Brittany J. Thurman
Storyteller: Brittany J. Thurman
Brittany J. Thurman is the author of picture books and middle- grade novels. Her debut picture book, FLY, publishes March 2022 (Caitlyn Dlouhy Books). She is a former children’s specialist, having read hundreds of stories to thousands of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers across Pittsburgh. Her focus remains on representation and early literacy, ensuring children’s literature truthfully reflects the world in which we live. She has spoken and presented at numerous conferences, including The Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Children’s Literature, Western PA’s SCBWI Conference, and the 13th Annual IBBY Regional Conference.
On writing for children:
“Our children are waiting for us. The memory I think about the most during my time at a library is when a nine-year-old would repeatedly ask me if my book was finished. When I let her know it wasn’t ready yet, she told me she would wait. From one Black girl to another, I think she saw a reflection in me. I write for Black kids to know they are deserving of books with them conquering their dreams. I write for the patron who let me know she would wait for my books. I write for her to know her dreams of becoming an author are indeed feasible.”
What was the most valuable or memorable experience of AMPLIFY for you?
I am constantly thinking back to the opening session. Vanessa Brantley-Newton not only spoke to us, she spoke over our shared dream to create. This is the fuel I have used since that moment. It is what I keep in my mind and continue to guide me on this expansive journey. So much was valuable to me during Amplify. The overall experience has helped push me out of my comfort zone and seek what I deserve.
“I write for Black kids to know they are more than deserving of every single dream. Our children are waiting for us.”