Francelia Butler Conference

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July 18, 2020

Keynote Speaker

Terri WindlingTerri Windling is a writer, editor, and artist specializing in fantasy literature and mythic arts. She has published over 40 books, winning nine World Fantasy Awards, the Mythopoeic Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and placing on the short list for the Tiptree Award. She received the S.F.W.A. Solstice Award in 2010 for “outstanding contributions to the speculative fiction field as a writer, editor, artist, educator, and mentor.” She has published mythic fiction for both adults and young adults, as well as magical picture books for children. Her essays on myth, folklore, fantasy literature, and mythic arts have appeared in magazines, art books, and anthologies in the United States and Europe, and she has contributed to reference volumes including The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales and Panorama illustré de la fantasy & du merveilleux. Formerly a senior editor in the New York publishing industry, Windling now creates and edits book series for a variety of U.S. publishing houses, and serves as an editorial consultant for the Tor Books fantasy line.

About the conference

The Francelia Butler Conference is a one-day, student-run conference dedicated to the study of children’s literature. Graduate students may submit creative and critical papers and children’s book illustration to be critiqued by a panel of distinguished judges. The Shirley Henn Awards, the Margaret Kates Award, and the Amanda Cockrell Award are given to the top submission in each category. Another tradition, the Silent Auction, helps raise funds for future conferences.

About Francelia Butler

Francelia ButlerFrancelia Butler pioneered trails for the scholarly criticism of children’s literature. She created the Children’s Literature journal and was a founding member of the Children’s Literature Association (ChLA). In 1992, at Butler’s request Hollins launched a children’s literature graduate program when the university became the sponsor for her scholarly journal. To this day, the graduate students honor Francelia Butler by running a conference in her name, continuing her vision to blaze trails dedicated to the creativity, insight, and academic study of children’s literature.

About Shirley Henn

Shirley Henn was a retired librarian who worked at Hollins for years. She was very interested in the Children’s Literature Program and donated every year to it for the critical and creative awards presented during the Francelia Butler Conference. When she died, she left additional possessions to the university, and the department decided to name the critical and creative awards in her honor.

About Margaret Kates

The art award prize was originally donated by Margaret Kates, a donor who firmly believes in supporting literacy and expression through the arts for children. In 2007 the conference’s silent auction took on the role of funding the Margaret Kates Award and supporting the pursuit of imagination and story in art.

The Amanda Cockrell Award

The Amanda Cockrell Award, named in honor of the founding director of the Hollins Graduate Programs in Children’s Literature, recognizes the creativity, diversity of talent, and drive of current graduate students. More info 

Volunteer opportunities

The conference is run completely by graduate students of Hollins’ Children’s Literature program. There are numerous volunteer opportunities, including committees dedicated to art and silent auction, food and decoration, entertainment, reading, future conference planning, technology, and beyond. The conference provides students experiences to collaborate with peers and build their resumes.

If you’d like more information about volunteer opportunities, feel free to contact the conference chairs: Therese Hair and  Marilla MacGregor.