Rickey E. Pittman, storyteller, author, and folksinger was the Grand Prize Winner of the 1998 Ernest Hemingway Short Story Competition, and is originally from Dallas, Texas. Pittman presents his stories, music and programs at schools, libraries, organizations, museums, Civil War Reenactments, and Celtic festivals throughout the South. He has made three music CD’s: Bard of the South (2011), The Minstrel Boy

(2012), and A Lover’s Ghost (2012). His newest publication is Ariel: Therapy Dog of the Rio Grande Valley (2014). Pittman earned a BA in New Testament Greek and an MA in English Literature from Abilene Christian University and currently teaches college level freshman composition and literature for Delta Community College, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and Virginia College Online. http://www.bardofthesouth.com/about-me/

Children's author, Kimberly P. Johnson, was born in Shelby, North Carolina. She currently resides in York, South Carolina. She has written eleven children's books – The Adventures of the Itty Bitty Frog”, The Adventures of the Itty Bitty Bunny, The Adventures of the Itty Bitty Spider and the Itty Bitty Mouse, Paperback Poetry Part 1, Paperback Poetry Part 2, Tag-Along Fred, Not Again, Mr. Cat, Teacher Need Tugging Too, It’s Time For School – A Wonderful day, F.A.S.T. Tracks from A-Z, and My Mother Is My Friend. Kimberly is an advocate of children's literacy and gives a portion of proceeds to children's literacy organizations.


Melanie Smith was originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma but has been a proud transplant to the RGV for many years. She is currently a Librarian at Burns Elementary. She has been a librarian for 23 years and her favorite thing to do is read to kids. She believes that reading with enthusiasm helps
encourage students to read.

Suni Paz is an Argentinian singer, songwriter, guitarist, poet, folklorist, translator, and teacher, who has recorded and has been published extensively. Suni is part of the progressive Latin American music movement known as nueva canción (new song). Best known in the United States as a performing artist and prolific songwriter, Suni Paz has been presenting Latin American culture to audiences of all ages for more than thirty years http://www.sunipaz.com/bio.html