Germ’s DNA is made up of girls (and boys) of all ages. We are writers, readers, artists, designers, students, teachers, teenagers, adults…


JenpicAlthough her dream job is International Rock Star Detective, Jennifer Niven writes books.  She is Founder and Publisher of Germ, which was born out of her first YA novel (and eighth book), ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES.  She reads and fangirls as much and as often as she can, hates naps, cold weather, and onions, but loves most everything else, including palm trees, movie popcorn, lip gloss, and boys with guitars.  Follow her on twitter, Facebook, tumblr, pinterest, and her very own website.
JordanAside from having a last name that is difficult for telemarketers to correctly pronounce, Jordan Gripenwaldt is an Anthropology major and  aspiring novelist who recently swapped research paper deadlines for article deadlines. In addition to having a deep and abiding love for musical theater, 80’s power ballads, social justice, television, and grandpa sweaters, she is also the proud and very excited Co-Editor-in-Chief of Germ Magazine, and can be reached at
brianabaileyRecently graduated from college, Germ Co-Editor-in-Chief/Literary Editor/Copy Editor Briana Bailey has begun a journey into the mysterious realm known as the “real world.” She has a passion and appreciation for art, including music, writing, photography, and drawing. Her love for reading is why she wishes to one day copy edit novels. Yes, this means she is one of those people who really likes grammar. No, she is not one of those people who corrects other people’s grammar when they talk.  (Don’t believe her?  Email her at
shelbyOther than playing with her over-active pup, Social Media Director/Associate Editor Shelby Padgett has a number of passions including music, writing, and writing about music. She has completed her Bachelor’s degree in the former and hopes to continue highlighting underrepresented girls who shred. She reads as much as she can, and especially loves the writings of C.S. Lewis, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and anyone else who can make art with words. She enjoys playing her ukulele, posting gratuitous pictures of her dog, collecting mugs, and green bean casserole. (Contact:
Alaina Leary, Germ’s Style Editor, is an editor and social media manager in Boston. She’s a social media editor for We Need Diverse Books. She has an MA in publishing from Emerson College. When she’s not busy playing around with words, she spends her time surrounded by cats Blue and Gansey, and at the beach. She can often be found re-reading her favorite books and covering everything in glitter. You can reach her at
lettyCalifornia native Leticia Lopez (aka Germ’s Social Media Assistant) is an aspiring historical journalist and author. As a high school senior, Leticia, or Letty as she is often called, created her own magazine with stories of equality and positive influences for teens. She has written for her high school and college newspapers, and she is currently working on her first book. Writing isn’t new to her but collaborating with her idol, Jennifer Niven, is a first time experience. Although she didn’t attend the Ed Sullivan Show to witness Elvis Presley swing his hips, Letty spends her free time listening to the king’s music, and that of other 1950s and 1960s heartthrobs. She also enjoys reciting the lines of John Hughes films.  (She’s



Joshua Flores currently lives in Tustin, CA and attends Arnold O. Beckman High School. When he is not busy doing homework or cramming for math tests, he can be found dreaming up ideas for his book, obsessing over YA fiction, attending book signings, or discovering new and exciting places in LA. He is currently an editor for the Entertainment section of The Beckman Chronicle and a contributing editor for the blog Food, Fitness and Fiction. Follow him on Instagram and on the blog Food, Fitness and Fiction to hear more about anything book related.


Zéandri Rautenbach is a high school  graduate with her adulthood staring her in the face. Even though her name is hard to pronounce even in her own country, South Africa, she wears it with pride. When she isn’t releasing her emotions in a book, she’s showering them out on paper. Nothing brings her more joy than supporting people through her stories and hopes that this will one day amount to becoming a novelist. Other than literature: antiques, classical music, and hysterical puns (even though she can’t make them) is her fuel. She can be reached on Facebook or Instagram: @zeandrirautenbach

A hippie-stuck-in-the-21st-century with an unhealthy addiction to pomegranates, Emily Ward spends the better part of her time spewing out short stories and soon-to-be-novels instead of doing her homework. She contributes a variety of things to Germ and is always more than willing to talk about the underlying themes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Wonder Boys.  You can reach her at or on her tumblr.


maryMary Elizabeth Brown is a mermaid in training. She is a proud glitter enthusiast, hopeless slushy addict, and avid nail polish collector. Old songs and old movies are her favorites. If she is not on some crazy adventure, you will find her with her nose stuck in a book. Every day she attempts to do at least one thing that scares her.


