Meet the Team

Julia Byers, Founder and Director

As the founder and director of the Chapter Twenty-One Conference, Julia has arguably the best job in the world. She gets to organize and run all Ch21Con events, contribute to the Ch21Con social media accounts, and of course meet lots of really awesome people. (Hi there!)

6O4A1474Besides directing Ch21Con, Julia is the president of Chapter One Events, the nonprofit organization behind both Ch21Con and its little sister conference, Ch1Con. When she isn’t doing Ch1Events stuff, she spends her days as an assistant for a children’s literary agency in New York City and her nights trying to keep track of the five thousand different writing projects she’s always working on at once.

Julia graduated in 2016 from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, where she studied Honors Creative Writing & Literature and Global Media Studies, as well as the inaugural Columbia Publishing Course UK, an intensive publishing certificate program organized in collaboration between Columbia University and Exeter College, Oxford University. Her writing has received a number of honors, including Highest Honors (for her creative writing honors thesis), first place in the Children’s/Young Adult Fiction category of the 82nd Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, a Hopwood Award, and the Arthur Miller Award.

In her free time, Julia enjoys watching too many movies, doing outdoorsy things like jogging and hiking, slowly learning how to use her DSLR camera, and pretending she has free time.

Find Julia Online: Twitter / Instagram / Blog

Ariel Kalati, Marketing Manager

Ariel knows the internet better than probably literally anyone, and puts this knowledge to good use as Ch21Con’s Marketing & Social Media Manager. She organizes and executes Ch21Con’s annual marketing plan, including a spring blog tour and major flyering campaign, as well as contributes to the Ch21Con social media accounts.

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 Marketing Director for Chapter 21 Con.

Find Ariel Online: Twitter / Instagram

Katelyn Pettit, Nonprofit Coordinator

Katelyn is a badass at everything not-for-profit, so she organizes all of the Chapter One Events nonprofit paperwork and legal stuff (as well as doing lots of other awesome things as a member of the Ch21Con team, of course).

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

Allison Mulder, Chief Creative Consultant

Allison is one of the smartest and funniest people to ever live, which is why she makes such an amazing Chief Creative Consultant. From helping decide all the nitty gritty details of the conference, to keeping the rest of the team’s outrageous ideas in check (and of course proposing some of her own), she keeps the heart of Ch21Con beating.

AllisonAllison served as an unofficial shadow member of the Ch1con team for two years before they blew her cover and gave her an official position leading up to the 2017 conference. She writes fantasy, science fiction, and–often by accident–horror. Her short stories have appeared in various pro-level genre magazines such as Escape Pod, Fireside Fiction, InterGalactic Medicine Show, Crossed Genres, and more. She is also a First Reader for Strange Horizons. In 2016, Allison graduated from Northwestern College in Orange City, IA, with a Writing & Rhetoric degree, a Literature minor, and experience copy-editing for the campus newspaper and annual literary journal. She’s also had a PR internship in Chicago, working in either Willis or Sears Tower depending on who you ask and how intent they are on correcting you.

With patience, sensitive equipment, and ample provisions, you can sometimes glimpse Allison at Or, track her far more easily on Twitter at @AMulderWrites, where she broadcasts any significant life happenings, gushes over her current fictional obsessions, and uses far too many X-Files gifs.

Find Allison Online: Blog / Twitter

Katie Nichols, Deputy Creative Consultant

Human magic eight ball Katie has a knack for knowing the best decisions for Ch21Con (and coming up with creative, awesome ideas for improving the organization!).


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

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, Liam Wood, the Ch1Con team, all of Ch21Con’s previous speakers and volunteers, and our future attendees.

You guys rock our socks off!