Lauren Simone Publishing (LSP) House, founded in 2016, is a publishing company in Hartford, Connecticut. The publishing house was birthed by two sisters, Olivia Lauren John and Alyssa Simone John who enjoy the arts. They act, model, draw, paint, play musical instruments, and most recently started to publish books. Together with the help of their mom, Dr. Melissa-Sue John, they created the Olivia Lauren book series. They wanted to expose young readers to the things that they had experienced, as well as create a platform for other authors and artists to share their talent and diversity.
Lauren Simone Publishing House began procuring new talent to write and illustrate. Currently, Lauren Simone Publishing House has youth authors: Olivia Lauren (who enjoys acting and modeling), Alyssa Simone (who enjoys listening to music and playing instruments), Imani Ariana (who is fascinated by STEM), Madison and Elijah (who have rich and playful imaginations), Kiya and Jordan (who love mythical and ocean creatures), their supportive parents: Sabrena Bishop and Ayana Bando, adult authors: Yvette Phillips, Priscilla Morgan, and Marie Foster, and youth illustrators: Simonne-Anais Clarke, Zachary-Michael Clarke, Lionel Emabat, Niquey, Clara-Jane Quinn, and Zoe Knibb.
In 2019, Lauren Simone Publishing House created an online bookstore hosting other diverse children's books, toys, puzzles, accessories, and apparel.
On March 26, 2020, Lauren Simone Publishing House became eligible to participate in the State Of Connecticut’s Supplier Diversity Program certifying them as an official Black American Woman Owned and Small/Minority Business Enterprise.
The mission of Lauren Simone Publishing House is to publish the works of diverse authors and illustrators, thereby creating literature for all to enjoy. Lauren Simone Publishing House is invested in engaging children in stories written by nontraditional authors; expanding the diversity of groups not often represented in literary works; educating and improving children's understanding of their academic and social experiences and empowering young illustrators by giving them a platform to highlight their artistic skills and build their portfolio, esteem, and marketability.
Ayana Bando, who is the mother of Kiya and Jordan Bando, is an avid reader who wanted her children to enjoy reading as much as she. She read to her children often and stressed the importance of reading as well as writing which led to the creation of Lala and Henry Wingo with Kiya and Jordan. Follow on Instagram @ayana_bando.
Jordan Bando is the co-author of Lala and Henry Wingo . She is also an innovator who’s always looking for ways to make her life simple. She is a passionate friend who can play well with others or create wonderful worlds and games all on her own. Her favorite things to do are eat French fries and watch videos! Follow on instagram at @Kiki.n.jj.read
Kiya Bando is the co-author of Lala and Henry Wingo. She is also a leader who is always willing to lend a helping hand. When she isn’t helping teachers with students in younger grades at school, she’s talking to friends, or reading and doing math! Her favorite things to do are eat popcorn and play with her sisters. Follow on Instagram at @Kiki.n.jj.read
Elijah Bishop, born Sept. 5, 2013, is an energetic, fun, and loving boy. He enjoys playing with trucks, cars, and watching educational videos about dinosaurs. Madison Bishop, born June 3, 2011, is a talented artist. She enjoys swimming, dancing, gymnastics, and exploring with paints. Madison and Elijah both share a passion for learning and creativity. They have big imaginations and it comes out in their painting and storytelling. The sibling love and support of each other is unconditional, Elijah inspires Madison’s art work and Madison inspires Elijah’s creative thought process. Their love and dedication for each other has fueled their goals and aspirations. Sabrena Bishop is a wife, mother of Madison and Elijah Bishop, and trained aviation professional who recently became an early childhood educator. Madison's speech delay and autism diagnosis allowed her to better understand how children communicate and increased her desire to pursue children's literature. The Madison and Elijah series is a true journey of how they grow and develop in their own little lives while mastering their skills. Having lived in several countries of varying cultures inspired her to address the need for multicultural children's literature. Together they created the Madison and Elijah series. Follow on Instagram: @madisonavabishop and @elijahtheauthor
Sharika K. Forde is an author of three books including Grandma's Lil King. She loves poetry, children, and justice. She is a mother, grandmother, aspiring entrepreneur, and a student of life. She discovered that the challenges faced in life are lessons that foster self-discovery. Beginning each day with prayer for good health, monetary wealth, and true love, she strives to live a life of fulfillment through her passion for creative artistry and growth. Follow at @sharikakforde
Margo Ann Foster was born in Kingston, Jamaica to Leslie and Vennette Foster. She is the fifth of nine children. She has three sons: Kenrick, Khalil, and Keneil. She is currently pursuing a degree in Journalism. It wasn't her dream to become an author, until she became a mother. She enjoys reading to her children at bedtime. She gets really involved in storytelling by changing her voice and making facial expressions to convey the meaning of the story. Eventually, she made up her own stories to teach her children about their counting and their body parts. From this expression of love, the idea to write a book was born.
