The Spine Squad

Emmy Nordstrom Higdon is an Assistant Agent at The Rights Factory literary agency. The authors below are represented by Emmy, and together they form the #SpineSquad, who are out to bring some incredible books into the world. For more information on Emmy’s agenting work, check out their MSWL page!

Tamara Goranson

Tamara Goranson, Ph. D., R. Psych. is passionate about writing historical fiction and creating feminist revisionist retellings. Her Vinland Vikings trilogy tells the story of the first Vikings to explore North America in the 11th century.

In addition to writing alternate histories, Tamara works as a Clinical Psychologist in private practice where she specializes in treating trauma survivors. Tamara weaves her knowledge of posttraumatic stress into the colourful adventure stories she spins about the Norse in order to give voice to the trials and tribulations the Vikings must have faced while exploring new worlds.

Kit Mayquist

A fan of everything spooky and indulgent, Kit Mayquist is a trans male writer who can be found in the historic shadows of Boston, MA, hunched over his desk with a sullen Persian cat in his lap and surrounded in antiques. His short-fiction piece, INDELICATE has been featured in Mythridate Magazine, where he is also an editor. He has a MA degree in Medieval History from the University of Iceland, and a BA from Portland State University (and if you ask him, yes, Stumptown will always have the best coffee).

Morgan Routh

Morgan Routh is a bestselling author and English Language Arts teacher.

Starting from the indie world, she has published novels and novellas in YA and Adult, including the Dorm Life Series, Summerside, and Summer Isle. In 2018 and 2019, her books became Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers. She specializes in LGBTQIA+ fiction, mainly homoromantic asexual/demisexual spectrum literature.

Morgan has a BA in English with a concentration of interdisciplinary linguistics. She loves researching STEM topics, art history, and grammatical theory, which she blends into everything that she writes.

Melissa McKinnon

Melissa McKinnon is the pen name under which both Niki Beck and Robin Blanchard write mainly young adult and middle grade novels. Both Robin and Niki are in their mid-30s, forever stuck in the 1990s and early 2000s, and fancy themselves professional fangirls and shippers. They are also kill your darlings enthusiasts, unapologetic feminists, and never shy away from their fanfiction roots.

They are both voracious readers, workaholics, and are easily susceptible to becoming obsessed with the newest Netflix, Prime, or Hulu original. Together they form one well-rounded novelist and screenwriter capable of anything, depending on their caffeine intake.

Jordan D’Amico is a Toronto-based writer who is definitely still in his twenties and not almost thirty like his birth certificate would have you believe. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Rights (which is most certainly not human resources like a lot of people think) and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations (sure, that’s like marketing).

He doesn’t have a pen name, but if he did it would probably be Stockard Channing Tatum O’Neal. The novel he’s currently working on would be a great Netflix series produced by Mindy Kaling.

Jodee Rose

Jodee Rose is an artist and writer. She graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and spent 10 years of her life substitute teaching before being hired full time. Her career in teaching was cut short by chronic illness. Diagnosed in 2014 with Behcet’s Disease, she finally began treatment and turned to writing while mostly bed bound. When she is not writing or creating art, she engages in activism for the disabled, fat, and LGBTQIA+ communities, of which she is a part. She currently lives in Montana with her spouse of 20 years and her grumbly black cat, Maggie Mae.

Her Illustrated Humor Blog, “I’d Like Cheese on My Entire Family!” won Blog of Note from and two Voice of the Year awards from

Adan Jerreat-Poole is a reader and writer who loves all things fantastical and feminist. They are a PhD candidate at McMaster University studying disability and queerness in popular culture. Their short fiction has appeared in The New Quarterly, Qwerty Magazine, Soliloquies, and The Steel Chisel. Their debut young adult fantasy novel, The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass, is forthcoming with Dundurn Press (September 2020). Adan lives in Kingston, ON, on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee nations. They have a cat named Dragon.

Carly Bergey

Carly Bergey, M.A., CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist, singer and writer. Her professional interests include voice care, therapy and coaching. She offers these services through her private practice, Lark Voice and Speech, and teaches and supervises graduate speech-language pathology students at Moravian college. How we speak ourselves into our lives, literally and figuratively is the foundation for much of her written work. She lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her family (human and canine).

Marissa Eller is a novelist and a college writing tutor. She holds a BA in English from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and an MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University. She resides in Hickory, North Carolina with her family and two rescue cats, all of whom she couldn’t love more if she tried.

An avid reader of YA and a devoted supporter of the #OwnVoices movement, threads of her own life are woven into her fiction. Her writing focuses on the depth of human emotion, and the power words have to change a life.

When not writing or helping students, she can be found thinking entirely too much about her favorite TV shows, obsessing over a band she’s loved since she was fifteen, or enjoying an afternoon nap.

Lynne Schmidt is a mental health professional and an award winning poet and memoir author who also writes young adult fiction. She is the author of the poetry chapbooks, Gravity (Nightingale and Sparrow Press 2019), and On Becoming a Role Model (Thirty West 2020). Her work has received the Maine Nonfiction Award, Editor’s Choice Award, and was a 2018 and 2019 PNWA finalist for memoir and poetry respectively. Lynne is a five time 2019 Best of the Net Nominee, and has recieved honorable mention for the Charles Bukowski Poetry Award, the Doug Draime Prize for Poetry, and Joy of the Pen. In 2012 she started the project, AbortionChat, which aims to lessen the stigma around abortion. When given the choice, Lynne prefers the company of her three dogs and one cat to humans.

Image above courtesy of the talented Aadorah, who can be found on Instagram!