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Yusef Salaam is the inspirational speaker and prison abolitionist, who, at age fourteen was one of the five teenage boys wrongly convicted in the Central Park jogger case. In 1997, he left prison as an adult to a world he didn’t fully recognize or understand and in 2002 he was exonerated for the crime he didn’t commit. Yusef now travels the world as an inspirational speaker, advocate and educator on the impact of disenfranchisement, mass incarceration, police brutality and misconduct, press ethics and bias, race and law and the disparities in the criminal justice system, especially for men of color.

Yusef Salaam headshot

Walter Mosley is one of America’s most celebrated and beloved writers. A Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America, he has won numerous awards, including the Anisfield-Wolf Award, a Grammy, a PEN USA’s Lifetime Achievement Award and several NAACP Image Awards. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages. His short fiction has appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, GQ and Esquire, and his nonfiction has been published in The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Magazine and Newsweek. He is also the author of Down the River unto the Sea. He lives in New York City.

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Joshua Ferris is the author of three previous novels, Then We Came to the End, The Unnamed and To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, and a collection of stories, The Dinner Party. He was a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and the PEN/Hemingway Award, and was named one of The New Yorker‘s “20 Under 40” writers in 2010. To Rise Again at a Decent Hour won the Dylan Thomas Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta and Best American Short Stories. He lives in New York.

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Natasha Brown is a writer who lives in London. In 2019, she received a London Writers Award in the literary fiction category. Assembly is her first novel.

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David Baldacci is a global #1 bestselling author, and one of the world’s favourite storytellers. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with 150 million copies sold worldwide. His works have been adapted for both feature film and television. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. He resides in Virginia, U.S.A.

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Award-winning author Natasha Deen spent the first part of her life in Guyana, then her family moved to Calgary, Alberta, which she found terribly exciting until her first minus-forty-degree winter day, at which point she began to question the sanity of the grown-ups around her. She currently lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband, dogs, and cats, and regularly entices the muses to her office with offers of cupcakes and tea.

Natasha Deen

Ian Rankin is the number one bestselling author of the Inspector Rebus series. The Rebus books have been translated into thirty-six languages and are bestsellers worldwide. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Awards, including the prestigious Diamond Dagger, and in 2002 he received an OBE for services to literature. He lives in Edinburgh.

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Scott Turow is the author of many bestselling works of fiction, including Testimony, Identical, InnocentPresumed Innocent and The Burden of Proof and two nonfiction books, including One L, about his experience as a law student. His books have been translated into more than 40 languages, sold more than 30million copies worldwide and have been adapted into movies and television projects. He has frequently contributed essays and op-ed pieces to publications such as the New York TimesWashington PostVanity FairThe New Yorker, and The Atlantic.

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Mark Billingham has twice won the Theakston’s Old Peculier Award for Crime Novel of the Year, and has also won a Sherlock Award for the Best Detective created by a British writer. Each of the novels featuring Detective Inspector Tom Thorne have been a Sunday Times bestseller. Sleepyhead and Scaredy Cat were made into a hit TV series on Sky 1 starring David Morrissey as Thorne, and a series based on the novels In the Dark and Time of Death was broadcast on BBC1. Mark lives in north London with his wife and two children.

Mark Billingham by Steve Best

Born in England to South American parents, Evan Winter was raised in Africa near the historical territory of his Xhosa ancestors. Evan has always loved fantasy novels, but when his son was born, he realized that there weren’t many epic fantasy novels featuring characters who looked like him. So, before he ran out of time, he started writing them.

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