Faculty / Alumni Mini-Residency

The Alumni Mini-Residency is pleased to present the following faculty and residency sessions for 2016.

Master Class Instructor Francisco Stork is the author of six novels, one adult novel (The Way of the Jaguar, Bilingual Review Press, 2000) and five young adult novels: Behind the Eyes (Dutton, 2006); Marcelo in the Real World (Arthur A. Levine /Scholastic, 2009); The Last Summer of the Death Warriors (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, 2010) Irises (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, 2012), and The Memory of Light (Author A. Levine/Scholastic, 2016).

The Way of the Jaguar was the recipient of the 1999 Chicano/Latino Literary Award. Behind the Eyes was a New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age 2007. Marcelo in the Real World received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Horn Books, Kirkus, School Library Journal and Booklist. Marcelo in the Real World received the 2010 Schneider Family Book Award. It was named a YALSA Top 10 Best Books for Young Adults, 2010. The Last Summer of the Death Warriors received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Horn Books and Booklist and was the recipient of the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award and the International Latino Book Award. The Memory of Light, published in February 2016, is the story of sixteen-year-old Vicky Cruz and her recovery from depression.

Agent Sarah Davies - The Greenhouse Literary Agency: Sarah was a publisher for 25 years before launching Greenhouse Literary in 2008. She represents authors in their entirety rather than just individual books, so although she mainly seeks out new middlegrade and YA fiction, she also sells picture books, non-fiction and even adult fiction by existing clients and has helped many debut authors into careers as writers. Among Greenhouse’s clients are NYT bestsellers Brenna Yovanoff and Tommy Wallach, and Morris Award winner Blythe Woolston. Sarah is open to all genres. In YA she looks for quality writing complementing a unique premise.

In MG she loves both adventurous storylines and classic-voiced fiction for girls. More than anything she loves to see something she’s never seen before! She is a member of AAR and has addressed writers’ events all over the USA and UK. www.greenhouseliterary.com.

Agent Karen Grenick - Red Fox Literary Agency: Karen became a literary agent because of a man she admired. She wanted the world to know his story, so she set out to make that happen. In 2001 she accomplished her goal when Double Luck, Memoirs of a Chinese Orphan, written by Lu Chi Fa with Becky White, was published by Holiday House. Double Luck received many awards, including The Parents’ Choice Gold Award for Best Nonfiction. Karen’s next sale, George Hogglesberry, Grade School Alien, written by Sarah Wilson, was acquired by a brand new editor, Abigail Samoun, at Tricycle Press. George Hogglesberry went on to win the coveted Golden Kite Award for Best Picture Book Text. Many other award-winning titles followed. In June 2011 Karen joined forces with Abigail Samoun to open Red Fox Literary, a boutique agency that specializes in children’s book for all ages and genres. Karen has made the Top 10 Picture Book Agents list for the past three years, and she looks forward to helping authors achieve their dreams and to bringing many more fabulous children’s books to the bookshelves.

Editor Katherine Jacobs, Senior Editor at Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers: Kate grew up in Grand Rapids, MI and while at Calvin College pursuing her BA in English, worked at the beloved Pooh’s Corner bookstore. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Romania and a school librarian in Honduras before working in publishing. She is the editor of picture book author/illustrators Yasmine Surovec (I See Kitty) and Stephanie Roth Sisson (Star Stuff), middle-grade author Shelley Tougas (The Graham Cracker Plot), and teen writers Lindsay Smith (SEKRET), Jennifer Matthieu (The Truth About Alice), and Caragh O’Brien (The Vault of Dreamers). She loves smart, fresh, character driven stories for all ages. She is a graduate of the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College in Boston, MA.

Cheryl Klein, Executive Editor at Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.: The many diversiform titles she has edited include multiple novels by VCFA alumni Lindsay Eyre, Varian Johnson, and Trent Reedy; The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb, winner of the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award; Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork, winner of the Schneider Family Book Award; A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce, winner of the William C. Morris Award for a YA Debut; and I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel by Caryn Yacowitz, illustrated by David Slonim. In 2011, Cheryl self-published her own book, Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults. Her new book, The Magic Words: Writing Great Novels for Children and Young Adults, will be published in September 2016 by W. W. Norton. You can find her online at www.cherylklein.com and @chavelaque.

