Writing for Children:
A Discussion Panel with Local Children’s Book Authors



In celebration of Children’s Authors & Illustrators Week, we’ll be holding a panel discussion with four local children’s book authors to talk about the art of writing for a young audience.


This event is a great way for aspiring writers to get insider tips and for fans of the genre to take a peek behind the curtain to see how beloved stories come to life. 


Authors will have books for sale and be available for signings after the discussion.


All ages welcome. 




Gabrielle+Balkan_author+photoGabrielle Balkan is best known for non-fiction books that delight readers ages 5 - 12 with curious and essential facts about the United States and animal record-breakers. Her books include four titles in The 50 States series, three titles in the Book of Bones series. Megafauna: Discover the Giant Animals That Once Roamed the Earth and The Met: Georgia O’Keefe: She Saw the World in a Flower. She lives, works, and rides bikes in the Hudson Valley with her twins and a writer husband.
J CastleJennifer Castle spent a lot of time as a child pecking out poems on her dad’s typewriter, making up stories on long school bus rides, and constantly lying about stuff. From there, she took the long way around to being an author. Eventually, she created a website called It’s My Life, a safe place on PBS Kids for young people ages 9 to 13 to explore topics like dealing with divorce, bullying, puberty, and depression. It’s My Life became an amazing community, and she loved writing about all the things that are important to tweens. Somewhere in there, she started a novel. Going back to fiction was like finding a key she’d lost at the bottom of a junk drawer. Realizing that she wanted to write for young adults was like finding the hidden door that key opened. Now she’s in the place behind that door, living and writing in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley with her husband, two daughters, and two tabby cats/writing assistants named Angel and Squash.
PoblockiDan Poblocki is an author of mystery and horror novels for young people. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island. During his pre-teen years, his family moved to Basking Ridge, New Jersey. His books have been translated into French, Greek, Russian, German, Polish, and Farsi. Dan currently lives in Saugerties, NY with two scaredy cats. He graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in theater. Subsequently, he toured the United States playing ultra-challenging roles such as Ichabod Crane in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the Shoemaker in The Shoemaker and the Elves to packed houses filled with literally thousands of screaming children. (He hopes they weren’t screaming in fear.) Dan now writes full time. He's probably working on something new this very minute!
AileenWeintraub_AuthorphotoFinalAileen Weintraub is the author of the middle-grade social justice book WE GOT GAME! 35 Female Athletes Who Changed the World and the best-selling Never Too Young: 50 Unstoppable Kids Who Made a Difference, which won a Parents’ Choice Award. Working in collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History, her book Secrets of the American Museum of Natural History was released in 2019. Inspired by the athletes in WE GOT GAME! Aileen has taken up boxing. She lives in New York with her family, and her dog Monte, who sits beside her while she writes. She pronounces her name with a long A, like the first letter of the alphabet. She has also written numerous essays and articles for The Washington Post, HuffPost, NBC, AARP, Glamour, and other publications. Her newest book, Knocked Down: A High-Risk Memoir, which is releasing on March 1st!
BrianJamesBrian James will host the panel discussion. In addition to being a librarian here at Kingston, he has written numerous children's books, including the Pirate School, Catkid, and SuperTwins series. He's also the author of several YA novels including Pure Sunshine, Zombie Blondes, and Life is But a Dream