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Colorful Pens

Content Creators

A photo of Phoenix Media & Books' founder, CEO, and author, Katie Otey

Katie Otey
Founder & CEO

Katie Otey is an author and poet with a passion for heartwarming tales laced with humor. She has spent well over a decade in the publishing industry both as an author and as a network representative for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Katie’s desire to expand opportunities for creators prompted her to start Phoenix Media & Books. As a publisher, Katie intends to offer a traditional yet collaborative publishing experience, while providing tips and motivation to creators looking to navigate the industry. In addition to her passion for books, Katie enjoys singing, performing skits with her kids, language learning, traveling, and making her friends and family laugh. To book Katie for your conference or other event, please reach out to her via her contact form.

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A photo of Phoenix Media & Books' Chief Operations Officer and Author, Leia M. Johnson

Leia M. Johnson
COO & Author

Leia M. Johnson is a multi-talented storyteller whose debut picture book, Sister, was written to help children navigate the emotional landscape of foster care and adoption. A military spouse and mother of four, Leia is no stranger to tackling difficult situations with grace and grit. Leia's life outside writing has included working as an educator, as a library clerk, and as the president of a global women's empowerment nonprofit. Leia's international experiences help provide the rich backdrop to the books she pens. Her stint as a Network Representative for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators further shows her dedication to the written word and her willingness to help others achieve their writing dreams.

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Samantha Winkler

A photo of Phoenix Media & Books author, John Bowen

John Bowen

John Bowen is the author of the upcoming hilarious picture book Sasquatch. Ninja. Clown. He has worked tirelessly as part of the Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators, helping to host events such as the popular SCBWI Words in the Woods writer's conference held in central Illinois. John has penned several stories with varying themes from bullying to friendship, all with a comedic bent. His debut, Sasquatch, Ninja, Clown., will no doubt be the first of many books from this talented author. John is represented by Dan Cramer. You can find John at his author website:

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A photo of Phoenix Media & Books author P. Geoff Rutledge
A photo of Phoenix Media & Books author, Kelli Buschmann

Kelli Buschmann

Kelli Buschmann is a children’s book writer and former elementary school teacher who’s passionate about social emotional learning. Kelli has been a part of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators since 2018. When she isn’t reading or writing, Kelli enjoys relaxing with her family, watching her kids do the things they love to do, yoga, and taking walks with her goldendoodle, Charles Barkley aka Charlie.

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A photo of Phoenix Media & Books illustrator, S. J. Winkler

P. G. Rutledge

P. G. Rutledge (Geoff to most people) is a girl dad, a children's book writer, and in his spare time, a family physician. P. G. Rutledge has penned several picture books and middle grade novels and has served as a Network Representative for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Samantha (SJ) Winkler is a writer, illustrator, and mixed-media artist in love with nature, fantasy, and all things spooky. She tailored her bachelor's degrees in English literature and art studio with an added minor in creative writing to embrace her devotion to all aspects of publishing. When she isn’t reading, writing, or editing, she is drawing, painting, studying film, or finding any excuse for a nice hike outdoors or a visit to a zoo. To connect with Samantha, please visit her website,or find her on social media.

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