Jack Gantos has written books for readers of all ages, from picture books and middle grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults. His works include Hole in My Life, a memoir that won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert honors; Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book, and Dead End in Norvelt, the 2012 Newbery Award Winner, and the Scott O’Dell Award Winner for Best Historic Fiction. In this wide-ranging conversation, Jack Gantos delves into the heart of his craft, dispensing everything from practical writing tips to his thoughts on the fundamentals of why children read and why we write for them.
Pat Cummings is the author/illustrator of over thirty-five books for young readers. She also edited the award-winning series, Talking With Artists, which profiles prominent children's book illustrators. She teaches at Parsons and Pratt, and her children's book illustration class has a growing number of notable illustrator/authors among its graduates. Pat serves on the SCBWI Board as well as on the boards of the Authors Guild, the Authors League Fund, The Authors Guild Foundation, and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. In this podcast, Pat talks about growing up on a military base in Germany, her career as an author and illustrator, her creative process and adapting to change: "you've got to swim in the water the way you find it."
Gill Evans is an editorial director at Walker Books. She began her publishing career in 1980 at Heinemann Educational Books before moving on to Reed Children’s Books, where she worked on Blyton, Tintin, Winnie the Pooh, Miffy, the Little Prince, and Babar. She entered the world of digital publishing in 1997 with Ahlberg’s Jolly Postman, one of the earliest CD-ROMs. In 2000 she became Head of Publishing at Random House Children’s Books. She joined Walker Books in 2003 as Editorial Director and Fiction Publisher. Here she talks with Lin Oliver about the role of the editor in the life of a work of art, the changing publishing landscape, “360 degree publishing,” self-publishing and the future of bookselling.
Episode 4: Laurie Halse Anderson
Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times best-selling children’s book author known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity. Her work has earned numerous American Library Association and state awards. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Chains also made the Carnegie Medal shortlist in the United Kingdom. Laurie was the proud recipient of the 2011 Free Speech Defender Award given by the National Coalition Against Censorship and presented to her by her hero, Judy Blume. In this episode of Conversations she talks about her writing path and the issue of diversity in children's literature.
Episode 3: Arthur A. Levine
Lin Oliver talks with Arthur A. Levine, vice president and publisher of Arthur A. Levine Books, an Imprint of Scholastic Inc. While Levine has edited and published exceptional books for children of all ages including Erin Bow’s Sorrow’s Knot, Alan Say’s The Favorite Daughter, Jaclyn Moriarty’s A Corner Of White and Alaya Dawn Johnson’s The Summer Prince, he is perhaps most recognized as co-editor of the Harry Potter series by J. K Rowling. Levine is the author of A Very Beary Tooth Fairy, illustrated by Sarah Brannen, and Monday Is One Day, illustrated by Julian Hector. He takes special pleasure in launching the careers of authors he’s met through SCBWI.
In the second episode of SCBWI's Conversations, we talk with author Matt de la Peña author of the young adult novels Ball Don't Lie, Mexican White Boy, We Were Here, I Will Save You and his latest, The Living.
Episode 1: Melissa Manlove
In the first episode of SCBWI's Conversations, we talk with editor Melissa Manlove, of Chronicle Books, about picture books, mythology, poetry and the power of the spoken word, and the life and work of a picture book editor.