Newburyport Literary Festival: A Celebration of Literature, Readers, and Writers
Newburyport Literary Festival: A Celebration of Literature, Readers, and Writers

2009 Children / Teens Participants

Listed in alphabetical order

Tony AbbottTony Abbott

The Art of the Encore: Writing a Series - Saturday 2:30 PM

Since 1994, Tony Abbott has published over sixty books of fiction for younger readers, including the popular Danger Guys series, Time Surfers, Cracked Classics, and the best selling fantasy sequence, The Secrets of Droon (which has nearly eight million copies in print from its inception in 1999 to date). Premiering in January 2009 is his new series for older readers, The Haunting of Derek Stone, a ghost story in the Southern Gothic tradition. Abbott is a long-standing member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. He is married, has two daughters, and lives in Connecticut.


Julia AlvarezJulia Alvarez

Opening Ceremony - Friday 6:00 PM
The Inside Scoop: Julia Alvarez on Writing - Saturday 11:00 AM

Julia Alvarez is the author of several novels, including Saving the World, How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, iYo!, In the Time of the Butterflies and In The Name of Salome, as well as a book of essays, Something to Declare, and several poetry books, among them, The Woman I Kept to Myself. Her latest adult work is Once Upon a Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA. She has also written for children, and young adults, most recently Before We Were Free and finding miracles, and her next work for middle readers and young adults is Return to Sender, published in January 2009. She is a writer-in-residence at Middlebury College, and with her husband, Bill Eichner, has established Alta Gracia, a sustainable-farm-literacy project in her native Dominican Republic, where her elderly parents now live.
© Bill Eichner for photo.


Amelia Atwater-RhodesAmelia Atwater-Rhodes

The Art of the Encore: Writing a Series - Saturday 2:30 PM

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes grew up in Concord, MA. Born in 1984, she wrote her first novel, In The Forests of the Night, praised as "remarkable" (Voice of Youth Advocates) and "mature and polished" (Booklist), when she was thirteen. She has since published nine additional novels, many of which have been named ALA Quick Picks for Young Adults. Her most recent novel, Persistence of Memory, was published in December 2008.


Katie DavisKatie Davis

Show and Tell: How to Create a Graphic Novel - Saturday 1:00 PM

Katie Davis is the bestselling author/illustrator of seven picture books (including Who Hops, and Kindergarten Rocks! which was given to every incoming kindergartner in the state of Georgia), and one kind-of graphic novel for children, The Curse of Addy McMahon. Not only do her books make readers giggle like crazy, they also appeal to children of all ages and reading levels. Katie’s books have a way of approaching common issues through a skewed and very funny viewpoint, allowing kids to learn something without being bopped over the head with a “lesson”.


Jack FerraioloJack D. Ferraiolo

The Big Splash - Saturday 9:30 AM

Jack D. Ferraiolo’s first novel, The Big Splash, has been called “thrilling & entertaining” by the New York Times Book Review, and was recently nominated for a 2009 Edgar Award, in the Best Young Adult category. It’s also received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, was featured as a Great Advanced Read and a Sure Shot Pick for Boys on James Patterson’s, and was named a “Top of the Top Shelf” pick in VOYA’s 2008 Top Shelf Fiction for Middle Readers. Jack is also the developer and Emmy Award winning writer on WordGirl (PBS). He lives in Amesbury, MA with his wife, daughter, and a mystery baby on the way.


Susan Kapuscinski GaylordSusan Kapuscinski Gaylord

Think Green: Paperbag Bookmaking - Saturday 3:00 PM

Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord has been teaching bookmaking since 1990 with an emphasis on making books with children. She is the author of several books, including Multicultural Books To Make And Share and Hands-On History: Middle Ages. Her one-of-a-kind and limited edition artists’ books have been exhibited nationally and internationally and are in the library collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Yale University, Wellesley College, and the University of Arizona. Her works have been featured in several books about bookmaking, including Cover to Cover, The Art and Craft of Handmade Books, and Handmade Books and Cards. Visit her website at


Mark KarlinsMark Karlins

Rocket Ride - Saturday 11:30 AM

Mark Karlins was born and raised in New York City, where many of his children's books take place. Among his publications are Music Over Manhattan, which was hailed by NPR as “a new classic,” and Mendel's Ladder, a Smithsonian Top Ten Books of The Year. Karlins currently lives in Newbury and teaches at Tufts University and The School of The Museum of Fine Arts. He also teaches children's writing workshops out of his barn. His latest picture book, Starring Lorenzo, and Einstein Too, has just been released.


Ann AlterDorothy LaFrance

2009 Honoree

Dorothy LaFrance recently retired from the Newburyport Public Library after serving as Head Librarian for 30 years.

In addition to functioning as a City Department Head, she is a former past President of the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium, former member of many State, Regional and Consortium standing and ad-hoc library committees. In Newburyport she is a member of the Cultural Alliance Roundtable, the Lifelong Learning Lyceum, Wellport’s Greater Newburyport Community Council, and the Oversight Committee for the Newburyport Schools’ Strategic Planning Process. She is on the Board of Directors for the Newburyport Area Industrial Development Foundation, Newburyport Literary Association, Greater Newburyport Adult Education, and Housing Support, Inc. She is a Trustee of the Newburyport Bank and a member and secretary of the bank’s Community Reinvestment Committee.

Mrs. LaFrance earned her B.A. in History from the University of Maine. She was awarded a Master of Science Degree in Library and Information Studies from Simmons College and, subsequently, was elected to the Beta Phi Mu Honor Society.

