Authors and Performers
The ECIS Library and Information Services Committee is proud to have wonderful authors and performers in attendance at ECIS Library 2018! Join us and meet these twelve amazing storytellers!
Anitha Bennett, a children’s writer by profession, pens down activity based books and syllabus based textbooks for a number of publishers in India and abroad. Being a computer engineer, she left behind her IT career to follow her passion and dream of writing and working with children. Some of her well-loved books that topped the book lists for many seasons in Scholastic India include Paper Crafts, This and That, and Science O Fun. Over a period of 17 years, Anitha has published nearly 60 plus books covering a range of subjects from English and Science to General Knowledge and Art. Her new English series for Oxford, adopted in many schools across India has indeed made learning the universal language easy and fun! Apart from writing, She conducts workshops and full fledged courses in creative writing, art, storytelling, public speaking, and hands-on activities for kids in various schools across the country. She also gives motivational talks and seminars on various life skills, encouraging parents and educators in their calling.
John Coy is the author of 16 books, including: young adult novels, the 4 for 4 middle-grade series, and fiction and nonfiction picture books. He has received numerous awards for his work including a Marion Vannett Ridgway Award for best debut picture book, a Charlotte Zolotow Honor, Bank Street College Best Book of the Year, Notable Book for a Global Society, the Burr/Warzalla Award for Distinguished Achievement in Children’s Literature and the the Kerlan Award in recognition of singular attainments in the creation of children’s literature. His recent book "Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land" depicts the lives of recent immigrants. John lives in Minneapolis and visits schools around the world.
Bill Harley is an award-winning author and recording artist for children and families. Recipient of Parents’ Choice, American Library Association and two Grammy® awards, Bill uses song and story to paint a vibrant and hilarious picture of growing up, schooling and family life. Awarded the lifetime achievement award from RI Council for the Humanities “for building community; promoting our common humanity; and encouraging lifelong learning, exploring and growing”, Bill has authored over a dozen award winning books - middle grade readers and fiction picture books. His book series about the trials and tribulations of fourth grader Charlie Bumpers is a popular choice in the One School One Book program through Read to Them. The first book in the series Charlie Bumpers vs. The Teacher of the Year won the Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award. Bill lives in Seekonk, Massachusetts.
Sara Holbrook is a full time educator, author, poet, and consultant who brings practical knowledge to the classroom, helping students to develop the complex thinking and literacy skills they will need to succeed in the 21st century workplace. With over 30 years’ experience as a writer in the fields of education, law, public housing, and drug prevention, she has been teaching in classrooms around the US and abroad for over 20 years. She is also the author of more than a dozen books for children, adults and teachers as well as an award-winning performance poet. A frequent keynote speaker, she shows teachers how to use writing and oral presentation exercises in order to help raise vocabulary and other literacy skills along with comprehension through collaboration, writing and classroom performance across all grade levels and content areas.
Jeeva Raghunath started telling stories as a teacher, first teaching toddlers then high schoolers. She then began marketing and translating children's books. Now professional storyteller, Jeeva is credited with pioneering the storytelling movement here in Chennai and the rest of Tamil Nadu. In addition to over 500 performances both solo and at international showcases, she has represented India at 17 international storytelling festivals around the globe. She has authored 8 children's books and translated 45 books into Tamil from English. Jeeva leads highly interactive storytelling workshops and has worked with over 25,000 children and adults all over the world. The settings for these programs include schools, colleges, cultural associations, hospitals, libraries, and museums. Jeeva’s storytelling style leaves her audience spell-bound. She believes that she herself is the best prop for her storytelling. Her cross cultural story repertoire includes a wide range of Indian and Asian folktales, among many others.
Sandhya Rao has worked in the media for many years, as print journalist, books editor and children’s books writer. She has published about 25 books for children (in English, Hindi, and in translation) and brought Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking in Hindi to Indian children. She has shared books with children in towns and cities across India and in Europe, and participated in several bookfairs. Since 1979, she’s been contributing articles and features to magazines and newspapers. She has presented papers on topics related to children’s books and the media internationally. She also occasionally conducts writing workshops. She has a fortnightly column called Pictures & Words in BusinessLine on Campus and a monthly book column in Rotary News. She facilitates a short-term course on spoken and written English at the Crescent School of Business, Chennai.She loves the sound of words in different languages; her current passion is Turkish. She lives in Chennai and is an editorial consultant with the Hindu BusinessLine newspaper.
Jan Reynolds is author of 14 books for children including the Vanishing Cultures Series, receiving the Parent's Choice Award, CBC Notable Children's Books in Social Studies, and American Book Sellers "Pick of the List."
