Wearing my writer hat at VCFA

Last week I spent a few days in snowy Montpelier as author/illustrator in residence at Vermont College of Fine Arts  in their Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children & Young Adults program. It is a low residency program where students meet for ten days of workshops and lectures and then spend six months working […]

BookCon, Writers Hall of Fame, and me

What a week! Since my semester ended, I have been busier than ever outside of my studio. I’m itching to get back to work. On Sunday I attended my first BookCon where I spoke on a panel with Cheryl Willis-Hudson, Rita WIlliams-Garcia, and Jerdine Nolen. The panel was moderated by Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambatti. Our topic was […]

Reviewing Race

Posted on Nov 18, 2014 in diversity, Reviews | No Comments
Reviewing Race

Last week I posted on facebook a bit of my frustration in the way that reviewers miscast ethnicity in picture books. A good friend of mine had a reviewer identify her family as “Caucasian”, when it was a mixed race family. I posted and then edited a statement (a few times) about that conversation which […]

Ladies and gentlemen . . . the amazing Pat Cummings!

Ladies and gentlemen . . . the amazing Pat Cummings!

When I was in graduate school at SVA, I was able to choose an advisor during my thesis year. My choice was Pat Cummings. I asked Pat because I had been reading her books and admiring her art since “Just Us Women” appeared on Reading Rainbow in 1984. I went on to fall in love […]

Living Diversely . . . Syracuse

Posted on Dec 1, 2013 in diversity, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

continued from Living diversly…part 2 Graduation came and went. Syracuse offered a program called summer institute that allowed incoming minority freshman to take a few classes and bond with other students before the school year officially began. I was so excited to begin college early and to meet other students. As kids often do, I […]

Living diversly…part 2

Posted on Oct 16, 2013 in diversity, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

continued from “Living Diversly. . . Part 1“ “Nigger!” I had heard the word before, but never hurled at me out of anger. I had heard it at home, mostly at my grandmother’s house when she referred to black folks who she decided didn’t work hard at anything, were undereducated and those who sounded ignorant […]

CBC Author Pavilion – The State of African American Kidlit

Posted on Sep 20, 2013 in diversity, Uncategorized | No Comments

Yesterday I spoke on a panel with Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambatti, Kekla Magoon, Bil Wright, Paula Young, and Wade Hudson on the state of African-American Children’s Books. Each voice was unique in its experience within the industry. Wade Hudson, co-founder of Just Us Books brought to the table over 20 years of experience in making, promoting, and […]

Living Diversely…part 1

Posted on Sep 15, 2013 in diversity, Uncategorized | No Comments

Recently there has been a lot of discussion on diversity in both my book world and my academic world. Who’s fault is it that the majority of books being created today reflect limited experiences? Why aren’t there more students of color enrolling and staying in higher ed? Is it the fault of publishers for not […]