In 1998 the American Association of University Women recognized her “leadership and accomplishments as they related to equity, tolerance and caring.” In 2003 the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts and the Boston Society of Architects presented her with the prestigious John Carlson Award for her “integrity and professionalism during the design and construction process related to the renovation and expansion of the Newburyport Public Library.”

Mrs. LaFrance resides in Newburyport with Bob LaFrance, her husband of 40 years. They have two grown sons and 5 grandchildren.


Pat Lowery CollinsPat Lowery Collins

The Inner Artist: Young Children and the Creative Process - Saturday 2:00 PM

Pat Lowery Collins is a poet, painter, and the author of many books for children and young adults including the Reading Rainbow selection, I Am An Artist, and the recent sequel, I Am a Dancer. Her young adult novel in free verse, The Fattening Hut, won the Boston Author’s Club 2004 Julia Ward Howe Award and was a Book Sense Pick and ALA Amelia Bloomer choice. Hidden Voices, a novel of historical fiction, is forthcoming from Candlewick Press, and Feather and Shell, set in Essex, MA in 1849, is scheduled for publication in 2010. A chapbook of her poems, The Quiet Woman Wakes Up Shouting, is one in a series of chapbook originals published by Folly Cove Books. She teaches in Lesley University’s MFA program in creative writing and lives and works in Gloucester, MA.


Ann McCreaAnn McCrea

It's a Bear... It's a Swan... It's a Lion! - Saturday 9:00 AM

For over twenty years, Ann McCrea has fostered children’s love of literature with storytelling and sculpting. A clay and collage artist, she is the director of Kids•Art, programs for six-to-twelve-year-olds in her Newburyport studio. Her CLAY•WORKS program for schools and libraries is based on the power of storytelling to inspire children to experience art-making as part of our humanity.


David McPhailDavid McPhail

2009 Honoree

Closing Ceremony Honoring David McPhail - Saturday 6:30 PM

McPhail is the award-winning author and illustrator of nearly 200 books beloved by children, parents and librarians across the United States. He is recognized as one of the most prolific and influential children’s authors in the country. His whimsical stories and lively watercolors engross his readers in the lives of his characters, inspiring them to broaden their reading interests and build their literacy skills.

McPhail’s young readers quickly identify with the characters in his tender-hearted stories. His boys and girls become their role models and heroes, and his lovable animals – pigs, bears, ponies, moles – embody virtues they admire. McPhail feels that an animal can do things that might be too scary for a young child to do. From his first book, The Bear's Toothache, published in 1972, many memorable animal stories have followed, including Mole Music, Henry Bear’s Park, and the popular Pig Pig stories. In 1993, McPhail introduced us to his series of Edward books, whose charming main character combines his love of reading with his imaginative quest for adventure.

McPhail has garnered many prestigious awards, including a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year for Mole Music in 2001. McPhail’s other books include First Flight, which the New York Times praised as "hilarious and helpful"; and Lost!, which was chosen as an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists. In a starred review of Mole Music, Publishers Weekly said, "McPhail's delicate watercolor-and-ink paintings work seamlessly in tandem with the words to deliver a truly resonant message: that music can change the world."

David McPhail’s drawing career began at age two, with a black crayon on paper bags provided by his grandmother, in an effort to save the walls of her home!  After graduating high school in 1963, McPhail enrolled in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. While there, he rediscovered children’s books, particulary the illustrations of Maurice Sendak. Sendak’s influence can be seen in the cross-hatching McPhail used to illustrate his early books, which has evolved to his preference for the use of pen and ink with watercolor.

McPhail grew up on Lime Street in Newburyport where he returned to raise his young children. Many of his sketches today grace the walls of the Newburyport Public Library and the Cashman School in Amesbury, in addition to other local institutions. McPhail has four children, three stepchildren, and is a proud grandfather. He is married to Jan Waldron, with whom he has written and illustrated several books. He lives in Rye, New Hampshire, but visits friends and family in Newburyport often.


Judith MoffattJudith Moffatt

Drawing with Scissors - Saturday 10:30 AM

In 1990 Judith Moffatt illustrated her first book using her 3-dimensional cut paper style. Since then she has illustrated over 50 books for young children. Too Many Rabbits was recognized as an American Pick of the List selection, The Sun-Maid-Raisin Play Book was a Children’s Book of the Month Club main selection, and I Am a... Nature Reader science series won an Oppenheim Best Book Gold Award. Moffatt lives with her husband, tabby cat and Airedale terrier, who often appear as characters in her books, in an antique farmhouse in Medway, Massachusetts.


David WeitzmanDavid Weitzman

Fit for a King: Building the Pharaoh's Boat - Saturday 1:00 PM

David Weitzman grew up in Chicago, where he spent countless hours enthralled by the Egyptian artifacts at the Oriental Institute and the Field Museum of Natural History. When he wasn’t in the museums, he could often be found teaching himself hieroglyphs from an old textbook that he discovered in his school library, and imagining the day when he would be uncovering ancient temples and treasure-filled burial chambers, himself! Things didn’t turn out quite like that, but the author did eventually make his way to Egypt to see the sights he’d been dreaming about since he was a boy. It was at the foot of Cheops’s great pyramid that David first heard about the “Sun Boat,” and from the moment David laid eyes on it, he knew there was a story waiting to be told. David now lives in the foothills of the Yolla Bolly Mountains near Covelo, California, where he hikes, reads, draws, and writes on a computer powered by the sun.


Newburyport Literary Festival, A Project of the Newburyport Literary Association – PO Box 268 · Newburyport, MA 01950 – 978-465-1257

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