Kweli Color of Children's Literature Conference


Friday, March 31st - Sunday, April 2, 2023 from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM EDT
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Barnard College 



Kweli Journal 
Join us March 31 - April 2, 2023 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. Newbery award winner Jerry Craft met New Kid’s future editor, Andrew Eliopulos, at our #Kweli16 conference, and Printz Award winner Angeline Boulley met Tiffany Liao, the future editor of Firekeeper's Daughter, at #Kweli19. You might meet your future editor at #Kweli23! 

Our #Kweli23 conference features a stellar lineup of authors and illustrators, including award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors and illustrators Fatimah Asghar, Angeline Boulley, Cozbi A. Cabrera, Safia Elhillo, Michaela Goade, Donna Barba Higuera, Amber McBride and Marilyn Nelson

Inspiring keynotes and keynote conversations with Leah Henderson, Malinda Lo, Andrea L. Rogers and Jacqueline Woodson will bookend a day of panels on Saturday, April 1. On the last day of the conference, Sunday, April 2, we will host a closing keynote conversation between award winning authors Edwidge Danticat and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi.   

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 & 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 in lifting up underrepresented voices.

In the weeks leading up to #Kweli23, we will have a pre-conference event with award winning author Lissette Norman

In the weeks following #Kweli23, we will have a series of post-conference events with award winning and debut authors: Autumn Allen, Federico Erebia, Brandon Hobson, J.E. ThomasAri Tison, AND MORE. 


See the Presenter Information Webpage for full bios.

Autumn Allen (Author, All You Have to Do)
Hala Alyan (Author, The Arsonists' City)
Fatimah Asghar (Author, When We Were Sisters)
Jaha Nailah Avery (Author, Those Who Saw the Sun)
Lorraine Avila (Author, The Making of Yolanda La Bruja)
Lynnor Bontiago (Author/Illustrator, Sari-Sari Summers)
Angeline Boulley, (Author, Firekeeper's Daughter and Warrior Girl Unearthed)
Cozbi A. Cabrera (Author/Illustrator, Me and Mama & My Hair is a Garden)
Johnnie Christmas (Author/Illustrator, Swim Team)
Edwidge Danticat (Author, My Mommy Medicine)
Safia Elhillo (Author, Bright Red Fruit)
Camryn Garrett (Author, Friday, I'm in Love) 
Michaela Goade (Author / Illustrator, Berry Song and Illustrator, Remember)
Leah Henderson (Author, The Courage of the Little Hummingbird)
Donna Barba Higuera (Author, The Last Cuentista and Lupe Wong Won't Dance)
Brandon Hobson (Author, The Storyteller) 
Nasugraq Rainey Hopson (Author, Eagle Drums)
Amalie Howard (Author, Queen Bee) 
Reem Kassis (Author, We Are Palestinian)
Ibram X. Kendi (Author, The Making of Butterflies)
Aya Khalil (Author, The Night Before Eid and The Great Banned Books Bake Sale) 
Emeline Lee (Author, Bonnie's Rocket)
Amber McBride (Author, (Me) Moth and We Are All So Good at Smiling)
Hannah Moushabeck (Author, Homeland, My Father Dreams of Palestine)
Marilyn Nelson (Author, Augusta Savage: The Shape of a Sculptor's Life)
Lissette J. Norman (Author, Platanos Go With Everything & My Feet Are Laughing) 
Patricia Park (Author, Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim)
Brianna Peppins (Author, As Long as We're Together and Briarcliff Prep)
J.P. Takahashi (Author, Tokyo Night Parade)
Andrea L. Rogers (Author, Man Made Monsters)
Kim Rogers (Author, Just Like Grandma)
Aida Salazar (Author, Jovita Wore Pants: The Story of a Mexican Freedom Fighter)
Sheetal Sheth (Author, Making Happy)
Nadine Takvorian (Author, Armaveni)
J.E. Thomas (Author, Control Freak)
Ari Tison (Saints of the Household) 
Traci N. Todd (Author, Nina: A Story of Nina Simone and Holding Her Own, the Exceptional Life of Jackie Ormes)
Gwendolyn Maya Wallace (Author, Joy Takes Root) 
Jacqueline Woodson (Author, The Year We Learned to Fly and Brown Girl Dreaming)
Brian Young (Author, Healer of the Water Monster and Heroes of the Water Monster)
Ibi Zoboi (Author, Nigeria Jones)

Autumn Allen (Senior Editor, Barefoot Books)
Jessica Echeverria (Editor, Lee & Low)
Abigail Frank (Associate Agent, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates)  
Antonio Gonzalez Cerna (Marketing Director, Levine Querido)
Wendi Gu (Literary Agent, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates) 
Arely Guzman (Assistant Editor, Levine Querido)
Serene Hakim (Agent, Ayeshe Pande Literary)
Connie Hsu (Executive Editor, Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan)
Cheryl Klein (Editorial Director, Lee & Low Books)
Alexandra Levick (Senior Agent, Writers House)
Arthur A. Levine (President and Editor-in-Chief, Levine Querido)
Alvina Ling (VP and Editor-in-Chief, Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Sydnee Monday (Associate Editor, Kokila Books/Penguin)
Jas Perry (Literary Agent, KT Literary)
Bria Ragin (Editor, Delacorte Press and Joy Revolution)
Traci N. Todd (Publisher, Little Bee Books)
Namrata Tripathi (Vice President and Publisher of Kokila Books/Penguin)
Irene Vazquez (Editorial and Marketing Assistant, Levine Querido)
Phoebe Yeh (Vice President & Publisher, Crown Books for Young Readers)

Register Now! Check out highlights from our previous conferences.