2015 Conference

Matt de la Peña

Matt de la Peña is the author of the five critically-acclaimed young adult novels including The Living, winner of the 2014 Pura Belpre Award for writing, Mexican Whiteboy (ALA/YALSA Best Books for YA), We Were Here (ALA/YALSA Best Books for YA), and I Will Save You. He is also the author of a picture book biography, The Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Lewis (illustrated by Kadir Nelson). He has also written two books in the multi-media Infinity Ring series. de la Peña received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific where he attended school on a full basketball scholarship. He teaches creative writing and visits high schools and colleges throughout the country. de la Peña resides with his family in Brooklyn, New York.
http://mattdelapena.com/

 Matt de la Pena

Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo has garnered numerous awards for her books for young readers, including the Newbery Medal (Flora & Ulysses, 2014, and The Tale of Despereaux, 2004); the Newbery Honor (Because of Winn-Dixie, 2001), the Boston Globe Horn Book Award (The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, 2006), the National Book Award finalist (The Tiger Rising, 2001) and the Theodor Geisel Medal and honor (Bink and Gollie, co-author Alison McGhee, 2011; Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride, 2007). She is the current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, appointed by the Library of Congress. Her newest book, Leroy Ninker Saddles Up, debuted this fall. A native of Florida, DiCamillo currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
http://www.katedicamillo.com/

 Kate DiCamillo

Yuyi Morales

Yuyi Morales’ artwork has often been compared to that of twentieth-century Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. Yet her newest book, Viva Frida, illustrating Frida Kahlo’s dream to become an artist, uses stop-motion dolls, photographed against colorful acrylic backdrops, a style uniquely her own. Morales earned three Pura Belpré medals for illustration: Niño Wrestles the World (2014), Los Gatos Black on Halloween (2008), Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book (2004). She is the creator of Little Night, co-released in Spanish as Nochecita, and the winner of the 2008 SCBWI Golden Kite Medal. Other recognitions include the Americas Award and the Tomas Rivera Award won in 2004 and 2008. Born in Xalapa, Mexico, Morales immigrated to the USA in 1994 with her husband. Currently she divides her time between Mexico and California.
http://www.yuyimorales.com/ 

 Yuyi Morales

Joyce Sidman

Joyce Sidman received the 2013 NCTE Award for Excellence in Children’s Poetry in recognition of her award-winning children’s poetry books. These include the 2011 Newbery Honor for Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, and two Caldecott Honor books: Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems (which is also a Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award winner) and Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors. What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms & Blessings was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Her newest collection, Winter Bees and other Poems of the Cold, debuts this November. When she isn’t writing, Sidman enjoys teaching in poetry-writing residencies in the schools. Born in Connecticut, Sidman now lives in Wayzata, Minnesota.
http://www.joycesidman.com/

 Joyce Sidman