An avid reader, writer and music enthusiast, Aditi Chanda is an English major student from Delhi, India. The most important fact about her is that her favourite colour is blue, and she likes pineapple on pizza. When she’s not dreaming about living by the ocean and owning a big dog, she’s dealing with the ups and downs of adolescent life with hope, passion and a bag full of empathy. She hopes to learn new languages and travel all over the world some day.
Cyndy Etler is a homeless kid turned English teacher turned YA author. At age 13, she knew her mission in life: to work with struggling teens; to be that one adult who “gets it.” When Cyndy’s not writing or life coaching young adults, she’s hiking with her dogs, communicating with birds and trees, and wondering how people find time to get pedicures. Read about her YA memoirs here, or follow her on Insta, Twitter, facebook, or on her website.
claireDreaming of life beyond cornfields and cow poop, fifteen year old Illinoian Claire Farnsworth tries to make the most out of her final four years in the midwest. When she’s not reading anything and everything, trying to be half as funny as Mindy Kaling, or volunteering, she’s probably daydreaming about Niall Horan in math class. With music taste ranging from One Direction and 5SOS to Birdy to Fall Out Boy, she’s always looking for new tunes. Have suggestions? Email her at

Katy Gale is a high school student from Australia who describes herself as a reader, writer, and dreamer. Having lived in four countries before the age of ten, she has witnessed vastly different cultures and hopes to one day travel elsewhere and immerse herself in more of them. She enjoys dancing and baking and is passionate about creating a world in which everyone is equal. Her firm belief is that language is her superpower and she always intends to use it for good. You can find more of her work on her blog

 Literature-driven Hannah Green is a sixteen year old student in NSW Australia with a passion for writing. This spark grew from before she turned four, and since then she has been reluctant to abandon her ambition. She also works at a bookstore, which is the best retail job she could ask for. Her creative flair yearns for books, photography and drama. Hannah’s goal in life is to have a book published, no matter how successful, and is currently working on her very own YA Novel. Writing for Germ Magazine is a dream come true for her, as she aspires to follow in Jennifer Niven’s footsteps, slowly making the world a better place – one carefully crafted sentence at a time. Being a strong believer of the fact that everybody is immensely beautiful and worthy, if she can convince one person this through her words, then she has fulfilled her purpose.
leeannLeeAnn Adams (pen name L. N. Holmes) was born in Wilmington, Ohio. She is a 2013 graduate of Salem College’s creative writing program. Her work has appeared in literary magazines, lifestyle magazines, and a newspaper. She is a foodie, a Christian, an award winning writer, and owns an absurd amount of books. You can find more of her work on her blog, A Vase of Wildflowers. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter @LNHolmeswriter. She currently lives in Nebraska with her husband, her two cats, and her dog.
elyseA nurse by day, and a writer by night, Elyse Jones is a 24-year-old lover of all things creative from Hamilton, New Zealand.
An avid coffee-drinker, foodie, cat-lady in the making, and aspiring author; she loves to write about anything and everything that is thrown her way as she makes the journey through young adulthood.Elyse is a self-confessed night-owl, and considers herself somewhat of a ‘realist’, hence the title of her Instagram account and creative outlet; nocturnalrealist. Despite taking advantage of technology as a tool for writing, she likes to keep things simple, and prefers to map out her thoughts and ideas by way of pen and paper. One day she hopes to write a novel that will resonate with her readers, but until then, she thrives on writing blogs, quotes, excerpts, and immersing herself in the world of arts and music.
kaylaKayla King is a writer of poetry and fiction. She is the Blog Manager and Staff Reviewer at Young Adult Books Central, which mean she loves to read and review books almost as much as she loves writing! She graduated from Buffalo State College with her B.A. in Writing and is currently pursuing her MFA from Southern New Hampshire University. You can find her website and blog at
reganRegan Lavin is from Long Island, New York. She has several obsessions in life, with the most important being theatre. She lives to be onstage and is lucky enough to take acting classes every Saturday in NYC.  She spends her summers at the best theatre camp in the world in upstage New York. Last summer, she discovered a new passion…spinning fire. Hobbies are extra special when they require you to wet your hair, wear fire resistant clothing, and have a spotter right there in case of emergency.  In her downtime, she is flying through Supernatural, as well as loving countless reruns of How I Met Your Mother.
maceyMacey Lavoie is a new Bostonian trying to find her way around and working on her MFA at Emerson College. She has a fondness for sushi, walks on the beach, donkeys and drawing. When she is not busy having crazy adventures with her friends she can be found either jotting down writing ideas in her small notebook or curled up with a book and her two cats. Her dream is to one-day change the world with a book and to own a large library.
livOlivia Lein, also known as Liv, is a fashion-obsessed teen from New Jersey. When she is not working as Editor-in-chief for her high school’s newspaper, she can be found reading about the latest trends, Instagramming, or binge watching Gossip Girl on Netflix. Some may consider her immense love for writing, shopping, or ice cream as unhealthy. Even though Liv is a Jersey girl at heart, her favorite place in the world is Charleston, South Carolina. She adores talking to people, so contact her via Twitter or Instagram!
kcK.J. Owens is an Indiana-loving senior in high school as well as an aspiring novelist.  Language is a fascination of hers, from English to Spanish to American Sign Language. She may not be the greatest in the art industry, but she still finds herself getting the oils and brushes out and making a mess (which is a strength of hers) when not writing or working on independent studies. Her ongoing goal is to embrace every day, greet every person she meets, and let the world surprise and engage her an hour at a time.
 rachaelRachael Owens is a sister, aspiring writer, and die-hard Jane Austen fan. Between hiking, eating soy nut butter by the spoonful and say dreaming about Mr. Darcy, Rachael can be found scribbling in her journal and attempting to begin writing a novel. She plans on attending college to major in Journalism, a subject for which her passion continues to grow. Rachael currently lives in Pennsylvania, but hopes to move to a place where her soul belongs, Maine!
seannaAlthough she studies biology at SUNY Oneonta, Seanna Pratt is an aspiring writer/editor who hopes to make her home someday in a big city. You can often find her glued to lounge chairs in coffee shops accompanied by a variety of novels/chapbooks. When not writing or co-editing the food/fitness website for her college, she is often seen binge-watching her latest TV obsession, or re-watching The Walking Dead (for the umpteenth time). She is a feminist and loves a good discussion about anything and everything. Feel free to ask her anything! Contact:
oliviapAspiring author and avid reader, Olivia Punch recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English/Writing and minoring in Philosophy, tucked away in the White Mountain Region of New Hampshire. Coffee addicted bookworm who takes pleasure is stuffing her nose in Good Housekeeping magazines, cooking and interior design. Nothing comes in competition with a rainy day, fall fashion and the nook of her hometown in Massachusetts. Ask her anything!
susannahSusannah Sherwood enjoys writing (obviously), reading (still kind of obvious), and obsessing over the lives of fictional characters (with the two former, it’s kind of a given). Her favorite color is blue, her favorite movie is the Shawshank Redemption, and if she could spend a day with any historical figure, she’d pick either Alexander Hamilton or Jane Austen. In the future, she wants to go into the publishing industry or be a YA fiction writer, but for now she’s content with writing book reviews and short stories.
gabrielleA girl who consumes more caffeine than the average person should, Gabrielle Toczek (yes toe-check, as in check your toes) is dying to travel the world, and to spend all her time in quaint cafés. She loves doughnuts, lots of laughs, making cute Instagrams and a exploring all over Los Angeles. Her biggest goal is to somehow compile all her mounting thoughts into a story worth reading. But for now, she’s just falling in love with the world. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter or just talk to her about life at
jvJayvee De Castro is a misfit. There is no denying that. She shares her love of books and her quirks as a misfit on her book blog, Writer For Misfits and is also a huge anime nerd. Ask her anything anime from time to time. She has intense frustrations of learning to play the piano, the drums and the violin, but to no avail. She also dreams about becoming a writer who will inspire young kids to read and write. She doesn’t know what fun and pains life has in store for her, but she’s taking it one step at a time, with a pen in hand, stacks of journals, books, her laptop and 3 bags of marshmallows for sustenance. She also stares at Kylo Ren/ Adam Drive photos on Tumblr and is insanely dedicated to Star Wars. She also likes to dream of Min Yoongi of BTS. Talk to her on Twitter @jayvwrites27 coz she actually needs friends. Email her at
Hafsa Usmani is a literature major who is also an aspiring novelist. She is a bookworm with a keen interest in classic music and astronomy.  Hafsa also loves Philosophy and if she’s not writing or connecting with people on Instagram, she’s studying books on Philosophy. Hafsa love tea & All the bright places.
annaliseWhen Annalise von Sprecken is trying her hardest to not flunk out of Algebra II and her freshman year in high school, she is dreaming of the beach, baking more food than anyone should ever consume, and writing. She loves clothing, music, Vampire Diaries, and boys. When she eventually graduates, Annalise hopes to be a princess or maybe a pop star.  You never know. Until then she puts most of her hard work into Instagram and school. Feel free to ask her questions at Ask Annalise (
April Wilson is currently studying for a Masters degree in Journalism and Media Communications. She lives in the UK and is probably one of the most British people you will ever meet. Except the only tea she likes is green tea. After travelling in the summer of her first year of her Undergraduate degree, she was infected with the travelling bug, so is always dreaming of far away places. April is also passionate about women’s right issues, and hopes to one day merge her travelling aspirations with campaigning. She is also hopelessly in love with Paris, and is still devastated that the closest her boyfriend has got to seeing Paris is the Metro on a trip to Disneyland Paris. She plans to remedy that as soon as possible. You can check out her latest snaps on Instagram: @aprilisthecruellestmonth or see her ramblings on Twitter: @aprilcruelmonth.
Sidney Wollmuth is technically sixteen years old, but her friends will tell you she’s actually an old lady in disguise. She can be found running abnormally upright, fretting over her millions of unfinished drafts, or eating cookie dough ice cream with a small spoon. Her poetry has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing competition.



julianaJuliana Zimmerman is originally from San Francisco, California, but now lives in North Carolina. Since the beginning, She has had a love for the arts, including music, drama, fashion and of course, art itself. People tell her she’s spontaneous, funny, crazy, and adventurous! She is lively, and is the life of the party.



vioViolet Baudelaire is 20 years old, bilingual (or maybe more), Christian, dreamy, bookworm. Studies in Hungary, lives in Ukraine, heart belongs to England. Wants to work with youth. Spends too much time on Internet. Love rock music. A huge Sherlock fan. Think ordinary life is not cool at all Wears checked shirts a lot. Loves sci fi. Especially Doctor Who. Obviously, Britain obsessed. Would love to travel around the world with a book and a camera in her hands.