Children’s Literature New England is dedicated to promoting awareness of the significance of literature in children’s lives. The organization grew from a passionate conviction that books for children have integrity both as art and as literature.  Its mission is to promote children’s literature and to give those who teach and create books for young readers the opportunity to reaffirm the value of their work.

CLNE Presents the 2016 Symposium Passages of Hope


November 10-13 2016
Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, Vermont

In the world of children’s literature an unquestioned belief has long been that art for the young should present a vision of hope. In 1818 Mrs. Sherwood showed virtue as a bulwark against eternal damnation. In 1865 Lewis Carroll celebrated the power of youthful imagination to counter the chaos created by adults. In 1952 E.B. White presented a vision of the cyclical and self-healing natural world. In 1978 Katherine Paterson gave us a child who scraped out her own hope in the face of adult weakness and neglect.

Today, with holes in the ozone and fractures in social institutions and in the very ground under our feet, how can we present hopeful narratives that are both authentic and rigorous? Where does the obligation to instill hope stand in the twenty-first century? In this conference you are invited to join writers and illustrators for the young in tackling questions of the nature of hope. Is it synonymous with optimism? With a happy ending? What is the responsibility of the artist? Does the belief still hold?


Participating presenters include:

Kwame Alexander • Pamela Muñoz Ryan • Gregory Maguire • Marilyn Nelson • Steve Sheinkin • Rebecca Stead • K.T. Horning • Liz Bicknell • MT Anderson • Chris Raschka • Susan Cooper • Deirdre Baker • Deb Taylor • Katherine Paterson • Sarah Ellis • Suzanne Fisher Staples • Robin SmithAlison BechdelBarbara ScottoAshley BryanNicole GriffinDaryl MarkMartha Walke


Registration FormComplete Schedule More about Presenters

Featured Presenters

kwameAlexanderKwame Alexander is a poet, author, public speaker, producer and playwright. He founded Book-in-a Day, creative writing workshops for middle and high schools, and LEAP for Ghana, a literacy program. His books include The Crossover and Booked, both novels-in-verse. His website is bookinaday.org


katherine_patersonKatherine Paterson is the author of more than thirty books including Bridge to Terabithia and The Great Gilly Hopkins. She has twice won both the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award. From 2010-2011, she served as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. She is a CLNE Honorary Board Member. Her newest title is Stories of My Life. Her website is katherinepaterson.com.



Mythic Journey 2017

EXLHomepageJoin CLNE and The Examined Life for an exhilarating journey that includes an online graduate course and a study tour to Greece.

The online course runs from January 7 to May 20, 2017 and the study tour to Greece is scheduled for April 13 to April 23, 2017.

Several $1,000 stipends will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to teachers K-12.

Click here for more information and to read a letter from a 2016 CLNE Greek Study fellow