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.
Grace Lin, Guest Illustrator Illustrator
Meg Medina, Guest Author Author
Meg Medina writes picture book, middle grade, and YA. Her work is largely about family – healthy and dysfunctional, alike – and it examines how cultures intersect as seen through the eyes of young people.
Meg has earned the Ezra Jack Keats medal, the Pura Belpré, and nominations for the National Book Award, Kirkus Prize, and The Los Angeles Times Book Prize among other distinctions. She is also the co-founder (with Gigi Amateau) of the summer reading blog, Girls of Summer, now entering its eighth year, that promotes books for (and about) strong girls.
Meg focuses most on efforts to support girls, Latino youth, and diversity in children’s literature.
Yolanda Scott, Guest Editor Editor
Yolanda Scott is the associate publisher and editorial director at Charlesbridge, where she has edited more than 200 titles since 1995. She has worked with authors and illustrators such as Eve Bunting, David Diaz, Kathryn Lasky, Rafael López, David McPhail, Wendell Minor, Linda Sue Park, Don Tate, Duncan Tonatiuh, and Jane Yolen. She is a co-founder of Children’s Books Boston and serves on the board of the Children’s Book Council, where she has also served on the CBC Diversity Committee. She is a regular mentor for MFA students at the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College.
Sarah Beth Durst, Guest Author Author
Sarah Beth Durst is the author of fourteen fantasy books for kids, teens, and adults, including Drink Slay Love, the basis for the recent TV movie of the same name, as well as The Queens of Renthia epic fantasy series and The Girl Who Could Not Dream. She won an ALA Alex Award and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature, and has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Award three times. A graduate of Princeton University, Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her children, and her ill-mannered cat. For more information, visit her at sarahbethdurst.com.
Larry Day, Guest Illustrator Author
Larry Day was born in Gibson City, Illinois, a rural farming community where he flunked high school Art. Before becoming a storyboard artist and picture book illustrator, he did the art for many pinball and arcade game cabinets, back glass, marquees, and playfields. Day holds three Gold medals from the Society Of Illustrators, the Golden Kite, and numerous state awards.
Forthcoming: “Voices From the Underground Railroad” by Kay Winters (2018) a wordless book with Jeff Newman (2018), and “Bim, Bam, Bop, and Oona” by Jacqueline Briggs Martin (2019).
He lives in Illinois with his wife, author Miriam Busch.