The most important people at Kindling Words are you–the attendees. We choose speakers each year to inspire and challenge you. We like to invite professionals who have experience teaching at a mastery level, and often choose people who have been to Kindling Words before, as they understand the unique atmosphere. We welcome recommendations from our attendees, and discourage self-solicitation.
Theme for 2019
“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing–and keeping the unknown always beyond you.” ~ Georgia O’Keeffe
Eric Rohmann, Guest Illustrator Illustrator Strand
Eric Rohmann is the author/illustrator of seven books, including My Friend Rabbit (which won the Caldecott) and Time Flies (which won a Caldecott Honor). He has also illustrated many other books, some in collaboration with Candace Fleming, and created several jackets for novels, including His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman and Bless This Mouse by Lois Lowry. Eric’s artwork has been featured in various exhibitions and in permanent collections throughout the United States.
He lives in a little house just outside of Chicago with a dog, a cat and a tarantula. They all seem to get along just fine.
Candace Fleming, Guest Author Author Strand
Candace is the author of more than forty books for children, including picture books, middle grade novels and biographies. Among her nonfiction titles are Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart, The Family Romanov, Giant Squid and most recently Strongheart Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen. She is the recipient of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington D.C.’s Nonfiction Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and a two-time recipient of the ALA Sibert Honor Award.
Candace lives in Oak Park, Illinois with one dog, two cats and her partner and sometimes-collaborator, Eric Rohmann.
Maggie Lehrman, Guest Editor Editor Strand
Maggie Lehrman is an executive editor at Abrams Books, where she has worked on young adult, middle grade, picture books, and graphic novels since 2005. Some of the books she has acquired and edited include the New York Times bestselling Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews, the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series of graphic non-fiction, and the Morris Award nominated In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters, among many others. She has an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is the author of the novels The Cost of All Things and The Last Best Story.
Uma Krishnaswami, Author Author Strand
Uma Krishnaswami is the author of 22 books for young readers. Her novel, Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh, won the 2017-18 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature and the FOCAL award and is shortlisted in Canada for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young Readers. Her chapter book, Book Uncle and Me, won the International Literacy Association’s Social Justice Literature Award and is a USBBY Outstanding International Book. Born in India, Uma now lives in Victoria, BC, Canada. She teaches in the Writing for Children and Young Adults MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Bryan Collier Illustrator Strand
Bryan Collier earned his BFA from Pratt Institute. He became involved with the Harlem Horizon Art Studio, starting as a volunteer and eventually becoming the director. During this time, Collier spent seven years in search of a book deal. In 1999, he published the first book he both wrote and illustrated, called Uptown. It won the Coretta Scott King Award and the Ezra Jack Keats Award. Collier has since received five CSK Awards and three CSK Honors. He has also been awarded four Caldecott Honors. Bryan’s latest books include The 5 O’Clock Band and Between the Lines.