Bestselling author Meg Medina to deliver 2018 Steinfirst Lecture

February 21, 2018

Meg Medina, bestselling Latina author of children’s and young adult fiction, will give the Susan Steinfirst Community Lecture in Children’s Literature on Sunday, April 8, at 6:30 p.m. at TheArtsCenter in Carrboro. The lecture, hosted by the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), will be free and open to the public.

Meg Medina
Meg Medina. Photo by Steve Casanova.

Medina’s lecture, titled “Writing La Vida Loca:  How Your Nutty Life Can Help You Become a Writer,” will explore personal events that have become fictionalized in her award-winning work. A book signing will follow the lecture, with books available for purchase supplied by Flyleaf Books. Medina’s talk will be suitable for all audiences, however her young adult titles do contain profanity and deal with mature themes. Parents are encouraged to learn more on her website http://www.megmedina.com.

Medina writes about “strong girls, tough circumstances, and the connecting power of culture.” She has authored six books, two short stories, and has another book scheduled for publication in the fall of 2018. She is the recipient of numerous literary awards and distinctions, including the Pura Belpré Award and International Latino Book Award for her young adult novel Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass; the Pura Belpré honor medal for her picture book Mango, Abuela, and Me; and the Ezra Jack Keats New Writers medal for her picture book Tía Isa Wants a Car.

In addition to writing, Medina is involved with community projects that support girls, Latinx youth, and literacy. She is a founding member of the Children’s Book Council Diversity Initiative, an initiative to provide diverse voices in literature for young people, and We Need Diverse Books, a non-profit that advocates changes in the publishing industry so that children’s literature will reflect the lives of all young people.

As the Steinfirst Artist-in-Residence, Medina will facilitate a weeklong workshop at Carrboro Elementary School to help students develop their own creative skills and agency. She is the third writer selected for the program, following Charles R. Smith Jr., who worked with students in Northside Elementary School in Orange County in 2017, and Matt de la Peña, who conducted the inaugural residency at Mt. Vernon Middle School in Wake County in 2016.

About Steinfirst Lecture and Residency

The Steinfirst Lecture honors the memory of Susan Steinfirst, a professor of children's and young adult literature at SILS from 1976 to 1996. Steinfirst dedicated her life to the promotion of children's literature by teaching future librarians and by publishing scholarly works in the field. The lecture is made possible by the Steinfirst Memorial Fund, which was established through gifts from Professor Steinfirst’s husband, Gene Story, as well as other family members and friends, in 1997.  

The artist-in-residence program, introduced in 2016, was partly funded by a gift from Professor Steinfirst's niece, Julia Steinfirst Howard, and her husband, John. Julia Howard remains an active partner and helped SILS envision the Steinfirst expansion.

The residencies have also received support through the Drs. Barbara and Robert S. Martin Research Assistant program, which provides educational funding for students assisting SILS faculty members who are conducting research in the areas of children’s, young adult, or school librarianship. Melissa Ferens, Bachelor of Science in Information Science (BSIS) 2016 alumna and current Master of Science in Library Student (MSLS) student at SILS, is the 2017-18 Martin Scholar working under the guidance of SILS Professor Sandra Hughes-Hassell and Associate Professor Brian Sturm.

For more information, visit http://steinfirstartistinresidency.web.unc.edu/