lives in Dublin, California.
Equity and Inclusion Award Co-Coordinators
Meera Sriram grew up in India and moved to the U.S in 1999. An electrical engineer in the past, she now enjoys writing for children, leading early literacy initiatives, and advocating for diverse bookshelves. Meera is the author of #OwnVoices picture books The Yellow Suitcase and A Gift For Amma. She has also co-authored several kids’ books in India. Meera believes in the transformative power of stories and likes to write on people, places, and experiences less visible in children’s literature. Find out more at meerasriram.com.
Vanitha Sankaran is both a medical communications director working in rare diseases and a novelist. Her debut novel, Watermark, was a work of adult historical fiction; she has since written a YA contemporary fantasy and is working on a YA cross between science fiction and the history of slavery. She was a co-founding editor of the literary journal flashquake for its 10-year run and has served multiple times as the Conference and Program Chair for the Historical Novel Society of North America’s Biannual Conference. She currently lives with her husband and greyhounds in Moss Beach, California. Learn more at vanithasankaran.com