Menu Menu
Local Authors:
Michigan authors and illustrators, such as Kathe Koja, Wong Herbert Yee, two-time Newbery honor recipient Gary Schmidt, Laurie Keller, and Sarah Miller, are featured each summer.   

Contact Us: 
For additional enrollment options and registration information, call (248) 370-3054.

Authors & Illustrators Course

Authors & Illustrators Art & Craft approaches children’s and young adult literature from multiple perspectives: It combines aspects of children’s literature with components of reading and writing instruction, while offering a window into the author’s or illustrator’s creative processes. Authors discuss their current projects, their writing process, revisions, inspirations, their successes and failures. Students interact by posing questions one-on-one or during the class Q & A session. 

Some illustrators sketch as students look on; some even bring art from their books. This is the only course in the country that exposes teachers to so many authors and illustrators in a four-week span.  Over the span of more than 30 years, it has come to be one of OU students’ most memorable experiences.

The Authors & Illustrators course can be taken for master's (4 to 8) credits. Reading MAT students may take the course as an elective or as their literature requirement. Elementary education undergraduates may apply credits toward their Language Arts major. 

Read excellent children’s books, enjoy hearing some of the best children’s authors and illustrators, meet new people, collect excellent teaching ideas, and earn credit for all this fun.

Caldecott Metal and Honor Award Winners
Some of the Caldecott Medal winners who have spent time with OU students include Jerry Pinkey—who has not only won the Caldecott Medal but also five Caldecott Honor Awards, Brian Selznick, Paul Zelinsky, David Wisniewski, Richard Egielski, and David Wiesner—who has received three Caldecott Medals and two Caldecott Honor awards.

Caldecott Honor award winners who have come to Oakland University include Denise Fleming, Margaret Chodos-Irvine, Vera B. Williams, Bryan Collier and Mo Willems both three-time Caldecott honor winners, Laura Vaccaro Seeger, James Ransome, and Brian Pinkney.

Newbery Medal and Honor Award Winners 
Linda Sue Park, who won the 2002 Newbery Medal for A Single Shard and Avi, who won a Newbery Medal in 2003 for Crispin: The Cross of Lead, the Newbery Honor Award in 1991 for The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and again in 1992 for Nothing But The Truth: a Documentary Novel. Michigan Author Gary D. Schmidt is a two-time Newbery Honor winner: in 2005 for Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy and in 2008 for The Wednesday Wars. Other Newbery Honor award winners include Suzanne Fisher Staples, Laurence Yep, Ruth White, and Susan Campbell Bartoletti.

Multiple Award Winners
Ashley Bryan, storyteller, artist, author, poet, and musician, received the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2009 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. He was awarded the 2005, 2004, 1981 Coretta Scott King Illustrator award. Mr. Bryan also received the 1998, 1992, 1988 and 1983 Illustrator Honor award, 1987 Author and Illustrator Honor Awards. He was nominated for the 2005 Hans Christian Andersen Award by the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) and was chosen to illustrate the 2013 International Children’s Book Day poster by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) and USBBY.

Marilyn Nelson, Poet Laureate of Connecticut from 2001-2006, is a National Book Award finalist and recipient of a Newbery Honor award, three Coretta Scott King Honors, Printz Honor award, Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor, and two Boston Globe/Hornbook Awards.
Pam Muñoz Ryan spent two days at OU with Brian Selznick. Ryan has been awarded the 2011 and 2002 Pura Belpré Medals, 2006 Belpré Honor award, and the 2005 Schneider Family award. Together, Ryan and Selznick won the 2003 Orbis Pictus Award and the Sibert Honor Award, both presented to informational book authors. Besides his Caldecott Award for The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Selznick received the 2002 Caldecott Honor award, 2012 Schneider Family honor, the 2005 Sibert honor award, and the 2002 Orbis Pictus Honor award, for books written by author Barbara Kerley, another Authors & Illustrators guest lecturer.

