Announcing Pitch Week XIV Winner: Beth Russell!

Nine years ago, seven-year-old Lilah’s parents and twin brother died in a car crash. Now, in young adult novel Kindreds, following the death of her last living relative, Grandma Pea, 16-year-old Lilah must live in foster care where she is reunited with her deceased twin-brother’s friend, Joey. The problem is, Joey harbors a secret. He keeps going each night into Nolianna, a mysterious, disappearing carnival, with Sebastian, a boy who Lilah does not trust. Nolianna is looking for ten new members to go with it on Halloween night. Lilah must decide if she will follow Joey and her heart into Nolianna, or the clues that Nolianna may not be quite what it seems.

Beth Russell is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the College at Brockport and has worked in academia for the past 14 years. A licensed clinical social worker in New York State, she works with youth and adults in a variety of mental health settings, and has experience as both a clinician and supervisor. She is an avid writer and has contributed to several books, authored peer-reviewed articles, and has presented at both national and international conferences in the social work and counseling fields. In addition to her academic position, Beth also maintains a private therapy practice. Beth loves to learn and can always be found reading to her three children and golden retriever, Paisley. Kindreds is her first young adult novel.

 “Coming to When Words Count Retreat and being in this contest has changed my life. The comradery and feedback amongst the authors, coaches, and judges is one for which I am deeply appreciative. I look forward to reading the many books that are published as a result of these contests, as well as maintaining the wonderful friendships formed during my time in Rochester, Vermont.”

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