From: Boston; Now: Takoma Park, MD
6 Word Memoir: I write because I have to.
Activities: Read new and old award-winning children's books to learn from the masters, do yoga and watch fashion runway videos
Distractions: I temporarily delete my social media apps and reward myself with a cup of matcha when I stay put and work.
Procrastination: I'm procrastinating when I tell myself that it's critical to do a load of laundry (or cook, or clean) before I sit down to write.
From: Dearborn Heights and Fenton, MI; Now: Northville, MI.
6 Word Memoir: I dream in words and pictures.
Activities: I keep my mind and eyes open. It’s the times that you least expect it when you find a cool texture that not just speaks, but shouts at you! I am always taking pictures of textures in the most unlikely places—the floor at the grocery store, sidewalks, or places that are old, and whisper stories of their own.
Distractions and Neat or Messy: Sometimes distractions can lead me to another idea for another book! Messiness lends itself to collage for me. If you cut and paste something into an illustration, it can randomly land in a very cool way. I try to get out of the way and let the art do its thing. Nothing works if I fret about it too much.
2020 Original Art exhibit, the Society of Illustrators (Brick by Brick)
2020 New York Public Library Best Books for Kids (Brick by Brick)
6 Word Memoir: Feeling at home feeding homeless cats
Activities: Besides ...writing stories and caring for neighborhood strays, I love to tap-dance and craft haiku. I've published haiku in Frogpond, Modern Haiku, and several children's anthologies edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins.
Distraction: When I’m putting off a difficult revision, I usually spend time on other worthwhile activities, like birding or learning Spanish. When I’m truly wasting time, I’m trying to make sense out of politics.
Margaret Wise Brown Award Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection Award
Upcoming: Ethan and the Strays (working title), 2023.
From: Colorado Now: New York's Hudson Valley6 Word Memoir: Always looking over the next mountain.Activities: I love to travel and draw outside, spending time in natureDistraction: I find that the best way to deal with distractions is to not have my phone with me! Whenever I'm drawing, and I'm away from my phone or computer, I find that I am much more present. Other Awards:
2017 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Books List: Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters
2017 Children's Africana Book Award: The Storyteller
Lee Bennet Hopkins Poetry Honor: You Are Home: An Ode to the National Parks
Upcoming:A Thousand Glass Flowers: Marietta Barovier and the Invention of the Rosetta Bead, August 2020. The People’s Painter: Ben Shahn’s Artful Stories of Life in America, by Cynthia Levinson, 2021.×
Micha ArcherFrom: Concord MA; Now: Leverett, MA6 Word Memoir: From and for children I learn.Activities: I walk in the mountains and plant trees and plants.Procrastination: I am SO messy because I work in collage so my floor is covered in confetti I have snipped. When I procrastinate I make little fun collages with my scraps and wish I could just do that all day some days.Other Awards:
Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program: Daniel books
Don TateFrom: Des Moines, IA; Now: Austin, TX6 Word Memoir: In-person introvert. Online extrovert. Text me.Activities: Swim. Bicep curl. Coffee with tiny pies.How do you deal with distractions: Complain to my wife.Other Awards:
SCBWI Crystal Kite, a Christopher and a Texas Institute of Letters book prize: Poet
Upcoming: William Still’s Freedom Stories: Father of the Underground Railroad: Nov. 2020×
6 Word Memoir: Immigrant parents, two cultures, teachers, books.
Activities: I love to bake which helps me with mindfulness--distraction leads to baking failures. I also read as much as I can, whatever looks interesting--books, articles, news, blogs, song lyrics. You never know what you might learn, even if it's just a new word you might want to use in a story one day.
Distractions: Looking up stuff while researching something or by using up an ingredient in the fridge to make or bake something.
Children's Book Award Notable Book (International Reading Association): Suki's Kimono
Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association's Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature (Picture Book): Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin
Junior Library Guild's Gold Standard Selection Award: Ojiichan's Gift
From: Dublin, Ireland; Now: London, UK6 Word Memoir: designer who's trying to make storiesActivities: Activities: Read and drawDistraction: I answer questionnaires when I am supposed to be working! Other Awards:
Dutch Picture Book of the Year
Irish Children’s Book of the Year
Anderson Book of the Year (Italy)
Next Book: 'Maybe' and a climate change animation×
From: Former Army Brat, lived EVERYWHERE! Now: Happy to call NJ home6 Word Memoir: The twist: I see read people.Activities: Google, Google, Google, and roller coasters. (Sometimes, at the same time!)Where do you work?/Distractions: I usually write in the kitchen. (Because the kitchen is closest to the cookie jar.) 2. I deal with distractions by ignor--WAIT! WHAT'S THAT?!Other Awards:
Parents Magazine Best Fictional Picture Book (2015): Wolfie the Bunny
South Carolina Picture Book Award (2018); Horrible Bear!