Imani Ariana Grant is the author of Disco Balls of the Universe and the Golden Life of Sally Sunflower. She was born December 7, 2008 in Bronx, NY, is a talented child who enjoys writing stories, playing instruments, basketball, and with her friends. She also enjoys figure skating, swimming, and dancing. Imani is also a kid entrepreneur, the owner of an online boutique store called Magitots and motivational speaker. She lives with her mom, dad, and baby brother in Vernon, Connecticut. Imani has been featured by NBC CT, Path to Greatness podcast, Writer's Life Magazine, Save the Youth radio show, Inspo Mini Style, Intrepid Air, Space and Sea Museum, and Painting with a twist. She is the president of the Love of Literature (LOL) Book club. Become a member today! Follow on Instagram @imaniarianag
Alyssa Simone John, is the co-author of Olivia Connects, the 3rd book of the Olivia Lauren series. She was born October 31, 2001 in New York, NY. She is a teen actor, model, violinist, athlete, author, and teen publisher. Alyssa is a smart, confident, talented student who has great work ethic. She was an actor in “Coda” (film), “The Passion of the King” (play), TV Shows (The Blacklist, Orange is the New Black, Seven Seconds), music videos: “Polaridad” by Alex Ferreira, “My Daughter’s Living Room” by Alge, and “StereoTypes” by Black Violin. She has walked in several runway shows including Harlem Week and Circle of Sisters. She has been featured in Writer's Life magazine, Wild Child magazine, and the Hartford Courant. She has been playing violin since the third grade, and participated in over dozen orchestra recitals including Black Violin at the Bushnell Theater. She is the co-owner of Lauren Simone Publishing House. She also works as editor and literary critic, helping Olivia and her mom review manuscripts submitted to their publishing company. Follow Alyssa on Instagram: @alyssasimonej
Melissa-Sue John, Ph.D. is a wife, the mother of Alyssa Simone and Olivia Lauren, an author, publisher, psychology professor and researcher. She is proud of her Jamaican heritage and to be a graduate of Harrison's Preparatory School and Holy Childhood High School. After high school, she moved to the U.S. where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hunter College, CUNY and master and doctoral degrees from the University of Connecticut. She enjoys lecturing and mentoring students. These various roles led her to write children's literature with her two daughters and she now serves as the Chief Executive Operator and Blogger of Lauren Simone Publishing House. Visit our blog and follow on Instagram: @laurensimonepubs.
Olivia Lauren John, born November 5, 2007 in Farmington, CT, is the co-owner of Lauren Simone Publishing House. She enjoys acting, modeling, reading, and writing. She is an intelligent and hardworking student who loves science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). Olivia Lauren has been featured in commercials (e.g., Discover the forest, Institute for Humane Education, Verizon), TV shows (e.g., Sneaky Pete, The Path on Hulu, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Madam Secretary), short films (Leche), music videos (“Polaridad” by Alex Ferreira, “My Daughter’s Living Room” by Alge, and “StereoTypes” by Black Violin), theater productions (“Winnie the Pooh”, “Creepy Crawly Christmas”, and “The Passion of the King”), print (Big City Kids, Wild Child, AI Magazine, Writer's Magazine, KidLit Magazine, and the Hartford Courant), and over a dozen runway shows. Her most recent achievement is the establishing of Lauren Simone Publishing House with her sister, Alyssa Simone. You can follow Olivia Lauren on Instagram and Facebook: @olivialaurenj
Priscilla Morgan, a MBA graduate, has been working in healthcare for over 10 years. She enjoys traveling, going to the beach, doing yoga and acting. She has two daughters, Wisdom and Faith. She created the gratitude journal for kids because during her upbringing she was always told to say "Thank You" without understanding the power of gratitude. Her experience in healthcare allowed her to understand and appreciate the value of life and health, which led her to begin expressing an abundance of gratitude. Priscilla made it a daily habit to meditate on three things she was grateful for. She believes that teaching children to become more grateful and be able to identify their emotions. To learn more, follow on Instagram @gratitudejournalforkids
Yvette Phillips, born and raised in Colleyville, Jamaica, is the oldest of eight children, including four boys and four girls, born to Edna and Dennis Duncan. Yvette is the wife of Ivan Phillips and the mother of Matthew Phillips. As a child, Yvette had an exceptional love for reading and has always dreamed of writing a book. She attended Christian High School, Rapid College of Commerce, and Monroe College. In 2009, she drafter her first story, but completed her story in October 2016. Yvette’s goal is to write children’s book that are whimsical, innocent, brave, and captures the beautiful mind of a child and their imagination.
