John Michael Scalzi II is an American science fiction author and former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. He is best known for his Old Man's War series, three novels of which have been nominated for the Hugo Award, and for his blog Whatever, where he has written on a number of topics since 1998. He won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2008 based predominantly on that blog, which he has also used for several charity drives. His novel Redshirts won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel. He has written non-fiction books and columns on diverse topics such as finance, video games, films, astronomy, writing and politics, and served as a creative consultant for the TV series Stargate Universe.
Jane Hyatt Yolen is an American writer of fantasy, science fiction, and children's books. She is the author or editor of more than 365 books, of which the best known is The Devil's Arithmetic, a Holocaust novella. Her other works include the Nebula Award-winning short story Sister Emily's Lightship, the novelette Lost Girls, Owl Moon, The Emperor and the Kite, the Commander Toad series and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight. She gave the lecture for the 1989 Alice G. Smith Lecture, the inaugural year for the series. This lecture series is held at the University of South Florida School of Information "to honor the memory of its first director, Alice Gullen Smith, known for her work with youth and bibliotherapy." In 2012 she became the first woman to give the Andrew Lang lecture.
William James Collins, known as Billy Collins, is an American poet, appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. He has served as a Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York and is the Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute, Florida. Collins was considered as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library and selected as the New York State Poet for 2004 through 2006. As of 2015, he is a teacher in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton.