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About

Inspired by the classic character questionnaire by Marcel Proust

and James Lipton’s Inside the Actor’s Studio television show,

Inside the KidLit Studio asks folks known and emerging

in the realm of children’s and young adult literature

to tell us about themselves.

Writers, illustrators, agents, editors, art directors--

no one is safe from “The Questions!”


Our mission is to build and strengthen the diverse and inclusive KidLit community by featuring voices from a wide range of races, ethnicities, cultures, abilities, genders, sexualities, ages, socioeconomic statuses, and more. If you have a comment or suggestion, please contact us at monica@insidethekidlitstudio.com. And thanks for including us in your day!

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Monica Clark-Robinson is passionately in love with stories and the wondrous power they wield.  She believes the right book, at the right time, can change a child’s life. Monica is most interested in bringing forward stories that are being forgotten or misremembered and the stories of kids in the margins.  She writes picture books, contemporary middle grade fiction, and YA fiction. Her debut picture book, LET THE CHILDREN MARCH, illustrated by Frank Morrison, was awarded the Coretta Scott King Honor award for Illustration and was one of Kirkus’ Best Books of 2018. Her second book, STANDING ON HER SHOULDERS, illustrated by Laura Freeman, is a Junior Library Guild’s Gold Choice list for 2021. Monica wrote the book as a love letter to the important women who shape us--from our own mothers and grandmothers to the legends who paved the way for girls and women everywhere. When she’s not writing, Monica is also a professional actor, former children’s librarian, and voice-over artist, and is just insane enough to go back to school yet again to get an MFA in writing for children from Hamline University. She’s currently serving a term as the Arkansas SCBWI Regional Advisor. Monica lives in a yurt in the country with one husband, too many cats,
and just the right amount of daughters.  
Monica is represented by Natalie Lakosil of the Bradford Literary Agency.

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Award-winning writer Heather Breed Steadham, a graduate of the Arkansas Writers MFA Program, has had a personal essay chosen by Roxane Gay to run on The Toast, a piece about the last living maker of the electric chair published at Narratively, and five journalism awards granted for her recurring creative nonfiction in Arkansas Life Magazine. She also has fiction published by Lockjaw Magazine and in a post-apocalyptic anthology, and poetry appearing in Poetry South and on the Rat’s Ass Review. She currently serves as Assistant Regional Advisor for SCBWI-Arkansas and writes middle grade fiction. Steadham is a college writing professor, a professional copyeditor, and a ghost writer. A lover of magnolia trees, donuts, and her three children, Steadham is represented by Deborah Warren of East/West Literary Agency.

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Amelia Loken writes Young Adult Fantasy and Contemporary fiction, exploring the courage of women who forge bridges from the shards of old obstacles. Professionally, she’s worked in the Deaf community as an ASL/English interpreter and currently in the field of assistive technology. Not only has she studied sign language, but also swordplay, embroidery, theology, disability rights, and the history of pirates; bits of this flotsam turn up in her manuscripts without invitation. Amelia lives in Arkansas on the edge of a wood with her husband, five sons, and no other animals.

 

 Her debut YA Fantasy novel, UNRAVEL, is scheduled for release February 2022 and tells of Marguerite, a deaf princess who must oust her uncle from his ill-gotten throne, relying on her embroidery magic, a homemade invisibility cloak, and the one boy she never should have trusted.