Symposium for Jewish Children’s Literature: Novelists and Publishing Professionals

About This Event


Beyond the Holocaust & Holidays: Who Are We & What Are We Writing?

Designed for established and emerging Jewish novelists and publishing professionals, as we explore writing for and about Jewish children and young adults.

What stories do today’s children need from Jewish book creators and about Jewish people? What stories speak to our varied experiences? And how can we diversify the existing body of Jewish children’s literature?

Join Katherine Locke, Adam Gidwitz, Rena Rossner, Susan Kusel, Rebecca Kuss, Jocelyn Davies, Shirley Idelson and Linda Epstein as we explore where Jewish novelists fit in the business of writing for children and teens.

We will be engaging in conversations like…

Where Jewish authors fit in the #ownvoices conversation

What Jewishness looks like in children’s fiction; where Jewish children can find themselves in the stories they read

What kind of stories are Jewish stories; whether a story can be Jewish without obvious signifiers of Judaism

Intersectionality: navigating being Jewish+ in publishing and writing

How Jewish writers can find community and mentorship within the children’s book industry

Who/what represents an authentic Jewish character in children’s fiction

What the difference is between writing for Jewish children or about Jewish children

Who Should Attend

Jewish people working in children’s publishing at all stages of their careers, as well as Jewish authors of middle grade and young adult novels are invited to attend. The program is designed to be an exchange of ideas, a place to connect, and a springboard for diversifying Jewish content in children’s literature, so all kinds of voices are needed.


The symposium will be structured as a series of keynotes, engaging presentations, and panel discussions, coordinated with roundtable discussions led by faculty, reflective journaling, and sharing of experiences. The faculty will speak from their expertise as well as their experience as Jewish people in the publishing industry. The symposium is designed to be an exchange of ideas between participants and faculty. Roundtable discussions will provide structured time for the exchange of ideas in small groups. Scheduled journaling will allow participants to reflect on and integrate information from the presentations and the questions being posed.

For those interested, we will light Shabbat candles and bless the wine and challah on Friday evening and light Havdallah candles on Saturday evening. If needed, kosher meals can be provided, but please make your request known at registration.


Listen to a podcast from The Book of Life with the Symposium faculty.

Listen to a Book of Life podcast interview with Katherine Locke.

Listen to a Book of Life podcast interview with Adam Gidwitz.

Listen to a Book of Life podcast interview with Susan Kusel.

Read “Thinking About Jewish Children’s Literature in a Time of Antisemitism”, a Medium article by Katharine Locke.

Read an interview with Adam Gidwitz at the Jewish Book Council website.

Read an interview with Rena Rossner at Kirkus Reviews.


This is a new program, so we have no testimonials yet.


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