What is Germ?

Germ was an online magazine initially created in All The Bright Places by Violet Markey, but in 2014 it was turned into a reality by the author, Jennifer Niven. Working as part of a team we aim to shed light on all issues, big and small, serious, and funny, hard, and helpful to provide a space where everyone’s voice can be heard whilst also encouraging writers and other creative people to share their work. We discuss all aspects and experiences of life in an inclusive way for young people – high school age and beyond. Topics discussed include love, life, death, health, the future, career, school, and much more. So join us in this community. You start here!

Meet the Core Team

Because it takes a village. Here’s a bit about the Germ family!

Jennifer Niven

Founder & Co-Editor-in-Chief

In addition to being Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Germ, I’m the #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author of young adult novels All the Bright Places, Holding up the Universe, Breathless, and Take Me With You When You Go (co-authored with David Levithan), along with several books for adults. My books have been translated into over 75 languages and have won literary awards around the world, and I co-wrote the script for the All the Bright Places movie—currently streaming on Netflix and starring Elle Fanning, Justice Smith, Luke Wilson, and Keegan-Michael Key. When I’m not working on multiple book and screen projects, I engage with my readers, dance to Harry Styles and ABBA, study French, and wander the world. I divide my time between coastal Georgia and Paris with my husband and seven literary cats. 

Holly Thomson


As Co-Editor-in-Chief of Germ, I am working round the clock on all aspects of the magazine, including creating monthly writing challenges, overseeing (with Jennifer) Niv Reads, reading submissions from wonderful new writers, editing, posting, designing, copy editing, helping to organize our brilliant team, and responding to inquiries. I’m 20 years old and live in Scotland where I’m studying English literature and philosophy at Glasgow University. I’m passionate about mental health awareness, love all kinds of music and books, and adore cats. 

Violeta Morales

Artistic Designer

Hi! I’m Violeta and that beauty on the left is my rhodesian ridgeback, Akila. I’m Colombian and I’m studying to become a psychologist. I love art, dogs, coffee, music, and books (duh). I designed the logo for Germ and also do all of the graphics for the website including those you see on Jennifer’s Instagram. I speak English, Spanish, and a bit of French. If I’m not doodling in a sketchbook, you’ll probably find my head in a book.

Sa’iyda Shabazz

Editor & Copy Editor

I’m a writer and mom who lives in LA with my partner, son, and 3 adorable, albeit very extra animals. I have yet to meet a chocolate chip cookie I don’t like, spend my free time (lol) reading as many queer romances as I can, and have spent the better part of my life obsessed with late 90s pop culture. When I’m not working as an editor here at Germ you can find me on Twitter and Instagram!

Lucia Ramirez

Editor & Translator

As editor and translator for Germ my role is to help provide tips about the publishing process both within Germ and on a wider scale. I’m also in charge of making Germ a bilingual site and translating our publishers’ work. I live in Heredia, Costa Rica, and am 22 years old. In my free time I love to paint and go shopping.

Josh Flores

Book & Author Staff Writer

I am 23 years old and currently live in Orange County, CA. When I’m not working as a writer at a local marketing agency during the day, I can be found reading YA fiction at a cozy coffee shop, binge-watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, and drinking sleepy time tea. At Germ I specialise in content relating to books and authors. As staff writer I cover a variety of content, including: author interviews, book reviews, and local signings and events within the Los Angeles writing community.

Jordyn Kieft

SDS Social Media Coordinator & Staff Writer

Hey there! I’m the SDS Social Media Coordinator here at Germ! My job is to manage the SDS Instagram page and create posts based on your submissions! I’m also a writer for Germ magazine! In my free time, I write Young/New Adult fiction that revolves around mental health. For Germ, I write about subjects such as mental health, writing, and adventures! A little bit about me: I am a 23-year-old writer, reader, and lover of all things books (hence my role here at Germ)! I enjoy going on adventures, binge-watching TV shows, and learning new things! Check out the SDS Instagram here to learn more about what I do and see how to get involved!

Germ Staff Writers

Germ Staff Writers joining soon, if interested please fill out an application form in the submit section on the website!