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Saturday, April 8, 2017 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM EDT
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The New York Times Building 
620 8th Ave.
New York, NY 10018

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Kweli Journal 

Kweli Children's Book Writers Conference 

Celebrate our voices, our stories, our truth. Join us on April 8th at the New York Times Conference Center for an incredible day with top editors, agents, authors and illustrators in the children's book publishing world. Our spring conference is an excellent opportunity for writers and illustrators of color to learn, get inspired and network with others in the industry. The conference features a stellar lineup of authors and illustrators, including 2017 Caldecott Medalist Javaka Steptoe; New York Times bestselling author Daniel José Older; Pat Cummings, a three-time recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award; Francisco X. Stork, the author of the Schneider Award-winning Marcelo in the Real World; and Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of the New York Times bestselling Tantalize series, who will give the lunchtime keynote address. A panel on “Why We Create Now” will open the conference, featuring illustrator Cozbi Cabrera, picture-book writer Traci Sorell, and novelists Karuna Riazi and Zoraida Córdova. The programming that follows will run in three tracks:  “Publishing,” with panels on the state of the market, developing an authorial platform, and submissions; “Novels,” including workshops on the crafts of character, plotting, and world-building; and “Illustrated Books and Nonfiction,” where experts will offer insights into “Picture Books 101,” graphic novels, and longer nonfiction narratives. 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.  

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Jenne Abramowitz (Senior Editor, Scholastic Press)
Jennifer Baker
(Creator/host of the Minorities in Publishing Podcast)
Tracey Baptiste (Author, The Jumbies)
John William Byrd (CEO, Cinco Puntos Press)
Patrice Caldwell (Editorial Assistant, Scholastic Trade)
Cozbi A. Cabrera (Author / Illustrator, My Hair is a Garden)
Kheryn Callender (Assistant Editor, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Linda Camacho (Literary Agent, Prospect Agency)
Joanna Cardenas (Editor, Viking / Penguin)
Sona Charaipotra (Co-author, Shiny Broken Pieces / Co-founder Cake Literary)
Sheela Chari (Author, Finding Mighty & Vanished)
Dhonielle Clayton (Co-author, Shiny Broken Pieces / Co-founder Cake Literary)
Zoraida Cordova (Author, Labyrinth Lost)
Pat Cummings (Illustrator, Beauty and the Beast)
Sayantani DasGupta (Author, Kiranmala and the Kingdom of Serpents)
Jessica Echeverria (Senior Editor, Lee & Low Books)
Saraciea Fennell (Publicist, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Jessica Harriton (Assistant Editor, Penguin Random House)
Heidi Heilig (Author, The Ship Beyond Time) 
Veera Hiranandani (Author, Phoebe G. Green)
Cheryl Hudson (Co-founder and Editorial Director, Just Us Books)
Justina Ireland (Author, Promise of Shadows)
Hena Khan (Author, Amina's Voice)
Cheryl Klein (Editorial Director, Lee & Low Books)
Peter Knapp (Literary Agent, Park Literary & Media)
Ebony LaDelle (Marketing Manager, Simon & Schuster)
Tiffany Liao (Editor, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers / Macmillan)
Nancy Mercado (Editorial Director, Scholastic Press)
Martha Mihalick (Executive Editor, Greenwillow Books)
Andrea Morrison (Junior Agent, Writers House)
Daniel José Older (Author, Shadowshaper)
Emma Otheguy (Author, Martí’s Song for Freedom)
Beth Phelan (Literary Agent, Bent Agency)
Marcie Rendon (Author, Murder on the Red River) 
Karuna Riazi (Author, The Gauntlet)
Irene Smalls (Author, HairMath & Irene and the Big Fine Nickel)
Cynthia Leitich Smith (Author, The Feral Series)
Traci Sorell (Author, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga)
Javaka Steptoe (Author / Illustrator, Radiant Child, The Story of Young Artist Jean Michel Basquiat)
Francisco X. Stork (Author, The Memory of Light)
Michael Strother (Editor, Harlequin Teen) 
Kate Sullivan (Senior Editor, Penguin Random House)
Weslie Turner (Editorial Assistant, Arthur A. Levine, Scholastic)
Stacy Whitman (Founder / Publisher, Tu Books, an imprint of Lee and Low Books)
Jennifer Ung (Associate Editor, Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster)
Wendy Xu (Comics Artist & Illustrator, Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology)
Phoebe Yeh (VP / Publisher, Crown Books for Young Readers - Random House Children's Books)
Ibi Zoboi (Author, American Street)


Register Now! Check out highlights from our previous conferences.