Ravenna Koenig

Ravenna Koenig is a producer and director for Weekend Edition. Before joining the show, she interned at WNYC's On The Media and Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything podcast. Since joining Weekend Edition in 2014, she has produced interviews with a diverse range of guests including Charli XCX, Mark Morris, Brie Larson, Ibeyi, and Sandra Cisneros. Her reported work has also been featured on NPR, with a focus on arts and culture. During the 2016 presidential cycle, Ravenna has field-produced stories on the election and was part of a team that produced Morning Edition's documentary special about how Americans see President Obama's time in office. Her hometown is an island near Seattle, and while she doesn't miss the rain, she does miss the feeling of wonder after 30 straight days of it.

Mary Matsuda Gruenewald grew up on Vashon Island in Washington State. It's a small town of about 10,000 people — many of whom commute by ferry to jobs in nearby Seattle. It's green, it's beautiful, it's the kind of place where you can't walk into the grocery store without seeing someone you know.

Mary Matsuda Gruenewald says that when she lived there, a lot of the families were farming families, including hers. Her high school experience was pretty typical, until one Sunday in 1941.

Canadian singer-songwriter Simone Schmidt, who performs under the name Fiver, undertook an ambitious project with her latest album. Audible Songs From Rockwood is Schmidt's way of telling the stories of real people committed to Rockwood Asylum, a 19th-century institution near what's now Kingston, Ontario.

It's a pivotal moment in any young person's life — that point at which you turn from the home you've known all your life, breathe in deeply and leap into the vast unknown of the world beyond.

It's a moment that young adult authors know well, and not just because they write for these young readers. They've experienced it themselves, and they've come out the other side, pen in hand.