Filtered by category: ChLA Newsletter: Volume 26 | Issue 2 | Summer 2019 Clear Filter

2020 Phoenix Picture Book Award Recipients

2020 Phoenix Picture Book Award Winner:

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Judith Plotz Emerging Scholar Award

The Judith Plotz Emerging Scholar Award Committee is pleased to recognize Elizabeth Hoiem as the 2019 Judith Plotz Emerging Scholar for her article entitled, “Radical Cross-Writing for Working Children: Toward a Bottom-up History of Children’s Literature,” published in The Lion and the Unicorn. In this beautifully written piece, Hoiem challenges the accepted historical narrative of children’s literature’s emergence as a middle-class genre. In the movements to reform child labor and factory conditions in 1830s England, Hoiem finds a tradition of cross-writing, as radical working-class writers addressed children together with adults in unexpected ways. Moving deftly between localized political contexts and broader historical claims about child empowerment and social class, Hoiem expands the boundaries of the children’s literature archive to include texts used by working-class children. Political handbills, for example, gave working children agency as they documented capitalist injustices inherent in child labor and the factory system. By bringing attention to texts used by children but not usually considered children’s literature, Hoiem contributes to growing interests in childhood studies in the nineteenth century and beyond.

President's Message

Among the many notes from Michelle Martin’s amazing Francelia Butler Lecture at this June’s ChLA Conference that have stayed with me is her closing suggestion that we “think about what our counter-stories are.” As individuals, as readers, critics of, and advocates for children’s literature, and particularly as members of the Children’s Literature Association, what are our counter-stories? How have we fit our experiences into long-standing cultural narratives about personal, academic and professional achievement, and how have we complicated and rewritten stories to express ourselves? How have we conveyed these alternative stories and what effects have they engendered?  How can ChLA be a space in or through which we can share our counter-stories?
Next summer’s ChLA’s annual conference will provide opportunities for us to think and talk about the cultural significance of stories for children, especially those that explore sustainability. As I prepared to write this letter, I thought of environmental activists Greta Thunberg and Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez and many other young persons who have raised their voices to demand sustainable, equitable, and just social practices. I also thought of literature for young readers that promotes critical thinking about our complicated relationship to the environment, including DyAnne DiSalvo’s City Green, recent Ruth Lilly-winner Marilyn Nelson’s Carver, and Sy Montgomery’s many books. Please come to Bellevue, Washington in June 2020 to participate in ChLA’s discussion of sustainability, environmental justice and other important topics in children’s literature, culture, childhood studies, and related areas. We are now planning the conference, which will take place June 18th to 20th, and we are excited to receive your proposals and to organize the conference in ways that will be productive for your scholarship. Check out the call for papers on our website: The deadline is October 15, 2019.
The ChLA Board is also processing the feedback about the most recent conference, and the comments gleaned from its Listening Tables. We are considering how to sustain cherished traditions, such as the conference and our literature prizes, in light of ecological, economic, and professional pressures and challenges. This paperless newsletter is one response to environmental concerns and to feedback from last year’s survey calling for enhanced communication throughout the year. Long a bi-annual publication, it will now appear quarterly. And we are working to implement additional ways for the organization to stay connected and to be attuned to ChLA members.
In her Francelia Butler Lecture, Michelle demonstrated the power of counter-storytelling by using what traditionally has been an academic, intellectual space to share a complicated story of selfhood that she presented as a children’s story, with song. Her story emphasized her relationship to other people, including her family, and to children’s literature. The story encouraged audience members to participate, to lend our voices to her song, and thus spoke to the inspirational power of collaborating and doing things differently. Her lecture demonstrated the power of acknowledging but also overcoming boundaries that separate (e.g. presenter from audience, art from scholarship). As she joined her creative energies with her scholarly perspective, Michelle inspired her audience by modeling one way of being one’s full and complicated self in ChLA.  We are scholars, teachers, creative writers, librarians, and readers, and ChLA allows us to consider these intersecting identities as appropriate and invigorating lenses of critique and bases for community. Thank you for your continued membership and involvement in ChLA. I look forward to seeing you in June 2020.
Best wishes,
ChLA President, 2019-2020

Congratulations to our Article Award Winners

ChLA’s Article Award Committee happily announced this year’s winners at the annual conference in Indianapolis.