Washington Children's Choice Picture Book Award (2018): You Don’t Want A Unicorn
Upcoming: You Don’t Want a Dragon!, illustrated by Liz Climo, 2020; Tiny Barbarian, illustrated by Ashley Spires, 2021; Tiny Barbarian sequel, manuscript in development, 2022.×
Born in LA, 7 years in SF, currently living in Sacramento, CA
6 Word Memoir: Eating Flaming Hot Ruffles With Chopsticks
Activities: I find a lot of inspiration from antique stores and yard sales.
Distraction/Neat or Messy?: I work out of my art studio, which is actually the tiny garage behind my house. I clean my entire space before making a new piece of art. So neat. Very neat. Pathologically neat.
Caldecott Honor: Last Stop in Market Street
Coretta Scott King Honor
2019 NYT Best Illustrated Book of the Year: Another
Upcoming: You Matter, (my first solo picture book with words) June 2, 2020; Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña, (third book with Matt) February 2021.
From: Cuba; Grew up in NYC; Now: Richmond, VA.6 Word Memoir: Muchacha shaping stories for all kidsActivities: I garden to remind myself that life is stubborn and dirty and beautiful all at once.Procrastination: When I am stuck, I stand in front of the pantry and eat potato chips out of the bag.Other Awards:
2014 The Pura Belpré Award: Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass
2019 John D. Newbery Medal: Merci Suárez Changes Gears
Pura Belpré Honor Award: Mango, Abuela and Me
Upcoming: Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away, Sept 2020 Merci Suáarez Can't Dance, 2021.×
From: Canada; Now: Toronto6 Word Memoir: Me, born to be a momma.Activities: Read - I was a reader way before I was a writer.Neat or Messy: My desk right now - laptop, fave dictionary, fave thesaurus, piles and piles of sticky notes - is messy.Other Awards:
From: Upstate NY; Now: Southern California.6 Word Memoir: Where is the leftover birthday cake?Activities: Knitting and reading about brains.Distractions: Distractions win. Procrastination: Hang on a sec...Other Awards:●Wonder Bear, Society of Illustrators’ 2008 Founders Award
From: Korea; Now: Seoul6 Word Memoir: Drawing at cafe with endless coffeeActivities: playing with print texturesWhere do you work?/Distraction: I work at home and often draw at cafe. I clean and organize my studio and kitchen.Other Awards:
Society of the Illustrator Founders Award, The Little Red Fish
New York Times Best Children's Book Award, Only A Witch Can Fly
New York Times Best Children's Book Award, Here Is the Baby
From: Atlanta, GA. Now: Baltimore, MD6 Word Memoir: Coffee...work...and everything in between.Activities: I read and teach. Both fuel the creative fire.Where do you work? I have a studio and an office in my home. I paint and draw in the studio and work digitally in my office.Procrastination: I procrastinate by working on too many projects at a time (productive procrastination)Other Awards:
Bird, Coretta Scott King John Steptoe Award
Our Children Can Soar, NAACP Image Award
Upcoming: I'm illustrating my first authored book titled Jump In.×
From/Now: Providence, RI6 Word Memoir: Country mouse, city mouse, town mouseActivities:Draw from observation, play chess, read!Distractions: Indulge them! Neat or messy? Neat then messy, neat then messy, neat. . . Procrastination: Play chess!Other Awards:
At Night and Building Our House, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Charlotte Zolotow Award runner up,
Big Snow, Charlotte Zolotow Award book of note
Upcoming: Authoring and illustrating New Friend, New Home. Fall 2021×
I moved around the US as a child6 Word Memoir: dreamy child, big city, still dreamy sleeping in a field—under starsActivities: I like to read and I like to make things.Where do you work?/Neat or Messy?: In the summer time I work in my hammock. It doesn't look like work. But it is! I am messy. I like to see all my things around me, but my drawers are pretty organized.Other Awards:
Golden Kite Award for Illustration: The King & the Three Thieves
CCBC Best Book of the Year: Charlotte Zolotow Commended: Mystery Bottle
From and Now: South Midwest
6 Word Memoir: Girl story lover: now woman storytellerActivities: Long walks and raiding my local librariesWhere do you work: I write In a small upstairs room crowded with books, paper, notebooks, files, my letter writing boxes, files, and a comfortable rocking chair.Other Awards:
The Charlotte Zolotow Award: The Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County
Arnold Adoff Poetry Award Honor: Catching a Storyfish
Upcoming: A new children's biography and verse novel×
From: Valencia ( Spain); Now: Madrid (Spain)6 Word Memoir: Under bed listening steps then, silence...Activities: I am a storyteller and nothing can´t be funnier for me than telling stories through pictures.Distraction/Neat or Messy? Anywhere, anytime... I am messy neat.Other Awards:
The National Illustration Prize 2010 awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.
Upcoming: The secret Life of Cats, Lunwerg Publishers, Fall 2020Jenny Sue Kostecki-ShawFrom: St. Louis, MO; Now: Taos, New Mexico6 Word Memoir: Barefoot in mountains, listening to starsActivities: Read everyday and play with my kidsDistraction: First I clean, then I make a wild, colorful mess.Other Awards:
South Asian Book Award: Same, Same but Different
CLC Book Award.
