Meet the Team

Ariel Kalati, Director

ArielAriel is a part-time teacher at a Jewish school and is working towards a career in education. She recently graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied writing, literature, and sociology. She’s been working with Chapter One Events since its founding and is excited about the future of the organization. Previously, she has worked as a remote reader for literary agents and a blogger for Indie Reader. However, she prefers the education world to the publishing world, so despite her many friends in publishing (who are all awesome), she’s not planning to use that publishing experience for anything but her own writing and helping other young writers.

Ariel has been writing from a young age and is currently in the seemingly eternal process of editing one of her novels. She has completed National Novel Writing Month eight times and was a finalist in the Morris J. and Betty Kaplun Essay Contest. In addition to writing and reading, she is passionate about community building and loves art history. She can’t wait to see what the future holds for her as the Director for Chapter 21 Con.

Find Ariel Online: Twitter / Instagram


Katie Nichols, Creative Consultant


When Katie was six, she came home from her first young authors conference and declared that she wanted to be a writer. Since then, she has fallen hard for creating worlds with ink, paper, and 26 letters. Her favorite genre to write is contemporary fantasy, so she can bring magic and weirdness into the normal world. She is a firm believer that there is no right way to write, do what works for you.

Besides aiming for publication of her novels, Katie also makes YouTube videos, writes the occasional blog post, and crafts horrible puns. When she’s not sharpening her writing skills, she’s making amigurumi, playing games on her computer, listening to Fall Out Boy, spending too much time on the internet with other creatives, or exploring languages and linguistics that aren’t necessarily English.

Find Katie Online: Blog / Twitter / YouTube


Katelyn Pettit, Nonprofit Coordinator

KatelynKatelyn recently graduated with honors from Oakland University, where she received her undergraduate degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. She has previously interned at Dzanc Publishing, worked as a freelance editor, and studied Medieval Literature at Brasenose College, Oxford University. When she’s not wishing she was back at college studying instead of being in the big, bad, real world, she’s either reading, writing, or teaching herself Japanese. She loves to travel, which means she works a lot to save up the money to do so, and her current goal is to work in Children’s/YA Literature, bringing fresh, diverse voices from around the world to the genre(s). But, for now, she spends most of her time trying to keep from spending her entire paycheck on candy – something that’s not easy to do when you have a sweet tooth the size of Canada!

Find Katelyn Online: Twitter / Instagram / Blog

Julia Byers, Advisor

6O4A1500-2 - Copy (2)Julia previously founded and directed the Chapter One Young Writers Conference and Chapter Twenty-One Conference. These days, she has stepped back to only an advisory role, although she is still the president of Chapter One Events, the nonprofit organization behind both conferences.

When she isn’t doing Ch1Events stuff, she spends her days as an assistant for a children’s literary agency in New York City, her weekends as a photographer, and her nights trying to keep track of the five thousand different writing projects she’s always working on at once. Julia is a graduate of the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, where she studied Honors Creative Writing & Literature and Global Media Studies (Film); the Summer School in English Literature, Medieval & Environmental Studies at St Peter’s College, Oxford University; and the Columbia Publishing Course UK. In her free time, she enjoys watching too many movies, doing outdoorsy things like jogging and hiking, and pretending she has free time.

Find Julia Online: Twitter / Instagram

The Chapter Twenty-One Conference is brought to you courtesy of countless volunteers. Those listed above are only a few of the amazing people who can count themselves as members of the Ch21Con community, and we’re supremely grateful for all of them.

Special thanks to Lynn Byers, Allison Mulder, Liam Wood, the Ch1Con team, and all of Ch21Con’s previous speakers, volunteers, and attendees. You guys rock our socks off!