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2020 Anne Devereaux Jordan Award Call for Nominations

The Anne Devereaux Jordan Award is intended to honor the lifetime achievement of an individual whose scholarship and/or service have had a significant impact on the field of children’s literature scholarship. The award is not restricted to ChLA members or to those whose work has benefited the Association specifically. The award may be given posthumously. To nominate someone for the Anne Devereaux Jordan Award, send a letter that explains the person’s accomplishments and contributions to children’s literature scholarship to [email protected]. If possible, include the nominee’s current vita with the nomination letter. Nominations must be received no later than October 1, 2019. Although nominees are considered annually, there may be years in which no award is given.

ChLA 2020 International Committee Focus Panel on Korea

The International Committee of the Children’s Literature Association is planning a special focus panel on Korean children’s literature, to be presented at the 47th Children’s Literature Association Conference. This conference will be held in Bellevue, Washington from June 18 through 20, 2020 and hosted by the University of Washington.

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Phoenix Award Roundtable CFP for 2020 ChLA Conference

The Phoenix Award Committee and the Phoenix Picture Book Award Committee of the Children's Literature Association are planning a joint session at the 47th Children's Literature Association Conference, held in Bellevue from June 18-20, 2020 and hosted by the University of Washington. The Phoenix Awards recognize exceptional books published twenty years previously that did not win a major award at the time, but that the committees have determined to be of lasting value.

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ChLA 2020 Conference Sustainability Through Story: Eco-Justice, Children’s Literature, and Childhood

ChLA 2020 Conference
Hyatt Regency Bellevue | Bellevue, Washington
June 18-20, 2020

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Highlights of the Activism and Empathy 2019 Conference

We were so grateful to welcome ChLA friends, old and new, to our wonderful city of Indianapolis in June!  We hope you enjoyed the River Walk, the IUPUI campus close-by, the Statehouse across the street, and the various museums and libraries throughout the city when you needed some down-time.  We hope you enjoyed the conference itself and aspects of it that were unique and hopefully very meaningful for everyone as we united around the concepts of Activism and Empathy for all.  For one, Accessibility activism needs to be prioritized even more in our world today, and we took the lead in foregrounding that at this conference.  So, too, is Sustainability activism if we are to save our planet, and we appreciated you working with us to reduce, re-use, refuse or recycle everything at this conference!  Inclusion and diversity have always been hallmarks of ChLA and we were pleased to expand that at this conference: for the first time, children were a part of the CHILDREN’s Literature Association, through the Richmond children’s Band of Mercy choir and the Indianapolis Boys and Girls’ Club children who attended our Phoenix Panel and book-reading! It was amazing to welcome authors Francesca Zappia, Floyd Cooper, Connie Porter, and Christopher Myers,the latter our keynote at the Awards Reception. The Awards Reception was now open to all, whether one is on a restricted income or not, and almost 300 members were able to attend free this year.  Michelle Martin gave one of the most inspired, songful Butler lectures we have ever heard. We appreciated the Membership Committee’s Listening Tables to hear your thoughts on the conference and our field.  We certainly could not have done as much without the guidance of President Kate Capshaw, conference liaison Annette Wannamaker, or graduate student Kathryn Hampshire.  But most credit goes to Jamie Reed, Association Manager, who handled every detail with insight and grace.  Finally, YOU all contributed to the empathy and activism of this conference by providing some of the most socially challenging, politically focused papers ChLA has ever seen.  We look forward to ChLA in Seattle, Washington, as we take up ecological-political issues in 2020.  See everyone there!  --Alisa Clapp-Itnyre, Megan Musgrave, and Carrie Sickmann

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2020 Phoenix Award Recipients

The Phoenix Award Committee is delighted to announce the selections for 2020. We have a terrific Phoenix Roundtable planned for ChLA 2020 that includes Phoenix authors and local kids.  We hope you’ll join us.

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Bart Moeyart, 2019 Astrid Lindgren Laureate

Evocative Flemish YA novelist, poet, and picture-book author Bart Moeyart of Belgium won the 2019 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for his body of work that encompasses books for young children, fairy-tale revisions, drama for television and the stage, and lyrics.  

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The 2019 ChLA Book Award

The ChLA Book Award Committee congratulates this year’s Award and Honor authors, Victoria Ford Smith and Philip Nel. 

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