VCFA Faculty Member A.M. (Amanda) Jenkins is the author of six YA novels, including the Printz Honor Book Repossessed and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist Damage. Other honors include a PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship, the Delacorte Press Prize for a First Young Adult Novel, the California Young Reader Medal, YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, and YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. Jenkins also writes in the K-8 range in various genres for educational publishers, and teaches part time in the Writing for Children and Young Adults program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

VCFA Faculty Member Kekla Magoon is the author of five young adult novels: How It Went Down, Camo Girl, 37 Things I Love, Fire in the Streets, and The Rock and the River, for which she received the ALA Coretta Scott King New Talent Award and an NAACP Image Award nomination. She also writes non-fiction on historical topics, including Today the World is Watching You: The Little Rock Nine and the Fight for School Integration 1957-58 and the forthcoming PANTHERS! The History and Legacy of the Black Panther Party in America. Raised in a biracial family in the Midwest, Kekla now teaches writing in New York City, conducts school and library visits nationwide, and serves on the Writers’ Council for the National Writing Project. Kekla holds a B.A. in History from Northwestern University and an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Visit her online at www.keklamagoon.com.

Leda Schubert is both a VCFA alum and former faculty member (she likes to say “emerita” even though it’s unofficial). Eight of her of picture books (fiction and non-fiction) have been published, and one more (LISTEN: HOW PETE SEEGER GOT AMERICA SINGING, Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, illustrated by Raul Colon) is forthcoming. MONSIEUR MARCEAU won the Orbis Pictus Award for Excellence in Nonfiction from the NCTE and the Sugarman Award for Children’s Biography; several of her books have also been on year-end best books lists and the Texas Bluebonnet list. She has been a school and public librarian, teacher, and was for many years the school library consultant for the Vermont Department of Education. In addition, she has taught courses in children’s literature at UVM and St. Michael’s College and made dozens of presentations hither and yon about children’s books. Other than writing, she plays traditional music, nurses injuries from the Giant Puppy (a Bad Dog if there ever was one), contemplates cleaning the house, avoids cooking and flying, and worries about the state of the world.

Master Class Lecture Topics:

Francisco X. Stork presents Soul and Flesh - the Art of Creating Characters that Live Forever: The Process of Imagining Characters and the Methods for Embodying Them Through the Written Word

Suggested Reading List:

  • Stork, Francisco X. The Memory of Light.
  • Anderson, M. T. Handel, Who Knew What He Liked.
  • Gerstein, Mordicai. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers.
  • Heiligman, Deborah. The Boy Who Loved Math.
  • Krull, Kathleen. Wilma Unlimited.
  • MacLachlan, Patricia. The Iridescence of Birds.
  • Markel, Michelle. Brave Girl.
  • Martin, Jacqueline Briggs. Snowflake Bentley.
  • McDonnell, Patrick. Me…Jane.
  • Weatherford, Carole. Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom.

Marketing Professionals:

Winding Oak Marketing & Design Firm: Our team of consultants is often called upon to create a promotional plan for individuals and organizations. We’re working with blogs, social networking, video, podcasts, and strategizing about implementation. Our team of web editors can maintain your website. Our print designers create top-notch collateral materials: flyers, catalogs, books, newsletters, bookmarks, and business cards. It’s a part of our mission and our passion to bring awareness of reading, literacy, and books to children and those who work with them. We believe that creating lifetime readers is one of the most important tasks we accomplish ... reading is an essential skill for life, as well as one of its deepest pleasures. Winding Oak clients include Susan Cooper, Kate DiCamillo, Linda Sue Park, Anita Silvey, Ann Angel, Marion Dane Bauer, Stephanie Greene, Nancy Bo Flood - to name a few.