Green Prize for Sustainable Literature: Luna & Me
Upcoming: Papa Brings Me the World, May 2020, Christy Ottaviano Books.×
From: Spun in Poland threading through America and France6 Word Memoir: I am on my way to where i am alreadyActivities: I stare at things and talk with people.Where do you work: in my head, mostly. Distractions: I celebrate them and make them into oeuvres. Neat or messy?: ooh, but why define oneself as either?Upcoming:Picture due to come out when done, which will still take a while. Very labour intensive so...
From: Malaysia; Live: Silicon Valley
6 Word Memoir: Read, write, paint; Always doing two.Activities: I travel and learn languages. Right now, it's Greek.Neat or messy: I am neat. They say creative people are messy, but I hope I prove otherwise, because the first thing I do when I get up is make my bed!Other Awards:
Top 10 Children's Book by TIME/CNN (2008): Umbrella Queen
Top 10 Nonfiction Series for Youth by the ALA (2012): The Thinking Girl's Treasury of Dastardly Dames
International Reading Association Children's Choice Award (2013): Horrible Hauntings
From: Australia; Now: Brooklyn, New York6 Word Memoir: Never enough hours in the day.Activities: Raising ducklings, building stone walls, scouring flea markets, visiting writers' houses...Distraction: I am very lucky to share a studio in Brooklyn with three other picture book makers, Brian Floca, Rowboat Watkins and Douglas Salati. When I'm not there I'm in the Catskill Mountains where I'm building a retreat for children's book people in an old dairy farm, called Milkwood.Other Awards:
Finding Winnie, 2016 Caldecott Medal
Hello Lighthouse, 2019 Caldecott Medal
Meet Wild Boars, Society of Illustrators Founder's Award
Upcoming: If you Come to Earth, Chronicle Books September 2020.×
From: A military kid from the South, D.C. area; Now: Georgia6 Word Memoir: I write for a ten-year-old me, mostly.Activities: I listen to audiobooks and cook from scratch.Neat or Messy? I'm a messy writer. I clean up during revision.Other Awards:
Two-time National Book Award finalist
Jane Addams Peace Award honoree
NAACP Image Award honoree
E.B. White Read-Aloud Award winner
Upcoming: Kent State, April 2020, my first YA novel.×
From and Now: New Hampshire6 Word Memoir: Live in nature, love your work.Activities: Getting out in nature is a great way to clear my mind and also make me realize that there’s a whole world bigger than myself.Where do you do your Work?/Distractions: I work in a small studio in my house. It has a large patio door facing a quiet backyard where I find few distractions, except for the occasional fox flashing past.Other Awards:
Boston Globe/Horn Book award for best picture book, NYTimes Best Illustrated Award, silver medal at The Society of Illustrators Original Art Show for ny first book: Henry Hikes to Fitchburg
Upcoming: Polly Wolly Willy Woggle and Pots, Rebbor! currently downloadable; Lost Woods (comic strip),TBD×
From: South Korea; Now: New JerseyActivities: Read! Daydream!Where do you work?/Distraction: I work in my messy home office. I get distracted by everyday life because I have three kids and a dog.Other Awards:
I have a vague memory of something small but I don't remember what it is
Upcoming: I just published a pet project and I am working on finishing a novel×
From: New York; Now: Connecticut6 Word Memoir: I came. I saw. I stayed.Activities: Dance wildly on FaceTime. Drive Matchbox cars. Where do you work: I work neatly and daily at my desk no matter whatOther Awards:
Three Cheers: Catherine the Great -
Charlotte Zolotow Honor & Amanda Bloomer Award: Sally Jean the Bicycle Queen
Goose's Story Henry Bergh Award (SPCA)
Upcoming:I'm Brave! I'm Strong! I'm Five!, 2019; manuscripts in development×
YorikoTsutsui: AwardFrom:TokyoNow: Miyagi prefecture6 Word Memoir:Sky, wind and child bring storyActivities: Walking the forest, listening to nostalgic songs and watching children.Distractions: Making delicious foods that I want to have at that time. Neat or messy? Usually, I’m messy, sometimes I’m so neat. Procrastination: I discontinue the work. Then I go blank my mind. I stare at sky and listen to twitter of the bird.Other Awards:
I have only received the Keats Foundation award. It is the greatest honor of my life.
Upcoming: "At a town with four parks" Serialized in the Fukuinkan Shoten monthly magazine. "Haha no tomo(mother’s friend)" The story of children who experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake. I hope it will be a book someday, but I'm not sure if my dream will come true.×
From: Mt. Carmel, IL; Now: Arizona6 Word Memoir: Wednesday's child and full of joy.Activities: I walk alone while working on poems. Walking with a dog is an adventure. I have been inspired more times than I care to admit while ironing.Where do you do your work? I have a home office. One of the pleasures of working at home is not having to wear shoes (I have to watch out for scorpions).