Simonne-Anais Clarke, born in 2001 in New York, is a curious, optimistic, creative person who is passionate about sharing stories with others. She does this through her art, writing, acting, singing, and animation. Zachary-Michael Clarke, born in 2004 in New York, loves animated movies, writing fiction stories, and creating graphic novels. He's excited to learn more about animation and cooking gluten free foods. He loves his pets and playing Animal Jam. Together they have illustrated over a dozen books in two years including Occupations A to Z, Things We Wear, Disco balls of the Universe, The Golden Life of Sally Sunflower, The Tale of Princess Alicia, Elijah's Birthday Party, and Lala and Henry Wingo. Follow on IG: @zmichaelclarke and @zooliart
Lionel Emabat illustrated Olivia Connects, Elijah and his invisible friend, and Madison explores paints. Born in West Africa, he has always enjoyed mimicking what was in front of him on to a piece of paper long before he could write. He immigrated to the United States in his early teens and drew for the fun of it. In the seventh grade, a teacher advised him to join the art program of his school. His artistic experiences combined with cultural adaptation inspired his drawings. He remained grateful to her for the advice and encouragement. Lionel is now a college graduate with B.A. in Digital Design and Illustration. He lives his life sketching one sketch at a time. When he is not drawing, he is busy playing soccer professionally. Follow on Instagram @leo_t22
Tyler Waite is a full-time freelance illustrator and graphic designer that is always creating! He is the illustrator for I May Not Be Like You, But We Could Be friends. Creating is a great passion and daily lifestyle for him, and you'll always find him working on a variety of unique projects. Authenticity in artwork is important to him, so you will always see something new and special. When he is not creating art, he is creating music and working on his business "Timeless Vibes Apparel." Follow on Instagram: @twaitecreate
Tanesha Bramwell-Mcken has extensive experience as an educator teaching children and adults. She is fluent in English and Spanish and has international experience having lived in Colombia, Mexico, Jamaica, U.S and Jamaica. She is a mother of two daughters, wife of a small business owner, currently a Spanish elementary teacher and translator, who is dedicated to linguistics and literacy. She translates Lauren Simone Pubs' books.
Shaneika Burchell-Kerr is the mother of Imani Ariana Grant, a business coach, and the CEO of Breakthrough to Entrepreneur (BTE Academy). As a business coach, her goal is to develop and empower Entrepreneurs by providing them with the simplest, most effective and efficient tools and resources, to achieve the best result for their business. Her main focus is on e-commerce, social media, email marketing and automation. She advises Lauren Simone Publishing House on business ventures, marketing and sales.
Tamira Butler-Likely is the owner and operator of Likely Write Editing. She has been editing and proofreading documents for over 15 years. Her educational background in the biological sciences has given her a keen eye for detail. She especially enjoys editing books and essays, to ensure the authors present their best selves in their writing. She is the editor for all of Lauren Simone Publishing House books.
Faith Clarke is formally trained in Computer Science, Adult Education, and Psychology. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Performance Psychology, where she focuses on stress management and well-being. In addition, she is homeschooling her three children, one of whom was diagnosed with autism. She is the author of Parenting like a Ninja: An autistic mom's guide to professional productivity and the CEO and founder of Melody of Autism, which is a program to support families caring for loved ones with autism by connecting them with trained care specialists with nuanced insights into their family's needs. Designed and implemented a comprehensive curriculum for autism care specialist training and autism sensitivity training that reflects cutting edge perspectives on autism and approaches to building deep connections and facilitating learning and development in people with autism.
Naomie Gorham, born in 2009, is a high level reader and lover of books. She is honest and direct concerning what she loves and hates about the characters, story content, and illustrations. She is one of the first board members to see our books before they are published and provide feedback.
Cheryl Gorham is a mother of three who enjoys reading to her children. She is an avid reader, completed her undergraduate degree in Biology, and currently works in the legal department at an Engineering company. Combining her diverse skill set, she serves as a tremendous asset to Lauren Simone Publishing House.
Matthew John is the father of Alyssa Simone and Olivia Lauren. He is a graduate of Fiorella H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, a school which specializes in visual arts and performing arts. As a child he enjoyed drawing, sketching, and painting. It is evident where the John sisters inherited their talent. He also studied at LaGuardia Community College and Charter Oak State College. He advises Lauren Simone Publishing House on the visual aspects of the books. When he is not advising LSP, he is with patients fitting glasses at Heights Vision Center or working on his landscape designs.
Andre Kerr is a highly motivated, result-oriented Engineering Professional with dedicated professional experience. He is a graduate of the City University of New York. He currently works at Pratt and Whitney as a Propulsion Systems Engineer. He advises Lauren Simone Publishing House regarding our STEM focused books.
Dalton L. Richards is the curator and editor of The Evolution Project: Stranger Alien Foreigner Nomad. His education includes a BA in Psychology from Mercy College in New York, but it is literature that satisfies his desired vantage point in the mind and behavior of people. Dalton is currently working on his debut novel series, Corinthians of New and Piece of Mind a testament to his growth as an author and his passion for Fictional Drama and Anthropology. He advises Lauren Simone Publishing House on prose and style.
Rose-Anne Uwague is an American-born Jamaican. She lived in Jamaica until she was 16 years old and then moved to New York to start college. She obtained an AAS in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality and a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts in Business Communications by the age of 21. A few months after graduating, she moved to China to teach English. She loves languages, food, travel, and new adventures. She is a published author of two books, 7 lbs 13 ounces and Plugged In. She advises Lauren Simone Pubs on content and design.
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