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What’s So Funny, Mr. Scieszka? — The Zena Sutherland Lecture

The voice flew across the room and nailed me to the back of my seat. “What’s so funny, Mr. Scieszka?” The voice belonged to Sister Margaret Ann. And it had just flown across our fifth-grade religion class at St. Luke’s Elementary School to find me in what I had thought was the safety of the […]

Writer vs. Author — The Zena Sutherland Lecture by Linda Sue Park

“Writer vs. Author.” This dichotomy is one I deal with on a daily basis, sometimes on a minute-by-minute basis. I grew up in the age before social networking, so typing out words on a keyboard has long been a private activity for me. Even if the finished product was something I intended to share, there […]

2019 Zena Sutherland Lecture

The 2019 Zena Sutherland Lecturer is writer and cartoonist Gene Luen Yang, and his topic is “Why Comic Books Matter.” The Lecture will be given at 7:30PM on Friday, May 3rd at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St. in Chicago. Admission is free but tickets are required and can be obtained via […]

Look Here. Not There. — The Zena Sutherland Lecture

I am honored to give this year’s Zena Sutherland Lecture, named for an important educator and champion of children’s literature. Where the world saw shock and controversy in such now-iconic children’s books as Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen, Zena Sutherland saw imagination and humanity. Where the world saw idealization of childhood, Sutherland saw young people, […]

Sweet Homefront Chicago

Rita Williams-Garcia was her gracious smart self for last Friday’s Sutherland Lecture in Chicago; good to hear her and good to see old friends, especially my boss Betsy. Below is my introduction to Rita; you can read the lady speaking for herself when we publish her lecture this fall in the Magazine. Next year’s Sutherland Lecture will be […]

Lovely Rita and the Sutherland lecture

A reminder that next Friday, May 4th, finds me introducing Rita Williams-Garcia for her Sutherland lecture, “Look Here. Not There,” at 7:30PM at the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago. Admission to the program is free, but you have to sign up at chipublib.org/sutherland. I hope to see you there! The Sutherland Lecture committee thanks HarperCollins […]

Woman of the Year

Congrats to Jacqueline Woodson for winning the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, first given to Maurice Sendak in 2003; Jackie is the fourth American to win, after Katherine Paterson and Meg Rosoff. I met Jackie in 1990 in Chicago, where Delacorte had sent her all by her lonesome on her first book tour (for Last Summer at Maizon). Betsy, Hazel, […]

To Inform and Delight: The Elements of Story — The Zena Sutherland Lecture

Salutations! I am honored to be here with all of you. I never met Zena Sutherland, but she’s been described as “short and feisty,” and I like short and feisty women, especially, as in Zena’s case, ones with passion and panache. When Zena was offered the job to become editor and sole reviewer for the […]

Some writer, artist, friend!

I hope you’ll join me for the 2017 Zena Sutherland Lecture, to be held on Friday, May 5 at 7:30PM at the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago. Our lecturer is the wonderful Melissa Sweet; her chosen topic is “To Inform and Delight: The Elements of Story.” Tickets are free but you gotta reserve your […]

How I Discovered Young Adult Poetry – The Zena Sutherland Lecture

A couple of weeks ago, at a dinner with several poets, one of them said, “You’re lucky, Marilyn: you know how to write poems for the young adult audience.” I laughed and told him he was entirely wrong. I have absolutely no idea how to write for the young adult audience. I just write what […]