R271. The Future (of Kid Lit) Is Female: Female Protagonists and Voices in Youth Literature

Meeting Room 1, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Thursday, March 8, 2018
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


Whether they are dismantling old tropes, solving crimes, seeking social justice, or leading armies into battle—whether their stories are humorous, satirical, or suspenseful—today's female protagonists are offering diverse role models of what it is to be a feminist. The panel of writers of picture books to YA novels will examine their processes for uncovering these voices, ideas about responsibility to their readers, as well as possibilities for future books.



Sarah Aronson is the founder and organizer of the Writing Novels for Young People retreat at VCFA. She holds an MFA from VCFA and leads workshops for writers.com and The Highlights Foundation. Her newest book for young readers is The Wish List 1, The Worst Fairy Godmother Ever!

Micol Ostow has written many books for teens, including the Sydney Taylor Notable So Punk Rock. She spent eight years as a young adult editor, and has taught YA writing at MediaBistro.com, Miami Dade College, and The Highlights Foundation. She received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Nova Ren Suma is the author of four novels, including The New York Times bestselling YA novel The Walls Around Us. She has an MFA from Columbia University and is a MacDowell and Yaddo fellow. She teaches in the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Cynthia Leitich Smith is a New York Times bestselling, award-winning children's-YA author. She was a Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers Writer of the Year. She's a Muscogee Indian Nation citizen, a Vermont College of Fine Arts faculty member, and on the advisory board of We Need Diverse Books.

Dhonielle J. Clayton is the cofounder of CAKE Literary, a boutique book development company with a decidedly diverse bent. She is the coauthor of Tiny Pretty Things and Shiny Broken Pieces with Sona Charaipotra, and the author of The Belles. She is COO of We Need Diverse Books.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center