Storytelling runs in Justina Chen’s blood. After all, her middle name means illuminate, which is what story does: it throws light on a message. Justina is an award-winning author of six books for young adults, including her latest, Lovely, Dark, and Deep

North of Beautiful  was named one of the Best Books of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, and her debut novel, Nothing But the Truth (And a Few White Lies) won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. In addition to being a writer, Justina is a story strategist to leaders and co-founder of Chen & Cragen, a boutique communications agency that transforms good executives into extraordinary leaders.

A passionate advocate of diversity and leadership, Justina is a frequent keynoter at conferences and loves talking to learners of all ages. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University where she won the Dean’s Award for Service.

Justina has lived in Sydney and Shanghai, but calls Seattle her home. You can check out her website at

Live Your Best Story

Grades 6 and up
45 minutes

When we share our stories with others, we build connections and empathy. In this keynote, which has been called “life-changing,” Justina shares how we can all live our best story. She draws from her own life experiences, including first-hand encounters with racism, as well as her storytelling for Xbox and leaders of Fortune 100 organizations. She goes through the process of storytelling, using examples from her award-winning novels to inspire youth to overcome hardships and create a better narrative for themselves. At the end of the 45-minute presentation, students will be able to declare more powerfully for themselves: This is who I am. This is what I believe. This is why I’m here.

Conference and Festival Appearances

Justina is a sought-after speaker at conferences and is thrilled to customize her talk to relevant themes. She has spoken frequently about diversity, literacy, inspiration, grit, and global citizenship.

The Art of Inspiration: Hope, Resilience, and You

45 minutes

In these chaotic, divisive days, we need stories of hope and resilience more than ever. Justina Chen, winner of the Asian Pacific American Award for Literature, draws on her work both as an author for young people and story strategist to the C-suite to share her thoughts on inspiration. How do we use our words, actions, and stories to inspire young people to live their best lives? How do we create a deep reservoir of hope in them? How do we give them the gift of grit and resilience?

Virtual Visits

Justina adores meeting with book clubs and library groups! She is delighted to drop in for a pro bono 20-minute virtual Skype visit and Q&A with book groups and library groups that have read at least one of her novels.

Her favorite topic to discuss with book clubs: When trials hit, how do we live in triumph? When we have a blind spot for blessings, how do we see grace and gratitude? Award-winning author Justina Chen shares the trials and triumphs within her own life and her books’ characters, inspiring teens and women to live their best lives.

AV and Tech Needs for In-Person Visits

Microphone, screen, small table to set props. She will bring her own Mac with its corresponding dongles.


For rates and fees please fill out our Author Request form and the Author Visits Manager will respond shortly.

Ordering Books

Schools and libraries may order books at a discounted rate by visiting The Scholastic Teacher Store or by calling 1-800-SCHOLASTIC.