Newburyport Literary Festival

A Celebration of Literature, Readers, and Writers
• In-Person & Virtual Events • April 26–28, 2024

Listed in alphabetical order

Erin BErin Bowmanowman

On My Own: Self-Reliance, Strength, and Secrets in Young Adult Literature [br] — Saturday 2:30 PM Erin Bowman used to tell stories visually as a web designer. Now a full-time writer, she relies solely on words. She lives in New Hampshire with her family, and when not writing can often be found hiking, commenting on good typography, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter. She is the author of the Taken trilogy, Vengeance Road, and the forthcoming Contagion. You can visit her online at or on twitter @erin_bowman.

Rob BuyeaRob Buyea

Saving Mr. Terupt — Saturday 11:00 AM Rob Buyea taught third and fourth graders in Bethany, Connecticut, for six years before moving to Massachusetts, where he taught high school biology and coached wrestling for seven years at Northfield Mount Hermon. He now lives in North Andover, Massachusetts, with his wife and three daughters and is working as a full-time writer. Because of Mr. Terupt, his first novel, was selected as an E. B. White Read-Aloud Honor Book and a CYBILS finalist. The novel has won seven state awards and been named to numerous state award lists. Mr. Terupt Falls Again and Saving Mr. Terupt are the other novels in the series. The books continue to reach classrooms near and far and have given Rob the opportunity to visit with students all over the country—something he loves to do. Rob spends his summers at Cape Cod enjoying family adventures, entertaining friends, and writing. You can visit him at

Toni BuzzeoToni Buzzeo

Elephants Always Remember — Saturday 9:30 AM New York Times best selling children’s author Toni Buzzeo has published 24 picture books for kids (with two more forthcoming) as well as 11 books for teachers and librarians. A former elementary school librarian and college & high school writing teacher, Toni and her books have won many awards, including a 2013 Caldecott Honor for One Cool Friend, illustrated by David Small. Her characters are sometimes human and sometimes animals whose experiences echo those of a human child. Either way, her characters are as loveable as the children Toni writes for. Toni lives in Arlington, Massachusetts. For more information about the author and her books, visit


Opening Night Ceremony: Jeff Kinney — Friday 5:30 PM Jeff grew up in Fort Washington, Maryland. It was during his student life at the University of Maryland that Kinney generated the idea of and created Igdoof, his famous comic strip which appeared in the campus newspaper, The Diamondback. The success of Igdoof encouraged Jeff to decide on being a cartoonist. In 1995 Kinney moved to New England. Jeff started working on The Diary of a Wimpy Kid sometime during 1998, however, it wasn’t published until the spring of 2007. The series gained quick popularity and attained the number one position on important charts with a worldwide sale of 42 million copies up till 2010. In addition to topping the list of the New York Times bestselling author, Jeff Kinney’s name also appeared on the Times magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People in the world. He won the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award in 2009. The award is proof of Kinney’s immense popularity among young readers since it is voted for by children.Preparing for another upcoming book, Jeff Kinney also works as an online game developer and designer. Amid his creations is the famous children’s website He resides in Massachusetts with his wife, Julie and their two sons, Will and Grant.

Theo HerasTheo Heras

Hat On, Hat Off — Saturday 11:00 AM Theo Heras is the author of Hat On, Hat Off, illustrated by Renné Benoit (Pajama Press, 2016) and What Will We Do with the Baby-o, illustrated by Jennifer Herbert (Tundra Books, 2004). Theo was the Children’s Literature Specialist at the Lillian H. Smith Branch of the Toronto Public Library until her retirement in 2012. Her articles, reviews, and essays have appeared in many journals and reference books, including Horn Book Magazine, School Library Journal, Cambridge Guide to Children’s Books (Cambridge University Press, 2001), and Children’s Books and Their Creators (Houghton-Mifflin, 1994). She is a co-editor with Annette Goldsmith and Susan Corapi of Bridges to Understanding: International Children’s Books Tell Their Stories (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2016). Also a singer, Theo has performed for children at Theatre Direct (Toronto), storytelling festivals, and other venues. She has created and performed two one-women shows: “A Trip to the Library” (2015) and “Searching for Dorothy Fields” (2017). Her next picture book Baby Cakes will arrive in the fall of 2017. Theo is a proud member of CANSCAIP (The Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers) and IBBY (the International Board on Books for Young People). A native of Newburyport, Theo resides in Toronto, Canada. For more, visit

Tiffany JacksonTiffany D. Jackson

On My Own: Self-Reliance, Strength, and Secrets in Young Adult Literature [br] — Saturday 2:30 PM Tiffany D. Jackson is the author of Allegedly (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books). A TV professional by day, novelist by night, awkward black girl 24/7. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Film from Howard University and her Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School University. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves with her adorable chihuahua, Oscar, most likely multitasking.

Laurent LinnLaurent Linn

On My Own: Self-Reliance, Strength, and Secrets in Young Adult Literature [br] — Saturday 2:30 PM Laurent Linn, author and illustrator of Draw the Line, began his career as a puppet designer/builder in Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop, creating characters for various productions, including the Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island films. With Henson for over a decade, Laurent won an Emmy Award (four-time Emmy nominee) for his work on Sesame Street, eventually becoming the Creative Director for the Sesame Street Muppets. In addition to writing and illustrating, Laurent is currently an art director and designer of books for kids and teens. Laurent is also on the Board of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and is Artistic Advisor for the annual Original Art exhibit at the prestigious Society of Illustrators in New York. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as well as at

Melissa SweetMelissa Sweet

Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White — Saturday 1:00 PM [br]Writing “Up” With E.B. White — Saturday 7:00 PM Melissa Sweet received Sibert Medals for Balloons over Broadway and The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant; Caldecott Honor Medals for both A River of Words and The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus; and two New York Times Best Illustrated citations. She lives in Portland, Maine. For more information on Sweet and her books, including a video where she discusses the creation of Some Writer!, visit Photo credit: Marti Stone ©2016