She is also author of 2 books for adults: Everest Grand Circle and Mother and Child. She has been a member of expeditions to China, Tibet, Nepal, New Zealand, Australia, Lapland, Amazon Basin, Canadian Arctic, Mongolia, and Sahara. One of America's best known spokespeople on mountaineering, she has made appearances on ABC's Good Morning America, NBC's Today, National Public Radio, New York Times, and three adventure films. In addition to numerous lectures around the globe for schools and companies, she is a wilderness photographer/writer for: National Geographic, Vogue, Esquire, New York Times, various ski and outdoor magazines, and has had her worked featured at the United Nations. She also held the women's high altitude skiing record, sponsored by National Geographic.
Michael Salinger has been writing and performing poetry and fiction for over 20 years. In this time he has become a fixture in the performance poetry and education community performing and teaching in over 200 cities in 35 countries. His work has appeared in dozens of literary journals published across the US and Canada and he has authored/co-authored several publications. Eight time captain and coach representing Cleveland at the National Poetry Slam competition, he has also served as a consultant and board member to Poetry Slam, Inc., the governing body of Poetry Slams across the country. He founded the organization's summer writing and performance conference held at the SUNY campus in Oneonta, New York. In addition to leading numerous workshops in middle schools, high schools, and colleges, he is also chief facilitator of the teen writing and performance program at Cleveland's Playhouse Square Foundation - the second largest performing arts center in the United States after Broadway. michaelsalinger.com
Steve Swinburne was born in London, England. When he was 8, he left England with his family and sailed on the Queen Elizabeth to New York City. He has worked as ranger in a number of national parks. He loves to travel and observe nature and wildlife. A safari in Africa, hiking in Scotland, monitoring sea turtles on a Georgia island, a winter trek through Yellowstone and watching shorebirds in New York have all led to book projects. As a life-long naturalist, he loves sharing his passion for nature and exploring wild places. And as an author, he loves writing about wildlife and this amazing and beautiful planet we share. When Steve is not writing and photographing children's books, he loves to sing and play Beatle songs on his Gibson guitar, garden, read, travel with his family and take pictures. Steve's photography has appeared in numerous magazines. steveswinburne.com
Cat Weatherill is a best-selling novelist and one of Europe’s leading performance storytellers – the only writer in the UK to hold this distinction. She is best-known for her children’s fantasy books, published by Puffin. Her first novel Barkbelly was shortlisted for the prestigious Branford Boase award, and she is currently collaborating on a version of Bluebeard with the illustrator Chris Riddell. Cat works internationally, performing, writing and training. She frequently works with the British Council to promote the art of storytelling abroad. She lives near Stratford Upon Avon in a tiny black and white cottage that dates from the time of Shakespeare, but she travels constantly and loves the smell of aviation fuel! Cat Weatherill's visit is brought to us by Authors Abroad, one of our conference sponsors.
Rosemary Wells is the author and illustrator of more than 125 books for young readers. She is best known for her picture book characters, Max and Ruby, Noisy Nora, Yoko, My Very First Mother Goose, Read to Your Bunny, Voyage to the Bunny Planet, and many others, published over a forty five year career. She is a landmark author/illustrator in the lives of countless children and their children.
Rosemary is also the author of 4 middle school chapters books and several historical novels for young adults. She is the winner of many national awards, including 40 ALA notable books, New York Times Best Illustrated book, New York Times Bestseller list, and most recently Mills Tannenbaum author of the year for Reach Out and Read. A tireless advocate for children’s literature and reading aloud from real books, Rosemary has presented her Young Artists’ Workshop and Young Writers’ Workshop in schools and libraries all over the world.
Jayashri Ramnath, affectionately known across India as Bombay Jayashri, was born to a family of five generations of musicians. She has performed at festivals and concerts in more than 35 countries. Her compositions amalgamate classical Carnatic music with India's rich legacy in literature and other art forms. She believes in experimenting and collaborating between different genres and various forms, diving into both World Music, and the music of Indian film soundtracks. Among numerous accolades, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, Ms. Ramnath was nominated in 2013 for an Oscar in the category of Best Original Song for Ang Lee's "Life of Pi." Jayashri’s experiences with the power of music have motivated her to start Hitham, a foundation which works to share music with autistic children; exploring the therapeutic value of music in the lives of special children. Through Hitham, Jayashri facilitates and conducts music classes for children in rural areas of Tamil Nadu. Today, Jayashri composes, performs, writes and teaches music, expanding a modern understanding of our common heritage of music.