YARWA Board of Directors


President, Mary Karlik

Following a career as a nursing instructor, award-winning author, Mary Karlik earned an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. A native Texan, Mary loves horses, dogs, cats, country music, and small town diners. Although life has taken her elsewhere, her heart remains in the Lone Star state.


Vice President of Programs, Christine Gunderson

Christine Gunderson grew up on a family farm in rural North Dakota. She’s a former television anchor and House and Senate press secretary, and current author of Young Adult novels. She lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband and three children.


Vice President of Communications, Katherine Fleet

Originally from Newfoundland, Katherine Fleet moved to the sunny Caribbean a decade ago with her pilot husband and three amazing kids. THE SECRET TO LETTING GO (Entangled Teen, 2016) was her contemporary YA debut. Her latest YA contemporary, tentatively entitled THE NIGHT WE MET, will be published by Page Street Publishing in winter 2019. She is represented by Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency.


Secretary, Lori Fulton

During the day I teach, diving into the history of China, Africa, Europe, South America, and North America. When I’m not trying to organize my chaotic life, I dive into a world of fantasy and romance. I write because stories inspire and encourage one to never give-up.


Treasurer, Karen Nunes

Karen Nunes works numbers by day, words by night. She lives in sunny California with her husband, two children, and dogs. She loves her family, the beach, and occasionally raspberry-mango margaritas. Most of her spare time is taken up with reading, and writing. She is currently at work on her second YA Novel.


Web-mistress, Julie Shepard

Julie is a true Florida girl, even though she lived in Minnesota until the age of five when her mother refused to raise three kids in that arctic mess and moved the family south. Regardless of any climate, Julie has always had a passion to write dark, edgy stories and found her niche in the world of young adult fiction. She is represented by Leigh Feldman.