Jerry Pinkney: In 1997 he was the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) Nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration. He received the 2010 Randolph Caldecott Medal to compliment his 2003, 2000, 1995, 1989 and 1988 Randolph Caldecott Honor awards. Jerry Pinkney has received the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award five times: in 2002, 1997, 1989, 1987, 1986. He also received the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award in 2009 and 1981. This is just the a few of the awards he has received since 1964.

Additional Presenters by Major Awards
  • Coretta Scott King Awards: Andrea and Brian Pinkney, Jacqueline Woodson, Bryan Collier, E.B. Lewis, Eloise Greenfield, R. Gregory Christie, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Nikki Grimes,
  • National Book Award (Winner): Kimberly Willis Holt, Gloria Whelan,
  • National Book Award (Finalist): Deborah Wiles, 
  • Pulitzer Prize: Paul Zindell
  • Orbis Pictus Award and Honor Awards: Penny Coleman, Pam Muñoz Ryan and Brian Selznick, Nic Bishop and Sy Montgomery, Candice Fleming, Marc Aronson, Barbara Kerley, James Deem
  • Governor General’s Award (Canada): Tim Wynn-Jones and Marie Louise Gay
2014 Guest
Some of the Authors and Illustrators who will be guest lecturers this summer:

Cybele Young
Recipient of the Governor General’s Award for Illustration

“Cybèle creates sculptural works and film animation from fine Japanese papers and intaglio prints, which are juxtapositions of objects that evoke a sense of human dialogue. Her art practice and family life have inspired the creation of several children’s books. She released two books in 2011 –A Few Blocks (Groundwood Books), and Ten Birds, which won the Governor General’s Award for Illustration 2011. Both were a Kirkus Best of 2011.” (Taken from this website)

Steve Sheinkin
Nonfiction for older students

  • Newbery Honor Book
  • National Book Awards – Finalist
  • Robert F. Sibert Award 
  • YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction
  • Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year
  • BCCB Recommended Title
  • CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI) 
  • Washington Post Best Books of the Year
  • Maine Student Book Award Master List
  • VA Jefferson Cup Winner (Older Readers)
  • Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award Master List
Lincoln's Grave Robbers
The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery

Helen Frost
Fiction & Poetry for Children and Young Adults
Keesha's House (Young Adult: 12 and up)

  • 2004 Printz Honor Book
  • American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults 
  • Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year 
  • Books for the Teen Age, New York Public Library and many more!
ROOM 214: A YEAR IN POEMS (ages 8 and up; ideal for upper elementary)
THE BRAID (Young Adult: 12 and up)
Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War

Chris Raschka
Author and illustrator for young children

Awards: Two Caldecott Medals and one Caldecott Honor Award
  • A Ball for Daisy (2011, Scholastic).
  • The Hello, Goodbye Window (Juster, 2005, Disney/Hyperion). 
  • Yo! Yes? (1993, Orchard). 

Joe Cepeda
One of his most famous images is the cover for Pam Muñoz Ryan's award-winning book, Esperanza Rising (2000, Scholastic Press). In 2002 he won the Pura Belpré Honor Book for illustration for Juan Bobo goes to work: A Puerto Rican folktale. (Montes, 2001, HarperCollins).

James Ransome
Ransome has received both the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration and the IBBY Honor Award for his book, The Creation (Johnson, 1994, Holiday House). He also received a Coretta Scott King Honor Award for Illustration for Uncle Jed's Barbershop (Mitchell, 1993, Simon & Schuster).

Sarah Miller
OU Graduate; two books published & one on the way
  • Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller (2007, Simon & Schuster/Atheneum) was named a Booklist Top 10 First Novels for Youth. 
  • The Lost Crown (2011, Simon & Schuster/Atheneum) was an ALA/YALSA Best Book for Young Adults

Ron Koertge
YA novelist and poet (too many books & awards to name!)

Just a few of Koertge’s awards:
  • Winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Children’s Literature
  • Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year
  • New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
  • ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant YA Readers
  • ALA Best Books for Young Adults

Merrie Haskell
Michigan author
  •   Handbook for Dragon Slayers won the 2014 Schneider Family Book Award for middle grades
  • The Princess Curse: finalist—the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature.
  • The Castle Behind Thorns (Spring, 2014)