Kweli Color of Children's Literature Conference 


Friday, April 9th - Sunday, April 11, 2021 from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM EDT
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This is an online event. 



Kweli Journal 
Join us April 9th - 11th, 2021 for an incredible weekend with top editors, agents, authors and illustrators in the children's book publishing world. Our spring conference is an excellent opportunity for BIPOC writers and illustrators to learn, get inspired and network with others in the industry. The conference features a stellar lineup of authors and illustrators, including award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors and illustrators Derrick Barnes, Carole Boston Weatherford, Brandy Colbert, Floyd Cooper, Jerry Craft, Christine Day, Michaela Goade, Veera Hiranandani, Minh Lê, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Juana Martinez-Neal, Meg Medina, Aida Salazar, Kelly Starling Lyons, Javaka Steptoe, Jasmine Warga, Renee Watson, Alicia Williams, Rita Williams Garcia and Ibi Zoboi. 

Inspiring keynote addresses by Angeline Boulley and Safia Elhillo will bookend a day of panels on Saturday, April 10th. We will end Sunday, April 11th with a closing keynote conversation between Newberry award winners, Meg Medina and Jerry Craft.   

The program runs in four tracks:
Publishing, Community & Culture—with panels on solidarity among creators of color, developing an authorial platform, and submissions.
Novels & Memoir —including workshops on the crafts of character, plotting, contemporary world-building and fantasy world-building.
Picture Books and Nonfiction—where experts will offer insights into picture books, chapter books, graphic novels and nonfiction.
Intensives—with in-depth sessions on craft and form for picture book authors and YA novelists.

Throughout the day, writers and artists will have the opportunity to get their work seen, considered, and critiqued by the many agents and editors attending the conference — a useful step for creators who want to develop their craft and make connections within the industry. Join us, and lift up underrepresented voices.

In the months leading up to #Kweli21VIRTUAL, we will have a series of pre-conference events with award winning authors, including Elizabeth AcevedoThanhha Lai, Marie Myung-Ok Lee AND MORE. 


See the Presenter Information Webpage for full bios.

Graham Akhurst (Author, Borderland)
Derrick Barnes (Author, I Am Every Good Thing)
Angeline Boulley, (Author, Firekeeper's Daughter)
David Bowles, (Author, Rise of the Halfling King)
Dr. Monica Brown (Author, Sharuko: El Arqueólogo Peruano/Peruvian Archeologist Julio C. Tello)
Mahogony L. Browne (Author, Chlorine Sky)
Cozbi Cabrera (Author/Illustrator, Me and Mama & My Hair is a Garden)
Edi Campbell (Author, Librarian)
Floyd Cooper (Illustrator, Sprouting Wings)
Brandy Colbert (Author, The Voting Both)
Rio Cortez (Author, The ABCs of Black History)
Jerry Craft (Author, Class Act)
Susan Muaddi Darraj (Author, Farah Rocks New Beginnings)
Christine Day (Author, I Can Make This Promise)
Jennifer De Leon (Author, Don't Ask Me Where I'm From)
J. Dillard (Author, JD and the Great Barber Battle)
Safia Elhillo (Author, Home is Not a Country)
Saadia Faruqi (Author, A Thousand Questions)
Michaela Goade (Illustrator, We Are Water Protectors & Encounter)
Leah Henderson (Author, The Magic in Changing Your Stars & Mamie on the Mound)
Veera Hiranandani (Author, The Night Diary)
Joanna Ho (Author, Eyes That Kiss in the Corners)
Mike Jung (Author, The Boys in the Back Row)
Sheba Karim (Author, Mariam Sharma Hits the Road)
Shing Yin Khor (Author/Illustrator, The American Dream? A Journey on Route 66)
Rajani LaRocca (Author, Red, White and Whole)
Minh Le (Author of Lift & Green Lantern: Legacy)
Darcie Little Badger (Author, Elatsoe)
Juana Martinez-Neal (Author, Alma and How She Got Her Name)
Meg Medina (Author, Merci Suarez Can't Dance)
Yamile Saied Mendez (Author, Shaking Up the House)
Denene Millner (Author, Fresh Princess: Style Rules)
Daria Peoples-Riley (Author/Illustrator, This is It)
NoNieqa Ramos (Author, Your Mama)
Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (Author, It Doesn't Take a Genius)
Aida Salazar (Author, The Land of the Cranes & Jovita Wore Pants: The Story of a Revolutionary Fighter)
Misa Segiura (Author, This Time Will Be Different)
Sheetal Sheth (Author, Always Anjali)
Simran Jeet Singh (Author, Fauja Singh Keeps Going)
Jess X. Snow (Author/Illustrator, We Always Had Wings & Illustrator of The Ocean Calls)
Tasha Spillet (Author, I Sang You Down From the Stars)
Kelly Starling Lyons (Author, Dream Builder; The Story of Architect Philip Freelon & Going Down Home With Daddy)
Javaka Steptoe (Author/Illustrator, Radiant Child)
Jasmine Warga (Author, Other Words for Home)
Renee Watson (Author, Ways to Make the Sunshine)
Carole Boston Weatherford (Author, Unspeakable:The Tulsa Race Massacre)
Alicia D. Williams (Author, Genesis Begins Again)
Rita Williams-Garcia (Author, Gaither Sisters Trilogy)
Brian Young (Author, Healer of the Water Monster)
Ibi Zoboi (Author, American Street & My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich)

Jennifer Baker (Editor, Electric Literature)
Rosemary Brosnan (VP/Editorial Director, Quill Tree Books & Heartdrum / HarperCollins)
Joanna Cárdenas (Senior Editor, Kokila / Penguin Young Readers)
Trisha De Guzman (Editor, Farrar Straus Giroux)
Antonio Gonzalez Cerna (Marketing Director, Levine Querido) 
Clelia Gore (Vice President and Literary Management, Martin Literary & Media Management) 
Wendy Gu (Literary Agent, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates) 
Arely Guzman (Editorial Assistant, Knopf Books for Young Readers & Make Me a World)
Serene Hakim (Agent, Ayeshe Pande Literary)
Connie Hsu (Executive Editor, Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan)
Zareen Jaffrey (Executive Editor, Kokila/Penguin)
Cheryl Klein (Editorial Director, Lee & Low Books)
Cynthia Leitich Smith (Author-Curator, Heartdrum / HarperCollins)
Whitney Leopard (Senior Editor, Rahdom House Graphic)
Arthur A. Levine (Editor-in-Chief, Levine Querido)
Tiffany Liao (Editor, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers / Macmillan)
Tamar Mays (Executive Editor, HarperCollins)
Sydnee Monday (Assistant Editor, Kokila/Penguin)
Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel (Agent, Full Circle Literary)
Saba Sulaiman (Agent, Talcott Notch)
Nick Thomas (Senior Editor, Levine Querido)
Namrata Tripathi (Vice President and Publisher of Kokila/Penguin)
Weslie Turner (Senior Editor, Versify)
Phoebe Yeh (Vice President & Publisher, Crown Books for Young Readers)
Stacey Whitman (Publisher, Tu Books/Lee & Low Books)
Marietta Zacker (Agent, Gallt & Zacker)

Register Now! Check out highlights from our previous conferences.