Speaker Profile - Chris Barton


Region: Texas: Austin
Age Levels: 5-10 and 11-13
Will Travel: Anywhere in the world
Skype Visit: Yes
SCBWI Profile: Member Profile
Speaker Email: chris@chrisbarton.info


I’m the author of picture books including bestseller Shark Vs. Train, Sibert Honor-winning The Day-Glo Brothers, and Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List books The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch (2016-17) and Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions (2017-18), both illustrated by Don Tate.

My new books in 2017-18 include Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion, Book or Bell? and What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?, a picture-book biography of Barbara Jordan. I visit schools by the score and also love speaking to professional gatherings of librarians, educators, and my fellow writers.

I'm married to novelist Jennifer Ziegler (Revenge of the Flower Girls, How Not to Be Popular), and we live with our family in Austin, Texas, where I have advocated for greater diversity in children's literature by cofounding the Modern First Library program with independent bookseller BookPeople. For more information about me, please visit www.chrisbarton.info.

Presentation Description:
I currently offer several presentations, including:

Write What You'd Love to Learn

"Write what you know," the saying goes. But based on my experiences with both playful picture books and rigorously researched nonfiction, I encourage audiences to improve their own writing by giving the not-yet-known a try. This presentation is flexible and can include a reading of your choice from any of my books.

Who They Are and Why You Care: Writing Nonfiction That Wows Editors and Readers Alike

Advice from the author of The Day-Glo Brothers and The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch on what makes for great nonfiction projects and how to get those projects through the gatekeepers (agents, editors, librarians) and into the hands and hearts of readers.

Shark Vs. Train Is a New Book

Yes, it was published in 2010. But to kids just now discovering Shark Vs. Train, it's a new book. For fans new and old, I offer inside information about how this book came to be, how I came to be the guy who wrote it, and how it exemplifies the role a writing community has played in my life ever since childhood.

Bob and Joe and Shark and Train: Cooperation and Competition

The audience and I discuss how Day-Glo inventors Bob and Joe Switzer managed to work together despite their differences, and how Shark and Train have a lot in common despite their conflicts. Followed by a reading of Shark Vs. Train and a viewing of outtakes from the book.

Who Did It First? Who Did It Best? Who Did It Differently?

Whatever you're passionate about, there's somebody in that field whose life story would be best told by you. I'll help you figure out who in the world that person is and what on earth you should do about it.

You Better Believe It: How The Day-Glo Brothers Survived All the Things I Didn't Know

I started off not knowing anything about daylight fluorescence or children's publishing. But I had a story I believed in, and — 23 rejections and lots of revisions later — it all worked out.