alison ashley formento



Madeline ‘Twigs’ Henry is a small teen in the shadow of some big problems. Born prematurely, and still so tiny in stature that people think she’s in the fifth grade, Twigs has a mighty spirit. She needs that spirit when life throws a bucket of stones at her. It starts with a drunken deserter dad. Mom and little sister are so obsessed with their own love lives that Twigs has to take care of both of them. Her adored soldier brother Matt is suddenly missing in the Middle East.

Just as Twigs is trying to figure out how she can solve everybody’s problems (and find out if her boyfriend is cheating on her), she finds she has to save herself and the person she loves most–the very father who left her all alone.

Alison Ashley Formento

Alison Ashley Formento writes for children, teens, and adults. She is the author of the young adult novel Twigs (Simon Pulse), featured in PW as a notable new release for teens, and multi-award-winning nature picture books This Tree Counts!, This Tree, 1, 2, 3, These Bees Count!, These Seas Count!, and These Rocks Count! (Albert Whitman). Alison has written for several national publications including The New York Times, The Writer, and Parenting. She loves meeting readers at schools, libraries, and festivals, and donates a portion of her book sales to Learn more at her website.


Friday, October 19

1:00-1:45am • Panel Discussion – The Instruments of Writing Believable Characters

Location: DSU Room 3023-25

Life imitates art. Or is it the other way around? We’re not sure how these authors feel about Oscar Wilde quotes, but we know their characters all like music. Listen as they discuss the tools they use to write relatable characters you’d want to share a playlist with in real life.

Along with these authors:
Sarah Nicole Smetana
Katie Cotugno
Brandy Colbert
Ashley Woodfolk
Nic Stone

6:00-6:45am • Panel Discussion – Level Up

Location: Barnes and Noble Booksellers (180 Campbell Lane)

These debut authors talk about how real-life experiences fuel their writing (or in some cases, doesn’t). How did they get inspired to write their books? How does research tie in? What messages do they want to convey? Come with your questions; leave with answers (and probably a cupcake)!

Along with these authors:
Tanaz Bhathena
Kelly deVos
Julien Jamar
Nisha Sharma
Erin Summerill
Moderated by Bree Barton