Annual Conference on Children's Literature and Annual Ashley Bryan Art Series

I Am America by Charles R. Smith, Jr. book coverThe 29th Annual Conference on Children’s Literature and 14th Annual Ashley Bryan Art Series

Friday, April 29, 2016 ~ 9AM to 4:30PM
(Registration will start at 8:30AM)
African American Research Library and Cultural Center
Auditorium, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311

Conference SpeakersWorkshop | Registration Form*
Theme: Beginning with Books: Back to the Basics

2016 marks the 29th Annual Conference on Children’s Literature and 14th Annual Ashley Bryan Art Series. Broward County Library recognizes the crucial role libraries, schools, community centers and other youth serving organizations play in growing young minds, starting at birth. Therefore, the 2016 Conference on Children’s Literature’s theme is Beginning with Books: Back to the Basics
The joint Conference on Children’s Literature and Ashley Bryan Art Series is sponsored by the Friends of Fort Lauderdale Libraries, the Friends of the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center and the Broward Public Library Foundation. Funding provided by Broward County Public Schools through the Discovering Your Way Grant.

About the Conference on Children’s Literature

Broward County Library’s Conference on Children’s Literature will be held Friday, April 29th, in conjunction with the Ashley Bryan Art Series. The conference is a free, day-long professional development opportunity where librarians, teachers, writers, illustrators, storytellers, and parents gather to receive training and gain exposure to current trends in literature for youth and teens. Participants will meet award-winning authors, an award-winning illustrator, hear a professional storyteller and participate in learning workshops.
About the Ashley Bryan Art Series
The Ashley Bryan Art Series celebrates the art of African-American illustrators. In collaboration with Broward County Schools, the series includes a “Student Conference” day (closed to the public) dedicated to fostering a love of reading and learning in young people, featuring a Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrator. The Ashley Bryan Art Series also includes a Conference on Children’s Literature component of which the featured award-winning illustrator will not only speak at the conference, but will dedicate one of his works of art to be included in the Ashley Bryan Art Collection: an artwork collection of illustrators of African descent, which can be viewed at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center.

Participants must pre-register for this free Conference by April 22, 2016.

*Seats are still available for this conference. Please register the morning of the conference at the registration table. Online and phone registration for the Conference on Children's Literature is now closed.

For more information, contact 954-357-7317.
Presenters’ books and CDs will be available for purchase and autographing. Books & Books will be the book vendor for the Conference.

Conference Speakers  
Jack GantosJack Gantos – Award-winning author
Jack Gantos has written books for people 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 popular picture book series, Rotten Ralph. Several of Gantos’ works and characters are also based on his life, such as Rotten Ralph, an aggressive cat he had as a pet. A Hole in My Life is an inspirational book that has helped many teenage boys in trouble. The seeds for Jack’s writing career were planted in sixth grade, when he read his sister’s diary and decided he could write better than she could. He begged his mother for a diary and began to collect anecdotes he overheard at school, mostly from standing outside the teachers’ lounge and listening to their lunchtime conversations. Later, he incorporated many of these anecdotes into stories.
Chris SchweizerChris Schweizer – Award-winning graphic novelist
Chris Schweizer is the cartoonist behind The Crogan Adventures, a historical fiction graphic novel series that has been nominated for two Eisner Awards, and The Creeps, a horror series. When he was a kid, he often read in the backs of old comics how one could send off to join the fan club or become a junior detective. So for his Crogan Adventures readers he has created the Crogan Adventure Society, offering that same type of fraternal order, of which marks him or her as a special breed of reader, with a membership card to showcase his or her agent status, giving the inside scoop as to the production process behind the books. Before becoming a cartoonist, he worked in over twenty varying jobs, however, he now spends all of his time making comics.

Charles R. Smith Jr.Charles R. Smith Jr – Award-winning author, photographer and poet
Charles R. Smith Jr. has over 30 books to his credit. His awards include a Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration (2010) for his photographs accompanying the Langston Hughes poem, My People and a Coretta Scott King Honor Author Award (2008) for his biography on Muhammad Ali, Twelve Rounds to Glory. Many of his books have also garnered Reluctant Reader awards, proving that kids that don’t like to read, do like to read his books. Even though his early books such as Rimshots, Hoop Kings and Hoop Queens focus on basketball, he has applied his talents to a variety of subjects, including black history with 28 Days and Brick by Brick, diversity with I Am America and I Am the World, Greek mythology with The Mighty 12, and Negro League baseball with Stars in the Shadows to name a few. His poetry has also been used to paint unique biographical portraits of personal heroes such as the aforementioned Ali, boxer Jack Johnson and guitarist Jimi Hendrix.
Donna WashingtonDonna Washington - Professional storyteller, multiple-award-winning recording artist, and author
Donna L. Washington performs all over the country at festivals, schools, and libraries and gives workshops for parents and educators as well. Her many storytelling recordings have received Gold and Silver Parents' Choice Awards, Storytelling World Awards, iParenting Awards, Children's Music Web Awards, National Parenting Publications Awards Honors, and many more. She is the author of The Story of Kwanzaa, A Big Spooky House, Li'l Rabbit's Kwanzaa, A Pride of African Tales and she received a Parents' Choice Award for her recording Live and Learn: The Exploding Frog and Other Stories.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Writing in the Library by Jack Gantos

Learn how basic content and structure (and a few writing tips on picture books, journal writing and short stories) can turn a librarian into a brilliant creative writing coach.
Playing With the Book! By Donna Washington 
Participants will explore exercises that encourage children to learn how to make books interactive. Learn about creative thinking, problem solving, predictive behavior and turning language into images and how they develop pre-reading skills that build lifelong readers.
Hosting a Comics-Making Program by Chris Schweizer
Making comics gives kids and teens a way to focus their enthusiasm for drawing into a reachable goal and give them the foundation to continue making narratives and memoirs on their own. Chris Schweizer (The Creeps, The Crogan Adventures) will help you to craft a program in which the participants will walk away with copies of their own finished comic to share with friends and family.