S192. Belonging: Creating a New Traditional in Gender Identity

D133-134, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Children’s literature has placed itself at the forefront of deconstructing sexuality and gender identities. This places it in the unique position of defining new values and traditions, helping to create a growing acceptance of all gender identities. Within the larger classifications of picture books, middle grade, young adult, non-fiction, and recent submissions to editors, the panel will explore the new traditional in gender identity.


J. Albert Mann is the author of five novels, with her next work a young adult biographical fiction about the early life of Margaret Sanger. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and is the Director of the We Need Diverse Books Internship Committee.

Mary Quattlebaum is the author of twenty-seven award-winning children's books, including picture books, novels, nonfiction, and poetry. She teaches in the MFA program in writing for children and young adults in the Vermont College of Fine Arts and frequently presents at schools.

Leah Henderson’s middle grade novel One Shadow on the Wall is a BankStreet “Best Books of 2017” starred for outstanding merit and her short story “Warning: Color May Fade” appears in the young adult anthology Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America. She received her MFA from Spalding University.

Jonah Heller is a graduate of the Writing for Children and Young Adults program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. He works as an assistant editor for Peachtree Publishers in Atlanta, GA.

Suma Subramaniam is the contributing author of the Hero Next Door anthology. She contributes to From the Mixed-Up Files blog. She is also the mentorship coordinator of Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Western Washington, and internship grants team member at We Need Diverse Books. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a certificate in popular fiction from University of Washington.


March 27–30, 2019
Portland, OR

Oregon Convention Center