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 2020 – “All stories have a curious, even dangerous power…”
“All stories have a curious and even dangerous power. They are manifestations of truth — yours and mine. And truth is all at once the most wonderful yet terrifying thing in the world, which makes it nearly impossible to handle. It is such a great responsibility that it’s best not to tell a story at all unless you know you can do it right. You must be very careful, or without knowing it you can change the world.”
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.
Neal Porter, Guest Editor Editor Strand
Neal Porter has been in and around children’s book publishing for over 40 years, working at houses such as Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Walker Books UK, and Roaring Brook Press, which he helped to found in 2000.
He is currently Vice President and Publisher of Neal Porter Books at Holiday House. Books he has edited
have received numerous awards and citations including the Caldecott Medal; Caldecott, Geisel and Sibert Honors as well as Coretta Scott King, Pura Belpré and Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards. In 2015 he was awarded a Carle Honor for his contribution to picture books.
Crystal Allen, Guest Author Author Strand
Crystal Allen is the author of middle grade novels, HOW LAMAR’S BAD PRANK WON A BUBBA-SIZED TROPHY (Balzer and Bray 2011), THE LAURA LINE (Balzer and Bray 2013), and THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS series. Crystal is the recipient of the 2018 Sid Fleishman Award for Humor in Children’s Literature. She lives in Sugar Land, Texas with her husband, Reggie, and two sons, Phillip and Joshua.
Liza Woodruff Illustrator Strand
Liza Woodruff illustrated 21 picture books written by other authors before becoming an author herself. Macmillan published her first author/illustrator picture book, EMERSON BARKS, in 2016. Since then, Liza has written and illustrated A QUIETER STORY (2019) and WINTER TALES (Forthcoming, Fall 2020) both published by Holiday House.
Liza earned her BFA in Illustration from the Art Institute of Boston while working at The Horn Book. She’s worked on children’s books ever since. Liza is also a bookseller at the Flying Pig Bookstore. She lives in Charlotte, Vermont, with her husband, two teenage children, and two very demanding dogs.