2019 Summer Speakers and Guests

All events are open to the public.


2019 Writer-in-Residence

Wednesday, June 26, 7:30 p.m., VAC 119
Photo of Kara LaReauKara LaReau received her M.F.A. in writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College. 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. LaReau 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. To learn more about Kara and her work, be sure to visit her website: karalareau.com.

2019 Scholar-in-Residence

Monday, July 1, 7:30 p.m., VAC 119
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.

2019 author/illustrator-in-Residence

Friday, July 12, 7:30 p.m., VAC Auditorium; Gallery Talk, Saturday, July 13, 10:30 a.m., Eleanor D. Wilson Museum 

Photo of Ben HatkeBen Hatke is a writer, artist, and author of graphic novels and other kinds of books for Macmillan — most notably The New York Times bestselling trilogy about Zita the Spacegirl. His picture books include Julia’s House for Lost Creatures and Nobody Likes a Goblin, and graphic novels include Little Rob and Mighty Jack. He claims to like adventures, and sometimes even misadventures. Hatke lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and their boisterous pack of daughters. He posts comics, art, stories, and funny commentary at his blog http://www.benhatke.com/


Francelia Butler Conference Keynote Speaker

Saturday, July 20, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., VAC

Photo of Amanda FirestoneAmanda Firestone is an assistant professor of communication at The University of Tampa. Her research broadly examines children’s and young adult literature as it pertains to the heroine’s coming-of-age. While international best-selling series like Harry Potter and The Twilight Saga have been her intensive sites for analysis, recently she has begun to examine zombie texts, like Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation and C.L. Lynch’s Chemistry, to better grasp the persistent fascination with the abject. From childhood, Amanda typically was more interested in monsters and the macabre than with “happily-ever-afters.” Her aspiration at age eight was to become Maleficent’s dragon alter-ego. It remains at the top of her priorities.

lecture series

Author-Editor Patricia Lee Gauch
Wednesday, June 19, 7:30 p.m., VAC 119

Photo of Patricia Lee GauchPatricia Lee Gauch was editorial director of Philomel Books for almost 25 years. She holds a doctorate in English literature, has taught writing and children’s literature on the college level, and reviewed for The New York Times. Gauch has edited three Caldecott books: Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr; Lon Po Po by Ed Young; and So You Want to Be President by Judith St. George, illustrated by David Small. She has worked with many other well-known authors and artists and has herself written 39 books for young readers, from picture books to novels. http://patricialeegauch.com/

Author-Illustrator Ashley Wolff Chalk Talk: Picture Book Nuts and Bolts
Tuesday, June 25, 1 p.m., VAC 119

Photo of Ashley WolffAshley Wolff received her B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design. She is the author and/or illustrator of over 60 children’s picture books including Baby Beluga; Stella and Roy Go Camping; Me Baby, You Baby; Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?; Mama’s Milk; and the beloved Miss Bindergarten series. Wolff’s books have won numerous state and national awards. She teaches a range of writing and illustration courses at Hollins in the summer program.


Writer-in-residence Kara LaReau, Wednesday, June 26, 7:30 p.m.

Author-Illustrator Mary Jane Begin Museum Exhibition Talk
Friday, June 28, 7:30 p.m., VAC 119

Photo of Mary Jane BeginMary Jane Begin has taught as adjunct professor in the illustration department at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) for 25 years and serves as the internship and professional development advisor. This summer at Hollins she is teaching an art class on portfolio creation. Other recent teaching ventures include online video art courses with Lynda.com and CreativeLive. She is an award-winning illustrator and author of picture books including Little Mouse’s Painting, A Mouse Told His Mother, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and Willow Buds, tales inspired by The Wind in the Willows, a classic tale that she also illustrated. Her latest picture books are My Little Pony: Under the Sparkling Sea and The Dragons on Dazzle Island, published by Little Brown in collaboration with Hasbro. Her talk will be followed by a reception and viewing of her art exhibition in the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum.

Scholar-in-residence Kenneth Kidd, Monday, July 1, 7:30 p.m.

Author and M.F.A. student Nicole Panteleakos
Wednesday, July 3, 7:30 p.m., VAC 119

Photo of Nicole PanteleakosNicole Panteleakos is currently completing her M.F.A. in children’s literature at Hollins. She will discuss and read from her debut novel, Planet Earth Is Blue, which was released in May by Wendy Lamb Books.




Illustrator E.B. Lewis
Friday, July 5, 7:30 p.m., VAC 119

Photo of E. B. LewisE.B. Lewis is the illustrator of numerous books for children including Talkin’ About Bessie (a 2003 Coretta Scott King Award winner), The Bat Boy and His Violin (a Coretta Scott King Honor book), Down the Road (a Notable Book for Children by the American Library Association), and The Other Side (a Notable Book for Language Arts). His work is frequently displayed in museums, owned by private collectors, and exhibited in galleries throughout the United States and Europe. He lives in New Jersey. http://eblewis.com/

Visiting Author/Illustrator Ben Hatke, Friday, July 12, 7:30 p.m.

Literary Agent Kaitlyn Johnson
Monday, July 8, 7:30 p.m., VAC 119

Photo of Kaitlyn JohnsonKaitlyn Johnson is a junior literary agent for Corvisiero Literary Agency. After receiving a B.A. in writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College, Johnson refused to leave the concept of nightly homework behind. As well as working at Corvisiero, she is also a freelance editor at her own company, K. Johnson Editorial, and has worked as a copyeditor for academic publisher codeMantra, a YA editor for Accent Press, and a conference assistant for GrubStreet, Boston. She has written various articles for Writer’s Digest and has had a flash fiction story published in the anthology A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed. Besides talking about working with a literary agent, Johnson will appear with Hollins alumna and current Corvisiero intern Erin Clyburn to discuss internships in publishing.

Francelia Butler Conference, Saturday, July 20, 8 a.m – 5 p.m., VAC
Keynote speaker: Scholar Amanda Firestone

Art Director Kristen Nobles
Friday, July 26, 9 a.m., VAC 119

Photo of Kristen NoblesKristen Nobles is the founding publisher of Page Street Kids, the new children’s division of Page Street Publishing in Salem, MA. She is focusing on collaborating with new talent and publishing art-led narrative picture books, picture book biographies, visually driven concept books, and selectively, distinct board books. Nobles also spent 13 years as an art director at Candlewick Press/Walker Books Group and was a senior designer at Chronicle Books for five years. She has worked with author/illustrators Carson Ellis, Steve Light, Leslie Patricelli and Matt Tavares as well as illustrators Sophie Blackall, Yuyi Morales, Jake Parker, John Rocco, and many others on award-winning books. Most weekends, she spends time hiking with her dog, swimming in freshwater lakes, shopping the local farmers markets, and curling up with a good book next to the wood stove at her house in Maine. You can find her on Twitter @Kristen_Nobles or visit www.kristennobles.com and www.pagestreetpublishing.com/kids

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