A.J. Sass is a fiction-writing figure skater, inclined toward adventures of a traveling nature. He is autistic, non-binary, and keen on exploring how gender identity and neurodiversity impact character narratives.
An avid figure skater, A.J. is a US Figure Skating double gold medalist in Moves in the Field and Free Skate, a silver medalist in Ice Dance, and a member of the 2018 national bronze medalist and 2019 national silver medalist Masters synchronized skating team, IceSymmetrics.
A.J. grew up in the Midwestern US, came of age in the South, and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his boyfriend and two cats who act like dogs.
A.J. is represented by Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. His middle grade debut, ANA ON THE EDGE, will be published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in Fall 2020.
- TIME magazine: I’m a Nonbinary Author of Youth Literature. J.K. Rowling’s Comments on Gender Identity Reinforced My Commitment to Better Representation, June 19, 2020
- Let’s Get Lit Fest #LGBTQ+ Week: Group Interview with A.J. Sass, Anna Birch, Jesse Nolan Bailey, & Suzanne Clay, May 11, 2020
- Ask the Author: An April 2020 interview in which I answer questions from the Proust Questionnaire
- #WriteMentor Success Story: A.J. Sass: An October 2018 Q&A between mentor Caroline Murphy and me
- QueryTracker: Success Story: An email interview, completed in October 2018
- Fiction Writing Figure Skater: An August 2018 writerly interview with Kristy Lin Billuni at Sexy Grammar
Scholarships, Craft Mentorships, etc.
- Mentor (MG): Pitch Wars, 2019 (co-mentor with Nicole Melleby)
- Mentor (MG/YA): #WriteMentor, 2019 & 2020 (co-mentor with Hannah Kates)
- Mentee: #WriteMentor, 2018 (paired with author Caroline Murphy)
- SCBWI Diverse New Member Scholarship: San Francisco North and East Bay, 2018 (writer category)
- Diversity Scholarship: Children’s Book Academy, 2018 Middle Grade Mastery class
- Honorable mention: 2018 NYC Midnight Short Story Contest (round 1, heat 28)
- Honorable mention: 2017 NYC Midnight Short Story Contest (round 1, heat 43)
- Judge: 2020 Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards, in partnership with We Need Diverse Books
- Reader: 2019 & 2020 #WriteMentor Children’s Novel Award
- Judge: 2017 Shut Up & Write! Zine
- Co-editor: Chelsea Station Magazine, August 2016 edition (featuring queer trans masculine writing)
Just the Facts
Name: Andrew Jonathan Sass. I tend to go by A.J. online and in writing.
Age: I can now accurately say I’m in my mid-30s (I was a baby of the mid-80s).
Pronouns: Male or gender neutral (singular they/their/them).
Location: Greater San Francisco Bay Area, California.
Origin: Technically Wisconsin, but I say Minnesota (spent most of my K-6 years in Rochester).
Relationship (two-legged): Deven, my creative and wonderfully witty boyfriend.
Relationship (four-legged): Amato (“Amo”) and Alistair, the cats who can fetch.
- Bachelors of Arts | majors: Psychology, Religious Studies, and Jewish Studies
- Juris Doctor | focus: LGBTQ rights and online accessibility to legal resources
- Cartwheels on ice
- Willing people and plots into existence with the mere tippety-tap of my fingers
- Learning languages
- Traveling to new places (bonus points if they have ice rinks)
- Latte sampling
- High-volume book accrual