A Boston Summer of Children's Books

And you thought all the exciting stuff in the children's book world happened in New York! Check out these upcoming events and opportunities in the Boston area for fans, writers, and those who care about the next generation of storytellers.


May 16: Children's Book Week Celebration at the Boston Public Library

This Saturday from 10 a.m. — 1 p.m., in the Rey Children's Room of the Central Branch (700 Boylston Street, Copley Square), bring your kids to meet (in order of appearance) Alan Witschonke, Megan McDonald, Erin Dionne, Linda Urban, Michael Rex, Paul Carrick, Jarret J. Krosoczka, Kate Feiffer, and Sara Pennypacker. Find out more here.

May 19: The FCB presents New England Voices at Boston College

On Tuesday, May 19, 2009, at 7:30 p.m., in BC's Walsh Hall, the Foundation of Children's Books presents New England Voices, an annual event featuring area authors and illustrators reading from their new work and spotlights new talent in the field of children's literature.

Enjoy a wonderful evening of reading and reflection with acclaimed author/illustrator Grace Lin, who will read from her newest title Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Also, first-time author and long-time illustrator and cut-paper artist Giles Laroche will read from his new book, What's Inside? Both Grace and Giles have visited under-served schools with the Foundation for Children's Books. This event is free and open to the public, refreshments are served, and you can read more about it here.

June 7: PEN New England and the JFK Library present "A Tribute to John Updike"

On, Sunday, June 7th, at 3:00 PM, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Columbia Point, Boston, Nicholson Baker, Samuel Shem (pen-name of Dr. Stephen Bergman), Gish Jen, Charles McGrath, William Pritchard, and others will honor the work of John Updike, who created many memorable teen characters. Christopher Lydon will moderate. To register, call 617-514-1643.


June 6: NESCBWI hosts a Salon for published writers on Marketing

On Saturday, June 6, 2009, in the Faulkner Room of Acton Town Hall, 472 Main St., Acton, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators is offering a Salon with Mark Peter Hughes (Lemonade Mouth) and Brian Lies (Bats at the Beach) called "Marketing Triumphs and Mishaps."

After describing their own experiences, these two successful authors will lead a group discussion of the ups and downs of promoting children's books. The cost is $20.00 for SCBWI members and $30.00 for non-SCBWI members. Lunch and beverage included, but bring your own coffee or tea. Limited to 50 participants. Registration details are here.

June 13: Deadline to apply for Newtonville Books' Writing Workshop

Aspiring authors of young adult and adult novels alike are invited to participate in a four-week Saturday workshop (June 20, June 27, July 11, and July 18) on writing fiction and memoir. The workshop is limited to eight writers and will meet at the bookstore from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The fee is $150, payable upon acceptance. The instructor is James Scott, and you'll find application details here.

June 22-26: Pine Manor College presents the Solstice Summer Writers' Conference

Pine Manor College celebrates the 5th Anniversary of the Solstice Summer Writers' Conference, scheduled from June 22-26. Set on the 60 wooded acres of Pine Manor College’s Chestnut Hill campus, Solstice offers writers an idyllic retreat within easy reach of downtown Boston. The Writing for Young People Workshop will be led by David Yoo & Marie Myung-Ok Lee. Call (617) 731–7697 for more information or visit the conference website.


May 19: 826 Boston invites you to a Spring Benefit

826 Boston is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. On Tuesday, May 19, from from 6 to 8 in the evening, come to their annual Spring Benefit and mingle with Dave Eggers (What is the What), co-founder of 826 Valencia, Steve Almond (Not That You Asked), and Julia Glass (I See You Everywhere), National Book Award winner. The benefit is hosted by Janis Pryor of Commonwealth Journal.

The evening will feature engaging author conversations and student readings, lively music, great food and wine, and spectacular views of Boston Harbor. It will also serve as the launch of 2% of 2% of All the World's Stories, a 170-page book of bedtime stories written by participants in 826 Boston's after-school writing and tutoring program. This is a free event; however, a donation at the door is suggested. All proceeds will support 826 Boston's free writing programs for students ages 6 to 18. Find out more here.

June 1: Grub Street needs sponsors for the YAWP Summer Teen Writing Fellowship

This program immerses students age 13-18 in the writers’ life of creative craft and publishing. In 2008, the program was funded by a substantial grant, but this year the grant was not renewed. To run the YAWP Summer Teen Fellowship, Grub Street must raise $15,000 by June 1st. For $300, you can sponsor a teen writer, giving them time to focus on their craft, commune with other writers, and take themselves seriously as emerging artists. Read more here.

Any events to add? Let me know. Here's to a wonderful summer season, Boston children book aficionados!