Past Authors

Every year, Authors in Chelsea endeavors to bring in authors that are engaging for both children and educators alike. Over the years, a wide variety of writers have been invited to Chelsea, including award-winning authors Jennifer Holm, Kenneth Oppel, Gary Schmidt, Nancy Shaw, and many others! Scroll through this page to view each year’s authors.

Learn even more about the history of Authors in Chelsea by clicking through this presentation from 2015:

2016 Authors

Dan Yaccarino

Dan Yaccarino is the author and illustrator of the beloved children’s books Doug UnpluggedDoug Unplugs on the Farm, and many others. His bold illustration style can also be seen in children’s television shows such as The Backyardigans and Oswald. Discover all of Dan’s projects on his blog. North Creek Elementary School students read several of Dan’s picture books and learned how he fulfilled his dream of becoming a writer through presentations filled with illustration and animation.

Ruth McNally Barshaw

Ruth McNally Barshaw and written and illustration six novels for the Ellie McDoodle Diaries series and is now creating picture books. She and her husband travel widely, teaching writing and story-creation workshops to kids and teachers. Barshaw is a life-long writer and artist, and lives in Lansing, Michigan, with her family. Her program for 3rd-5th graders at South Meadows combined humor and drawing for a look at how the important of journaling and how it can benefit young writers. Visit Ruth’s website here.

William Durbin

William Durbin lives at the edge of Minnesota’s Boundary Water Canoe Area. Much of his historical fiction is closely based on journals, letters, diaries, and original period documents. His books are about high adventures, and include The Broken BladeSong of Sampo Lake, and Blackwater Ben. Beach Middle School sixth graders met William and read The Broken Blade, about a young voyageur who joins the North West Company to take the place of his injured father. On William’s website, teachers and parents will find a huge list of resources for students wishing to dive into the facts behind his historical fiction books.

2015 Authors

Nancy Shaw

Nancy is a local author from Ann Arbor who knows what kids like: Laugh-out-loud animal rhymes! She created the infectious characters of Sheep in a Jeep fame during a long road trip with her family, composing goofy rhymes to entertain her children. North Creek Elementary School students read this and several other rhyming stories, including Sheep on a Ship and Raccoon Tune, and learned about find writing inspiration in ther everyday lives. Nancy’s books have been selected for honors such as Parents magazine Best Kids’ Books of the Year, School Library Journal Best Books of the Year, and the Horn Book Fanfare distinction. Learn more about Nancy by visiting her website.

Johnathan Rand

Johnathan has written more than 75 books and has visited over 1500 schools and libraries in the US, Canada, and Europe. His book series include the incredibly popular Michigan Chillers, American Chillers, and Freddie Fernortner, Fearless First Grader. When not traveling, Rand lives in northern Michigan with his wife and three dogs. His funny, engaging speaking style has earned him the position as one of the most sought-after school speakers in the country. Johnathan Rand’s message is simple: Reading and writin are the keys that will unlcok success in every aspect of life for everyone! Johnathan will visited South Meadows Elementary School. Visit the American Chillers website for more information about Johnathan Rand.

Gary Schmidt

Gary takes writing very seriously, so much so that he actually uses a typewriter to create all of his novels. He is a professor English at Calvin Colelge in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received both a Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor for Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy and a Newbery Honor fo The Wednesday Wars. He lives with his family on a 150-year-old farm in Alto, Michigan, where he splits wood, plants gardens, writes, and feeds the wild cats that drop by. Gary visited Beach Middle School. Learn more about Gary and his books by visiting his website.

2014 Authors

Jennifer L. Holm

Sue Stauffacher

David Lubar

2013 Authors

Dori Hillestad

Tim Smith

Kenneth Opal

2012 Authors

John Nickle

Tony Abbott

Jim Ottaviani

2011 Authors

Gail Carson

Jerzy Drozd

Johanna Hurwitz

2010 Authors

Gijsbert van Fankenhuyzen

Kate Klise

Paul O. Zelinsky