WCYA Announces Summer Visiting Writers

The MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults Program is pleased to announce that Julie Berry (’08), Anita Silvey, and Katherena Vermette will be on campus as Visiting Writers for the July 2017 residency. Students attending the concurrent residency abroad will be joined by British picture book creator Mini Grey for a day in Oxford.

Julie BerryJulie Berry’s young adult novel The Passion of Dolssa (Viking, 2016) was named a Printz Honor Book by the American Library Association in 2017. Also a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize, it appeared on Best of the Year and Top Ten lists from the New York Times, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, The Horn Book and School Library Journal, and was named a Junior Library Guild selection.

A 2008 graduate of the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults program, Julie’s other published fiction includes All the Truth That’s in Me (Viking, 2013), shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and The Edgar Award, and winner of a Silver Inky Award, Australia’s highest literary award for non-Australian books for young readers; The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, an ALA Odyssey Honor title; and six other books. Her upcoming novel, The Emperor’s Ostrich, releases June 2017 from Roaring Brook Press.

Anita SilveyAnita Silvey is the author of 100 Best Books for Children, 500 Great Books for Teens, and Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book. She has devoted 40 years to promoting books that will turn the young—and families—into readers. She has appeared frequently on NPR, The Today Show, 60 Minutes, and various radio programs to talk about our best books for young people. In a unique career in the children’s book field, Ms. Silvey has divided her time equally between publishing, evaluating children’s books, and writing. Her lifelong conviction that “only the very best of anything can be good enough for the young” forms the cornerstone of her work. Formerly publisher of children’s books for Houghton Mifflin Company and editor-in-chief of The Horn Book Magazine, she currently teaches modern book publishing, children’s book publishing, and children’s book author studies at several colleges.

Katherena VermetteKatherena Vermette is a Métis writer from Treaty One territory, the heart of the Métis nation, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Her first book, North End Love Songs (The Muses' Company) won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. Her first novel, The Break (House of Anansi) was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction and the Rogers Trust Fiction Prize. Her National Film Board short documentary, "this rive" won the 2017 Canadian Screen Award for Best Short.

In 2015, Portage and Main Press published her seven volume children's picture book series, The Seven Teachings Stories. Katherena has been a proud member of the Indigenous Writers Collective since 2004, and earned a Master of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia in 2014. Her current projects include an Indigenous retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood fable and a young adult graphic novel series, slipstreaming across the history of the Métis people.

Mini GreyMini Grey worked as a theatre designer, then a primary school teacher, before studying for an MA in sequential design at Brighton University.

Mini's first picture book for children, Egg Drop, a surreal story of an egg that dreams of being able to fly, was published in 2002. It established her as both a visually exciting illustrator of detailed, colourful artwork and a highly accomplished storyteller, who often narrates from an unusual, often edible, point of view, such as that of the pea in The Pea and the Princess (2003), the biscuit in Biscuit Bear (2004)—(winner of Nestlé Smarties Gold)—and the spoon in The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon (winner of Greenaway Award 2007). Traction Man is Here (2005) won the 2005 Boston/Horn Book Award. Mini’s version of Hilaire Belloc’s cautionary tale of Jim (who runs away from his nurse and gets eaten by a lion) was shortlisted for the Greenaway Awards 2011. Mini was selected as one of Booktrust’s Best New Illustrators in 2008.

Recent books include Hermelin, the story of a typing mouse detective, and Space Dog, an intergalactic canine/feline romp set in the Outer Spooniverse. Mini’s latest publication is The Bad Bunnies’ Magic Show.