About

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Welcome to ChiYA. We hope you’ll follow our journey as we grow and evolve!

Meet our fabulous founding contributors:

Version 2Samira Ahmed was born in Bombay, India and grew up in a small town in Illinois in a house that smelled like fried onions, cardamom, and potpourri. A graduate of the University of Chicago, she taught high school English, helped create dozens of small high schools, and fought to secure billions of additional dollars to fairly fund public schools. She’s lived in Vermont, Chicago, New York City, and Kauai where she spent a year with her family searching for the perfect mango and a flawless beach. Samira’s debut novel, LOVE, HATE & OTHER FILTERS, is coming out in Spring 2018 from Soho Teen/Soho Press. Find her on Twitter, her website, and Goodreads.


HeadshotGoriaChao 200x200 Author PhotoGloria Chao is an MIT grad turned dentist turned writer. Her debut novel, AMERICAN PANDA, is coming out in Spring 2018 from Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster. She was once a black belt in kung-fu and a dancer, but that side of her was drilled and suctioned out. Restoration in progress. You can visit Gloria’s website, add her on Goodreads, and follow her on Twitter.


headshot-kat-200x200Kat Cho used to hide books under the bathroom sink and then sneak in there to read after bedtime. Her parents pretended not to know. This helped when she decided to write a dinosaur time-travel novel at the tender age of nine. Sadly, that book was not published. Currently, Kat writes YA sci-fi and fantasy and is represented by Beth Phelan at the Bent Agency. You can follow her on Twitter or her blog.


ElizabethCooke 200x200Lizzie Cooke has been an avid book reader, ice cream eater, and tree climber since a young age. She started crafting her own stories as soon as she could spell such important words as dog, jump, and fence. She now writes contemporary YA that delves into tragedy with humor and hope. Lizzie is represented by Eric Smith of the P.S. Literary Agency. You can keep up with her on Twitter or her (ice-cream-dominated) website.


Ronni Davis loves words. She writes them, she reads them, she even edits them for a living. She also loves* Theo James, Disney World, pasta, notebooks, and junk food. She wrote her first story at the age of 11 in a Michael Jackson notebook, and enjoys creating characters, even if she doesn’t know what she’s going to do with them. (Hence her pile of Sims with no homes.) She writes contemporary YA, has no problem with instalove, and craves happily ever afters. She is represented by Caitie Flum of Liza Dawson Associates. You can find her on Twitter, her blog, and Goodreads.
*may or may not be in order of importance


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Anna Waggener spent many childhood summers building pirate ships out of pillows and library books. Invariably, she read the walls and sank herself. Today she writes YA fantasy and other well-intentioned lies and is represented by Logan Garrison Savits at the Gernert Company. Anna’s debut novel, GRIM, was released in 2012 by Scholastic Press, and you can find her latest happenings and obsessions on Twitter.


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That’s all for now. Watch for two more contributors to be announced in 2017!

The background photo on the Welcome page is courtesy of Catherine Wright.
All other photos are courtesy of the ChiYA contributors, except where noted.