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Featured Authors and Speakers

Veronica N. Chapman


Veronica N. Chapman is an entrepreneur and author, having written and produced a motivational play for teens, Ancestors Inc., and published two children's books, I Know I Can! and King Khalid is Proud. Veronica writes with the express purpose of making children believe in themselves.


A graduate of Spelman College (B.A. in Spanish) and Babson College (M.B.A.), Veronica commits her gifts and ideas to improving the world. To fulfill her commitment, she founded Boxxout Enterprises where she designs creative solutions for social change like Black Children's Book Week and others.

Shraddha Nyati


Shraddha Nyati is a forensic expert by profession. When she is not slitting apart bodies or investigating crimes, you can find her tucked-in with a mug of hot chocolate, peeling layers of her heart and carving it out on paper. Her writing mostly focuses on bringing out the emotions in even the most mundane things, such as the rising steam from a cup of tea on winter mornings. She is a dreamer at heart and believes in the magic of dreams. She has two books to her name. Her first book, From Ring to Mirror, is a story about a woman who experiences life through her relationships and how those relationships change over the course of time. Her second book, Lobster, is about second chances. It tells a story about hope and how your heart feels and finds courage when it comes to matters of love.


About King Khalid is Proud

There is power in the word PROUD. It feels good when someone tells you that they are proud of you. But imagine just how empowering it is when you do something that makes you proud of yourself!


King Khalid is a clever and courageous boy who loves to play video games, but his bedtime gets in the way. After his father reinforces the rules and makes him go to bed on time, King Khalid challenges himself to find a creative way around the rules so he has more time to play his games. - Even if he has to learn how to design his own video game! He signs up for a coding class with the ultimate goal of staying up late, but in the process he accomplishes something that ultimately makes everyone proud.


King Khalid is Proud makes children believe in themselves, and helps them develop the type of confidence that turns into rock-solid self-esteem.

A professional artist and a  life coach by passion, she has been transforming the lives of people one soul at a time for over a decade now. In the same capacity, she has been actively writing handwritten letters to anyone worldwide who needs someone to be there for them. If you know someone who needs a warm hug through words, you can reach out to her at

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Priya Parikh


Priya Parikh holds a Bachelors in Public Health from Rutgers University and a Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University's School of International Public Affairs.Priya's hobbies include creative writing, singing, and also dancing to Bollywood music and Indian classical music. Priya’s debut picture book, Dancing Devi, received positive reviews from Booklist, Foreword, Kirkus, and received a 2022 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for Best New Voice in Children's/Young Adult.


Priya's writing interest took off at a young age as she wrote poems, and narrated the lives  of great leaders for a children's magazine, The Sapling, through the guidance of teachers at Vivekananda Vidyapith, an Academy for Indian culture and Indian philosophy. She also trained as a Bharatanatyam dancer for more than 10 years and completed her Arangetram, a debut performance of her formal dance training in 2009.

She believes that creative writing and storytelling have an important role in creating an inclusive world by allowing us to appreciate diversity, learn from underrepresented minority groups, and embrace our collective humanity. Priya has spent much of her childhood memories in the small town of Fort Lee, NJ and since then has moved 30 minutes away within New Jersey, USA. 

Anna Petelina


I was born and raised in a beautiful, very green city, Kyiv, the very heart of Ukraine. A country with a long history, a turbulent and soul-wrenching present, and, I am certain, a great future.

In Kyiv, I pursued my education and career. My journey started at Kyiv National Linguistic University, where I studied English and Greek languages and later started a career in marketing and business development.


In 2019, my husband, my son, and I moved to the USA. There, I joined the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America (UNWLA), the longest-running and largest Ukrainian women’s organization in the US, as an educational and literary referent. UNWLA is dedicated to promoting and developing educational and cultural efforts and providing humanitarian assistance to Ukrainians worldwide.

I have been tirelessly working to raise awareness about the challenges faced by Ukraine’s citizens and to advocate for positive change. I believe that understanding Ukraine's culture and history is crucial to comprehending the complexities of the ongoing full-scale war that Russia started in Ukraine on 24th of February in 2022.


My presentation is a chance to learn about Ukraine’s current environment as it pertains to libraries, books, and culture from an authentic, everyday perspective. It's an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by its people and the resilience that keeps them going.

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