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

Adam Gidwitz is the Newbery Honor-winning author of The Inquisitor’s Tale, as well as the A Tale Dark and Grim 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

The Literature and Imagination Conference is sponsored by 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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