The First Chapter
At NCTE’s Annual Convention you’ll have the opportunity to hear from inspiring speakers who care about literacy as much as you do. The art of teaching and learning writing, reading, speaking, and listening is multifaceted, complex, and rich with possibility. That’s why each year we select keynote speakers who bring a range of perspectives to the mic: 2017 is no exception. We’re thrilled to share this stellar lineup with you.
Stay tuned for more announcements in the coming months. #NCTE17 will feature hundreds of authors who speak, sign books, present sessions, and attend events. You’ll have many opportunities to meet your literary heroes in person.
Jimmy Santiago Baca
Award-winning poet and writer dedicated to helping others improve their lives through education.
Creator of critically acclaimed graphic novels based on literary classics, including Beowulf and King Lear.
Engineer, NASA astronaut, and author of a May 2017 memoir; Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances.
Jimmy Santiago BacaFriday, November 17, 8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
While serving a five-year sentence in a maximum security prison, Jimmy Santiago Baca learned to read and began to turn his life around, emerging as a prolific artist. Baca has received a Pushcart Prize and the Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature, in addition to a National Book Award. In 2006, Baca was awarded the Cornelius P. Turner Award, which honors GED graduates who have made “outstanding contributions” in areas such as education, justice, and social welfare. He is a winner of the International Prize for his memoir, A Place to Stand. Students with whom Baca has worked will present with him.
Gareth HindsSunday, November 19, 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Gareth Hinds redacts canonical works into graphic novels, making them more accessible for all readers. His works include Beowulf, King Lear (which Booklist named one of the top 10 graphic novels for teens), The Merchant of Venice, The Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth. Hinds is a recipient of the Boston Public Library’s “Literary Lights for Children” award. His books can be found in bookstores and English classrooms across the country, and his illustrations have appeared in such diverse venues as the Society of Illustrators, the New York Historical Society, and more than a dozen published video games.
Leland MelvinFriday, November 17, 6:30 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Engineer and NASA astronaut Leland Melvin served aboard the space shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist and was named the NASA Associate Administrator for Education in October 2010. After hanging up his space boots, he was appointed head of NASA Education and served as cochair on the White House’s Federal Coordination in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Task Force, developing the nation’s 5-year STEM education plan. His commitment to education is strong, as he notes on his Facebook page, “Let’s give our future explorers a chance to do great things. It all starts with literacy and helping our kids develop a love for books and reading.”
Jacqueline WoodsonSaturday, November 18, 9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Bestselling author of more than two dozen award-winning books for readers of all ages, Jacqueline Woodson’s most recent novel, Another Brooklyn, was a New York Times bestseller and a National Book Award finalist. In it, she illuminates the formative time when childhood gives way to adulthood and renders a powerful, indelible, and fleeting friendship that unites four young lives. Woodson was named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation and is a four- time Newbery Honor winner, a four-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner.
Meal Function Speakers
Meal functions (breakfasts and luncheons) are not included in convention registration and require a ticket and additional fee. Please see the registration form for details on these events.
Award-winning author, poet, and filmmaker. One of the most well-known and beloved literary writers of his generation.
Winner of the 2017 Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children for Ghost.
Winner of the 2017 Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children for Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White.
Assistant professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder and winner of 2 prestigious CCCC awards in 2016 for her research.
Sherman AlexieFriday, November 17 12:00 PM - 1:45 PM
Award-winning author, poet, and filmmaker, Alexie has been lauded by The Boston Globe as “an important voice in American literature.” One of the most well-known and beloved literary writers of his generation, his works of fiction, including Thunder Boy Jr., The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Reservation Blues, and short story collections Ten Little Indians and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, have received numerous awards and citations. His latest book, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, is a memoir.
Angie ThomasFriday, November 17 12:00 PM - 1:45 PM
Angie Thomas is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Hate U Give. She was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was having an article about her in Right On! magazine. She holds a BFA in creative writing and can still rap if needed. The Hate U Give is her first novel.
Rick RiordanSaturday, November 18 6:30 AM - 8:45 AM
Former middle school English and history teacher, Riordan’s books and series for both young readers and adults have won numerous awards. He is author of the Percy Jackson series, the Kane Chronicles, the Magnus Chase series, and more.
Marilyn NelsonSaturday, November 18 12:30 PM - 2:15 PM
Award-winning poet and author, professor emerita of English at the University of Connecticut, and a chancellor of The Academy of American Poets, Nelson has taught poetry and contemplative practice to a wide range of students, including cadets at West Point.
Jason ReynoldsSaturday, November 18 12:30 PM - 2:15 PM
Now an acclaimed author, Reynolds was a reluctant reader until college, because the books available in his childhood didn’t reflect his world or include characters like him. His gateway to writing? Queen Latifah. His books include this year’s Charlotte Huck Award winner, Ghost, the first book in his Track series.
Melissa SweetSaturday, November 18 12:30 PM - 2:15 PM
Sweet has illustrated more than 100 books, along with various toys, puzzles, greeting cards, and games. She has also written 4 award-winning books for children. Her best advice for living life comes from one of her favorite authors and subject of her book Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White: “Be tidy. Be brave.”
Daniel José OlderSaturday, November 18 12:30 PM - 2:15 PM
Author of Shadowshaper as well as several books for adults, including the popular Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, Older also successfully petitioned to change the World Fantasy Award trophy to reflect the actual diversity of authors in the genre.
Laurie GriesSaturday, November 18 12:30 PM - 2:15 PM
Assistant professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, Gries regularly teaches courses in digital storytelling, visual rhetoric, circulation studies, and advanced composition. Her book Still Life with Rhetoric: A New Materialist Approach for Visual Rhetorics won the 2016 Advancement of Knowledge Award and the 2016 Research Impact Award issued by CCCC.
Kevin HenkesSunday, November 19 7:00 AM - 8:45 AM
Henkes is the author and illustrator of 50 critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels, including the beloved Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. His most recent mouse character, Penny, was introduced in Penny and Her Song. His 50th book, the picture book Egg, was published this year.
Franki SibbersonSunday, November 19 7:00 AM - 8:45 AM
Sibberson currently teaches fifth graders in Dublin, Ohio, though her reach extends much farther. A published book author, writer of numerous journal articles and blog posts, and grounded in almost 30 years of teaching experience, Franki has helped move thinking and leadership in English language arts forward. She has served NCTE in various capacities over her career and is active in her local affiliate, the Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts (OCTELA). She was elected NCTE Vice President in 2016 and will chair the 2018 NCTE Annual Convention.