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Literature and the Imagination

The Literature and the Imagination Conference is a biennial event that provides an opportunity for all who are interested in young people and their literature to assemble to talk about books in a community that advocates for meaningful, thoughtful, and enjoyable experiences with children's and young adults' literature. Invited guests and speakers are authors, illustrators, poets, publishers, librarians, academics, and scholar-practitioners. Past guests have included Jacqueline Woodson, Avi, Peter Sis, Naomi Shihab Nye, Pat Mora, Emily Jenkins, Patricia Reilly Giff (Hofstra,'75), and Rita Williams- Garcia (Hofstra,'80), Doreen Rapoport and Brian Collier.

  • Adam Gidwitz's book cover - A Tale Dark and Grimm
    A Tale Dark and Grimm
  • One Crazy Summer book cover
    One Crazy Summer
  • Pictures of Hollis Woods book cover
    Pictures of Hollis Woods
  • Habibi book cover
  • The Wall book cover
    The Wall
  • Toys Go Out book cover
    Toys Go Out
  • Crispin The Cross of Lead Avi book cover
    Crispin The Cross of Lead Avi
  • If You Come Softly book cover
    If You Come Softly
  • MLK book cover
  • Freedom River book cover
    Freedom River
  • John Lennon book cover
    John Lennon

The Literacy Studies Program of the Department of Specialized Programs in Education presents the

2018 Literature and Imagination Conference

Saturday, May 12, 2018
9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Room 106 Calkins Hall, South Campus

Guest Speakers

Adam GidwitzAdam Gidwitz
Children's book author

Adam Gidwitz is the Newbery Honor-winning author of The Inquisitor's Tale, as well as the A Tale Dark and Grimm trilogy, and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, So You Want to be a Jedi? Adam’s new series, The Unicorn Rescue Society, will be available April 2018. Adam believes that “the deepest truths about life tend to be written in works of fiction.” After graduating from Columbia University with a major in English literature, Adam began teaching elementary school students. During the day, he would tell stories to kids. At night, as a part-time student at Bank Street College of Education, he would meet writers and read bags full of children’s books and wonder how it all went together. After telling a group of second graders a terrifying Grimm fairytale called Faithful Johannes, Adam recalls that, “Some of them liked it. Some of them were traumatized. And one kid stuck her finger in my face and said, ‘You should make that into a book!’" It became the first chapter of his book, A Tale Dark and Grimm. Adam will share some thoughts on his writing process, his insights about how to engage young readers, and the research and life experiences that inform his storytelling.

Melissa IwaiMelissa Iwai
Children’s book illustrator and author

Melissa Iwai will join this year’s Literature and Imagination Conference to discuss her creative process in writing and illustrating children’s books. After earning her BFA in Illustration from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, Melissa moved to New York City to be at the center of the children’s publishing world. Her board books and picture books for children include illustrations for Eileen Spinelli’s Night Shift Daddy, and the colorful, textured and cheerful flip-sided circular book, I’ll Hug you More, which is the companion book to Laura Duksta’s New York Times Best Seller. Melissa has collaborated with her husband, playwright and children’s author Denis Markell, on The Great Stroller Adventure and Hush Little Monster. The first children’s book that Melissa both authored and illustrated, Soup Day, combines her passions for cooking and illustrating. Melissa also has numerous pieces in educational textbooks and children’s magazines, including Highlights.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions:

Jaimie Kanter, South Woods Middle School, Syosset Central School District: Fan Fiction: The Artifacts of Readers
Lorraine Radice, Long Beach Middle School, Long Beach City School District: Playing With Fiction: Exploring how Gaming can Support a Reader's Journey Through Fiction
Roberta Robinson, William Spyropoulos Greek American Day School: A Journey: From Life to Literature

Please visit the conference flyer for registration information. Professional Development or Graduate Credit options available. To register online as a non-credit participant or for professional development hours, please visit www.hofstra.edu/edworkshopreg and click Conferences and Workshops. If you are registering for graduate credit, please contact Darlene Allen (Darlene.F.Allen[at]hofstra.edu or (516) 463-5751) for a Hofstra registration form.

The Literature and Imagination Conference is sponsored by the Office of the Dean, Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Department of Specialized Programs in Education; Literacy Studies Program; Curriculum Materials Center, Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library; Reading/Writing Learning Clinic of the Joan and Arnold Saltzman Community Services Center; and Literacy Studies Doctoral Society.

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