Summer 2017 Events

A 25th Anniversary Celebration of Hollins Children’s Literature Program Distinguished Alumnae

All events are open to the public.


Author, blogger, Literary Agent Eric Smith

Wednesday, June 21, 7:30 p.m., Hollins Room, Wyndham Robertson Library
Eric Smith is an author, blogger, and literary agent in Richmond, Virginia. By day, he can be found working as an associate literary agent for P.S. Literary. When he isn’t seeking out new voices and their writing, he fusses over his own. His first humor book, The Geek’s Guide to Dating, was published by Quirk Books in December 2013, and was an Amazon 2013 Best Book of the Year selection in Humor, as well as a Best of the Year pick by PopSugar and Wired’s GeekDad.  His debut young adult novel, Inked, was published with Bloomsbury’s digital imprint, Bloomsbury Spark in January of 2015. The sequel, Branded, will be out in May.

Author/illustrator Brian Lies

Friday, June 23, 7:30 p.m., VAC Auditorium
Brian Lies is the award-winning author and/or illustrator of more than two dozen books for children, including his New York Times bestselling bat series (Bats at the Beach, Bats at the Library, etc.). He has done many pieces for the Cricket Group magazines, and has won numerous awards for his magazine, book and fine art work. He has worked in a variety of media, including oils, acrylics, scratchboard and stained glass.

writer-in-residence Kathy appelt

Monday, June 26, 7:30 p.m., VAC Auditorium
Kathi Appelt is the author of numerous picture books, middle grade, and young adult novels, including The Underneath, a National Book Award finalist and a Newbery Honor Book, Maybe a Fox, Counting Crows, When Otis Courted Mama, Kissing Tennessee, Down Cut Shin Creek, and Keeper.

Playwright Nicole B. Adkins

Wednesday, June 28, 7:30 p.m., VAC 119
Nicole B. Adkins, Children’s Literature M.F.A ’11, is the author of Playwriting and Young Audiences: Collected Wisdom and Practical Advice from the Field. Her stage credits include an adaptation of the picture book The Lion and The Little Red Bird by Elisa Kleven, at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte; The Adventures of Iris and Walter, an adaptation of four early readers by Elissa Guest, at the Hollins-Mill Mountain Winter Festival of New Works; and Commedia Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte.

How a Picture Book Gets to Print with Candice Ransom and Frances Gilbert

Thursday, June 29, 7:30 p.m., VAC 119
Author Candice Ransom (Children’s Literature M.A. ’07) and editor Frances Gilbert, Associate Publishing Director at Random House Books for Young Readers, trace the birth of Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten from one illustration of an opinionated panda through several not-quite-right drafts of the text and multiple wardrobe changes for the main character, to the finished book, launched June 20.

scholar-in-Residence Katherine Capshaw

Monday, July 3, 7:30 p.m., VAC 119
Katherine Capshaw is professor of English at the University of Connecticut, and the author of Civil Rights Childhood: Picturing Liberation in African American Photobooks and Children’s Literature of the Harlem Renaissance. Her research interests include 20th-Century American literature, ethnic American literature (African American literature), children’s literature, graphic novel, visual culture.

Author Ali Standish

Wednesday, July 5, 7:30 p.m., VAC 119
Ali Standish, Children’s Literature M.F.A. ’15, is the author of The Ethan I Was Before, published in January in both the U.S. and the U.K., and described as a “breathtaking debut.” A poignant middle-grade novel of friendship and forgiveness, which the Children’s Book Review called “one of the best new books for pre-teens and tweens.” In addition to her Hollins degree, she holds an M.Phil. in Children’s Literature from the University of Cambridge.

Author and Literary developer Dhonielle Clayton

Friday, July 7, 7:30 p.m., VAC 119
Dhonielle Clayton, Children’s Literature M.A. ’09, founded Cake Literary, with Sona Charaipotra, a sister M.F.A. graduate of the New School Writing for Children Program. Cake is a literary development company committed to creating quality multi-platform content for middle grade, young adult, and women’s fiction audiences, all with a strong focus on diversity. She is the author, with Charaipotra, of Tiny Pretty Things and Shiny Broken Pieces. A former librarian, she is also COO of the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books.

Amy Gary

Monday, July 10, 7:30 p.m., VAC 119
Amy Gary is the author of the new biography In the Great Green Room: The Brilliant and Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown, a 1932 graduate of what was then Hollins College. In 1990, Amy Gary discovered unpublished manuscripts and songs from Brown tucked away in a trunk in the attic of Margaret’s sister’s barn. Since then, Gary has catalogued, edited, and researched all of Brown’s writings. Her work on Margaret Wise Brown has been covered in Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, and on NPR.

Lara Saguisag

Monday, July 17, 7:30 p.m., VAC 119
Lara Saguisag, Children’s Literature M.A. ’05, also holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from The New School and a Ph.D. in Childhood Studies from Rutgers University. She is Assistant Professor of English at College of Staten Island, City University of New York, where her current research project examines representations of childhood in Progressive Era comic strips and draws from histories and theories of childhood, comics, humor and visual culture. She has been the recipient of a Library of Congress Swann Foundation Fellowship, among other awards and her articles on children’s literature and comics have appeared in The International Journal of Comic Art, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly and The Horn Book. She has also published several children’s books, including Children of Two Seasons: Poems for Young People and Ninoy Aquino: A Courageous Homecoming. She serves on the International Committee of the Children’s Literature Association.

Ethan and Vita Murrow

Thursday, July 20, 7:30 p.m., VAC Auditorium
Keynote talk and opening reception for The Whale exhibition. Ethan and Vita Murrow work collaboratively on a variety of artistic projects including writing, video, film, drawing, and photography. A new exhibit in the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum will showcase work from their debut picture book, The Whale.

Keynote speaker Elisabeth Rose Gruner

Saturday, July 22, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., VAC Auditorium
Twenty-Third Annual Francelia Butler Student Conference on Children’s Literature
Elisabeth Rose Gruner is Associate Dean of the  School of Arts and Sciences and Associate Professor of English at the University of Richmond. She teaches children’s and young adult literature and Victorian literature, as well as creative nonfiction writing. Her current research is on young adult literature and the “crisis in reading”; more broadly, she is interested in the relationships between children’s and young adult literature and education.

Student reading

Wednesday, July 26, 12:15 p.m., Lewis Periodicals Room, Wyndham Robertson Library
Students in the graduate children’s literature programs read from their creative work.

Faculty reading

Wednesday, July 26, 7:30 p.m., Hollins Room, Wyndham Robertson Library
Faculty authors in the graduate children’s literature programs read from their own work.

Laurent Linn

Friday, July 28, 10:00 a.m., VAC 119
Laurent Linn is Art Director for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, where he works on picture books, middle-grade, and teen novels. He began his career as a puppet designer/builder in Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop, creating characters for various productions, including the Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island films. With Henson over a decade, he worked primarily on Sesame Street, becoming the Creative Director for the Sesame Street Muppets, winning an Emmy Award. Linn is on the Board of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and is Artistic Advisor for the annual Original Art exhibit at the Society of Illustrators in New York. He is also an author and illustrator: his illustrated teen novel is Draw the Line.