2019 Conference

Candace Fleming & Eric Rohmann - Credit Michael Lionstar
Credit: Michael Lionstar
Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann

We welcome back Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann to this year’s Conference. Candace joined us at the 2007 CLC and Eric was a featured speaker in 2008. This year they join us as a collaborating couple. They’ve partnered on many picture books including: Oh No!, Bulldozer’s Big Day, Bulldozer Helps Out, and the Sibert Honor Award winning Giant Squid. The pair recently published, Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen, their first collaborative middle grade fiction title.  Candace Fleming has been writing for children since 1994 with over forty books to her credit. She writes picture books, non-fiction, biographies, fiction and short stories, and has won numerous awards including the LA Times Book Prize for YA Literature, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Nonfiction, and the 2014 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia. Eric Rohmann also published his first book in 1994, Time Flies, which won a Caldecott honor. He has illustrated nearly twenty books for young readers, including My Friend Rabbit which won the 2003 Caldecott Medal, and has designed the book covers for Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series. This talented couple lives and works in Oak Park, Illinois. 

Barbara O'Connor
Barbara O’Connor

Barbara O’ Connor is the author of seventeen novels and biographies for children, most recently Wonderland (2018). Her award-winning novels include WishHow to Steal a DogThe Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis and The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester. In addition to having been nominated for Children’s Choice Awards in 38 states, Barbara has been awarded the American Booksellers Association Best Books of the Year, both Gold & Silver Parent Choice Awards, School Library Journal Best Books, Bank Street College Best Books, ALA Notables and the Nerdy Book Club Award. After many years living in snowy New England, Ms. O’Connor now resides in North Carolina with her husband and two dogs.

Jerry Pinkney - Credit Thomas Kristich
Credit: Thomas Kristich
Jerry Pinkney

Renowned illustrator and writer Jerry Pinkney has garnered some of the most prestigious awards in the field of children’s literature. These include the 2010 Caldecott Medal for The Lion & The Mouse, five Caldecott Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, four New York Times Best Illustrated book awards (most recently in 2006 for Little Red Hen), and the 1994 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for John Henry. In 2016 he received two prestigious awards acknowledging his body of work: the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Children’s Literature Legacy Award. This most recent recognition caps off a long list of awards and prizes. In addition, Pinkney’s illustrations have been commissioned by the US Postal Service, the National Parks Service, and National Geographic Magazine. His art has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the country, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Norman Rockwell Museum. Mr. Pinkney lives with his wife, author Gloria Jean Pinkney, in Westchester County, New York.

Credit: Brendan Shusterman
Neal Shusterman

Neal Shusterman is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 40 books for children, teens, and adults. His first drafts always begin as handwritten stories in a spiral notebook. But what transpires next become books that tackle contemporary issues, often through speculative or futuristic fiction. His most recent novel, Dry (2018), co-authored with his son, Jarrod, tells the story of an extreme drought when the tap runs dry. Set in California, where the Shustermans live, this dystopian tale feels anxiously “close to home.” Neal’s list of awards is long, varied, and prestigious including the 2015 National Book Award for Challenger Deep, a 2017 Printz Honor for Scythe, and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for The Schwa Was Here. He is also a screen, television, and play writer, as well as a writer of music and games. Neal lives in Southern California.