2018 Keynote Lineup

The Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival is THE place to meet nationally known authors, illustrators, and storytellers! 



 Dav Pilkey

2018 Southern Miss Medallion Winner Dav Pilkey

Dav Pilkey has written and illustrated numerous popular, award-winning books for children, including the Dog Man, Captain Underpants and Dumb Bunnies series; Dog Breath, winner of the California Young Reader Medal; and The Paperboy, a Caldecott Honor Book. He lives with his wife in the Pacific Northwest. In 1996, Dav moved to Seattle, Washington. He then took a ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island, WA where he has lived since 1999. He divides his time between Bainbridge Island, WA and Minami Izu, Japan.

 T.A. Barron

de Grummond Children's Literature Lecturer

T. A. Barron grew up in Colorado ranch country and traveled widely as a Rhodes Scholar. He was the 2011 Southern Miss Medallion winner and is the author of more than 30 highly acclaimed books, many of which are international bestsellers. They include the Merlin Saga (now being developed into a feature film by Disney), The Great Tree of Avalon (a New York Times bestselling series), The Ancient One (the tale of a brave girl and a magical tree), and The Hero’s Trail (nonfiction stories of courageous kids). In 2000, he founded a national award to honor outstanding young people who help their communities or the environment: the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, which honors 25 highly diverse, public-spirited kids each year. When not writing or speaking, T. A. Barron serves on many boards including Princeton University, where he helped to create the Princeton Environmental Institute, and The Wilderness Society, which recently honored him with its highest award for conservation work.

 Holly Black

Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare) and The Darkest Part of the Forest. Holly has also been a frequent contributor to anthologies, and has co-edited three of them: Geektastic (with Cecil Castellucci, 2009), Zombies vs. Unicorns (with Justine Larbalestier, 2010), and Welcome to Bordertown (with Ellen Kushner, 2011). She was a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award, the Mythopoeic Award and a Newbery Honor. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door. 

 Wanda Johnson

2018 Colleen Salley Storytelling Award Recipient

 Wanda Johnson is a professional storyteller, teaching artist, and inspirational speaker. Wanda began her professional career in Prichard, Alabama, absorbing the colorful history and rituals of a Southern town. As a storyteller, she challenges her audience to take pride in the lessons, rituals, and experiences of life.  She encourages young and old to appreciate their personal stories as lasting wealth that should be passed on and preserved. As a teaching artist, Mrs. Johnson uses her craft to teach others how to use stories and to inspire them to tell their own stories.  The personality, humor, and charm of this sought-after inspirational speaker touch hearts, inspire dreams, and stimulate the imagination.

 Charlotte Voiklis


Ezra Jack Keats Lecturer

Charlotte Jones Voiklis manages her late grandmother Madeleine L'Engle's literary business. She lived with her grandmother during college and graduate school, co-hosting dinner parties, helping answer readers' letters, and earning a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. Together with her sister, Léna Roy, she has written a middle grade biography of Madeleine L'Engle. Charlotte has worked in academia, nonprofit communications and fundraising, and philanthropy. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Renee Watson

 Renée Watson writes for children and teens. Her books include young adult novels Piecing Me Together and This Side of Home, which was nominated for the Best Fiction for Young Adults by the American Library Association. Her picture book, Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills (Random House 2012), received several honors including an NAACP Image Award nomination in children’s literature. Her novel, What Momma Left Me, (Bloomsbury 2010), debuted as the New Voice for 2010 in middle grade fiction. Her one woman show, Roses are Red Women are Blue, debuted at the Lincoln Center at a showcase for emerging artists.

Carole Weatherford

A New York Times best-selling author, Carole Boston Weatherford is one of the leading poets writing for young people today. She believes that poetry makes music with words. And she mines the past for family stories, fading traditions and forgotten struggles. Her work spans poetry, nonfiction, biography and historical fiction. Her latest releases include Freedom in Congo Square and You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen. She has two adult children and lives in North Carolina, where she is a Professor of English at Fayetteville State University. 


 Salina Yoon

Salina Yoon was born Yoon, Ah in the rural town of Busan, Korea in 1972. She moved to the U.S. in 1976 and was given her new name, Salina. She is now an author, illustrator, and format designer of nearly two hundred books. She specializes in in formats that are unique and creative. She currently works from her home studio and lives in San Diego, California with her husband and two sons.