African American Authors Who Write for Teens – A-Z
ELIZABETH ACEVEDO is a NYT best- selling author. She is the winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, The Printz Award, the Boston Globe-Hornbook Award, and the Pura Belpré Award.
Elizabeth Acevedo’s most recent book is With The Fire on High
“Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.”
If you like audio books, check out Elizabeth Acevedo reading her own books. She also narrates the audio book Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Elizabeth Acevedo has books in these categories: Poetry / Realistic Fiction / Short Stories / Hot Reads
Tomi Adeyemi is the #1 New York Times-bestselling and Hugo award-winning author of Children of Blood and Bone and its sequel, Children of Virtue and Vengeance. After graduating Harvard University with an honors degree in English literature, she received a fellowship to study West African mythology, religion, and culture in Salvador, Brazil. When she’s not working on her novels or watching BTS music videos, she can be found teaching creative writing on her website. She was recently named to the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 list, and her website has been named one of the 101 best websites for writers by Writer’s Digest.
Tomi Adeyemi has books in these categories: Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Hot Reads
Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and the New York Times Bestselling author of 32 books, including The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, How to Read a Book, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, Swing, Rebound, which was shortlisted for prestigious Carnegie Medal, and, his NEWBERY medal-winning middle grade novel, The Crossover. Some of his other works include Booked, a NATIONAL BOOK AWARD Nominee, The Playbook: 52 Rules To Help You Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game of Life, and the picture books Surf’s Up, and Out of Wonder, which won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award.
Kwame is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Three NAACP Image Award Nominations, and the 2017 Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award. In partnership with Follett Book Fairs, he created the #AllBooksForAllKids initiative to bring more diverse books into school libraries. In 2018, he opened the Barbara E. Alexander Memorial Library and Health Clinic in Ghana, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program he co-founded. Kwame is the Founding Editor of VERSIFY, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt that aims to Change the World One Word at a Time.
Kwame Alexander writes books in these categories: Poetry / Picture Books / Love Story / Sports / Music / Realistic Fiction
Rena Barron grew up in small-town Alabama where stories of magic and adventure sparked her imagination. After penning her first awful poem in middle school, she graduated to writing short stories and novels by high school. Rena loves all things science fiction, ghosts, and superheroes. She’s a self-proclaimed space nerd. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading or brushing up on her French.
Rena’s debut book, Kingdom of Souls, was released on September 3rd, 2019, and her second book, Maya and the Rising Dark, will be coming Spring of 2020.
Rena Barron has books in these categories: Fantasy / Hot Reads
Mahogany L. Browne was born in Oakland, California but has been based in Brooklyn, NY for over 15 years. Browne is unapologetic in her work as a spoken word poet, author, and activist. She uses her personal experience with addiction, racism, sexism, and oppression to inspire her own brand of shameless, authentic work. Browne’s spoken word performances create a platform through poetry for women and girls to feel empowered and heard. Browne went on to graduate from the MFA Writing and Activism program at Pratt Institute.
A Cave Canem fellow and Agnes Gund Fund Recipient, Browne has published several poetry collections and books, including Black Girl Magic, Kissing Caskets, Redbone, and Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out Online. She has also released five LPs, including a live album, Sheroshima.
Mahogany L. Browne writes books in these categories: Poetry / Hot Reads
Tanya Boteju is an English teacher and writer living on unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver, Canada). A native British Columbian, she completed her English and Education degrees at the University of British Columbia, then spent time in New York attaining her Master of Arts through Columbia University’s Teachers College. Most recently, Tanya received a Creative Writing Certificate through Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio.
Her novel, Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens, was named an Indie Top 10 Pick of the Summer by the American Booksellers Association, a starred review on Shelf Awareness, and a Barnes & Noble best YA book of May. An upcoming short story will appear in the anthology Out Now in 2020 and Boteju’s next YA novel is due out with Simon & Schuster in 2021.
Tanya Boteju writes books in these categories: Realistic Fiction / LGBTQ Fiction / Hot Reads
Kacen (Kheryn) Callender
Born and raised in St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, Kacen Callender is the award-winning author of the middle-grade novels Hurricane Child and King and the Dragonflies, the young-adult novels This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story and Felix Ever After, and the adult novel Queen of the Conquered.
Kacen was previously an Associate Editor of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, where they acquired and edited novels including Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles, the New York Times bestseller Internment by Samira Ahmed, and the Stonewall Honor award-winning novel Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake.
Kacen Callender writes books in these categories: Fantasy / LGBTQ Fiction / Realistic Fiction / YA Romance / Hot Reads
Dhonielle Clayton is the co-author of the Tiny Pretty Things series. She grew up in the Washington, DC suburbs on the Maryland side and spent most of her time under her grandmother’s table with a stack of books. A former teacher and middle school librarian, Dhonielle is co-founder of CAKE Literary—a creative development company whipping up decidedly diverse books for a wide array of readers—and COO of the non-profit, We Need Diverse Books. She’s got a serious travel bug and loves spending time outside of the USA, but makes her home in New York City, where she can most likely be found hunting for the best slice of pizza.
The Belles has received the following awards: 2019 Locus Award Finalist, Young Adult Book; 2019 Lodestar Award Finalist, Best Young Adult Book; 2019 Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards finalist; Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth – 2018; CPL Best Books, Teen Fiction – 2018; and Kirkus Best Books, Young Adult – 2018. Check out the second book in The Belles series – Everlasting Rose.
Dhonielle Clayton writes books in these categories: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
BRANDY COLBERT is the award-winning author of Little & Lion, Finding Yvonne, Pointe, and The Revolution of Birdie Randolph. Her newest book is: The Only Black Girls in Town (March 2020).
Brandy Colbert has books in these categories: Love Story/LGBTQ/Short Stories/Realistic Fiction
Sharon G. Flake
Tiffany D. Jackson is the critically acclaimed author of YA novels including Let Me Hear a Rhyme (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books), the NAACP Image Award-nominated Allegedly, and Monday’s Not Coming, a Walter Dean Myers Honored Book and Coretta Scott King New Talent Award winner. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Film from Howard University, her Master of Arts in Media Studies from the New School, and has over a decade in TV/Film experience. The Brooklyn native is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves.
Jason Reynolds is a NYT bestselling author, a Newbery Award & Printz Award Honoree, National Book Award Honoree, Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and multiple Coretta Scott King honors.
The Beauty that Remains – Coming in March – When You Were Everything
Jacqueline Woodson is the author of numerous award-winning books, including Last Summer With Maizon, I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This, From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun, and Miracle’s Boys.