2019 Summer Speakers and Guests

All events are open to the public.


2019 Writer-in-Residence

June 24 – July 5, 2019
Photo of Kara LaReauKara LaReau was born and raised in Connecticut. She received her Master’s in Fine Arts in writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. She later worked as an editor at Candlewick Press and Scholastic Press, and through her own creative consulting agency, Bluebird Works. Among other celebrated titles, she edited Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie (winner of a Newbery Honor), The Tiger Rising (finalist for the National Book Award), The Tale of Despereaux (winner of the Newbery Medal), The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (winner of the Boston Globe Horn Book Award), and the Mercy Watson series. She is the author of picture books such as Ugly Fish, illustrated by Scott Magoon, and Goodnight Little Monsters, illustrated by Brian Won; an award-winning chapter book series called The Infamous Ratsos, illustrated by Matt Myers; and a middle-grade trilogy called The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters, illustrated by Jen Hill.  Kara has taught at Lesley University, has been a guest lecturer at Vermont College of Fine Arts, and has served as editor-in-residence for Rhode Island College’s ASTAL program. She lives in Providence with her husband, son, and their cat. To learn more about Kara and her work, be sure to visit her website: karalareau.com.

2019 Scholar-in-Residence

June 29 – July 5, 2019
Photo of Kenneth KiddKenneth Kidd is professor of English at the University of Florida, where he teaches courses in children’s literature and media. He’s the author of Making American Boys: Boyology and the Feral Tale and Freud in Oz: At the Intersections of Children’s Literature and Psychoanalysis. Kenneth has also co-edited four books, including Prizing Children’s Literature: The Cultural Politics of Children’s Book Awards, and the forthcoming Queer as Camp: Summer Camp, Camp Aesthetics, and Queer Possibility. With Elizabeth Marshall he co-edits Routledge’s Children’s Literature and Culture book series.




Recent Summer guests

David Almond, writer-in-residence
Tom Angleberger, visiting writer
Kathi Appelt, writer-in-residence
Cece Bell, visiting writer
Jennifer Brody, visiting writer
Andrea Brown, literary agent
Katharine Capshaw, scholar-in-residence
Veronica Chambers, author and editor
Dhonielle Clayton, COO of We Need Diverse Books and co-founder Cake Literary
Nicole de las Heras, art director
Katherine Erskine, writer-in-residence
Frances Gilbert, associate publishing director, Random House Books for Young Readers
Marah Gubar, Francelia Butler Conference keynote speaker
Uma Krishnaswami, Francelia Butler Conference keynote speaker
Brian Lies, visiting illustrator
Laurent Linn, art director, Simon & Schuster
Mallory Loehr, vice president and publishing director, Random House
Guadalupe Garcia McCall, author
Faith Mendlesohn, scholar-in-residence
Kathleen Merz, editor
Han Nolan, writer-in-residence
Anna Olswanger, literary agent
John Rocco, visiting illustrator
Eric Rohmann, visiting illustrator
Judy Schachner, visiting illustrator
Eric Smith, literary agent Ali Standish, visiting writer
Maggie Stiefvater, visiting writer
Shada Strickland, visiting illustrator
Roberta Seelinger Trites, scholar-in-residence
Charles Vess, visiting illustrator
Nancy Willard, writer-in-residence
Jack Zipes, Francelia Butler Conference keynote speaker