Featured Speakers

"R. Gregory Christie is an Atlanta-based commercial artist and illustrator with over 20 years of experience and over 50 books to his credit. He currently works as a freelance illustrator and owns GAS-ART Gifts (Gregarious Art Statements), an autographed children’s bookstore, gallery, and open art studio located in Decatur, Georgia. Mr. Christie also enjoys book binding, and teaching young people about art and literacy."

"Mr. Christie recently received a Caldecott Honor for his illustration work in Freedom in Congo Square, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and published in 2016 by Little Bee Books. He is a three-time recipient of the New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books of the Year Award, a five-time recipient of the Coretta Scott King Honor Award in Illustration, and a winner of the Boston Globe’s Horn Book Award, the NAACP’s Image Award and the Once Upon a World Children’s Book Award from the Museum of Tolerance. He received a 2013 Ashley Bryan Illustrated Africana Children’s Literature Award and a 10 Books All Young Georgians Should Read Award in both 2014 and 2015."

Website : http://gas-art.com/about-r-gregory-christie/

"Mitali Perkins has written ten novels for young readers, including You Bring the Distant Near (nominated for the National Book Award, Walter Award honor book), Rickshaw Girl (chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the top 100 books for children in the past 100 years), Bamboo People (an American Library Association's Top Ten Novels for Young Adults), and Tiger Boy (winner of the Charlotte Huck Honor Award and the South Asia Book Award.)

She has been honored as a "Most Engaging Author" by independent booksellers across the country and selected as a "Literary Light for Children" by the Associates of the Boston Public Library. Mitali was born in Kolkata, India before immigrating to the United States. She has lived in Bangladesh, India, England, Thailand, Mexico, Cameroon, and Ghana, studied at Stanford and U.C. Berkeley, and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area."

Website: mitaliperkins.com

"Shannon McClintock Miller is an international speaker, consultant and author who has a passion for education, librarianship, advocacy, technology, social media and making a difference in the world and lives of others, especially children. She served as the K-12 district teacher librarian and technology integrationist at Van Meter Community School District in Iowa for 10 years. Shannon now brings a special expertise and vision to conversations around school libraries, education, technology, creativity and student voice.

Shannon currently serves as the Future Ready Librarians and Project Connect Spokesperson working with librarians, educators and students around the world every day. She is Buncee’s Librarian Advisor, Cantata Learning’s Teacher Librarian Advocate and Author and a Participate Author. Shannon is the author of the award winning The Library Voice blog and enjoys writing for various blogs, journals and other forums including ISTE, School Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. She recently published her first 4 children’s books about library skills with Cantata Learning and is working on the next series which is due out in the fall of 2018."

Website: http://vanmeterlibraryvoice.blogspot.com/p/about-me.html

"Kathy Kinney achieved international fame playing Mimi Bobeck on “The Drew Carey Show” for nine years. For the past ten years Kinney has taken on a character that’s vastly different from the over-the-top Mimi. She portrays a bespectacled redheaded woman named Mrs. P. on the free children’s online storybook site MrsP.com. She reads classic children’s stories and hosts the annual Be-a-Famous Writer contest for K-4 classrooms every fall.

MrsP.com was named a Great Website for Kids by the Association for Library Services to Children. Mrs. P works to instill a life long love of reading in children. She is also the author of Mrs. P Presents: Mrs. P's Four Favorite Fairy Tales & Funny Stories.""

Website: http://mrsp.com/

"Mike Lawrence is the award-winning illustrator of Muddy Max: The Mystery of Marsh Creek (with Elizabeth Rusch) and the novel The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl (by Melissa Keil). The Star Scouts series (published by First Second) is his debut as a solo graphic novelist. In addition to making comics, Mike has created several pieces of public art for his hometown of Portland, OR."

Website: http://mlawrenceillustration.com/

Kathleen Lane

"Kathleen Lane's middle grade novel, The Best Worst Thing, was a 2017 Oregon Book Award finalist, and inspiration for her "Fearless" workshops and "Create more, fear less" website for young people dealing with anxiety.

She also co-hosts the art & literary event series SHARE, and is currently working on two short story collections, one for adults, the other for middle-grade. Her stories can be found in Los Angeles Review, Berkeley Fiction Review, Writer’s Digest, Forest Avenue Press, Nailed Magazine, and elsewhere."

Website: http://kathleenlane.net/