Nikki Shannon Smith

Nikki Shannon Smith is the author of seventeen published and forthcoming books, ranging from board books to young adult. Her work includes the AZALEAH LANE chapter book series and five titles in Capstone’s multi-author, middle grade historical fiction series, Girls Survive. Her most recent title is LENA AND THE BURNING OF GREENWOOD: A TULSA RACE MASSACRE SURVIVAL STORY. Nikki’s forthcoming titles include OUR BEAUTIFUL COLORS (Little Golden Books/Random House, 12/6/22), and the first title (LOVE IS ALL AROUND, 12/6/22) in her board book series called Brown Baby Parade (Crown Books/Random House). Her writing is informed not only by her research, but by her child-like curiosity and nearly thirty years of elementary school teaching experience. Nikki was born and raised in Oakland and now lives in Woodland, California. She is represented by Jennifer March Soloway of Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

“Nikki was amazing! I learned so much about picture book writing from her. She kept the work interesting and read mentor texts that help to connect the dots.”

“Loved Nikki elaborating on so many affirming points: no need for history clarification; reading like a writer – I would love a course on how to build this skill more; speaking to the space for non conventional storytelling… And warm gratitude.”

“Nikki’s wonderful big questions gave space for me to question my own writing and be in relationship with my own creativity. Affirming spaces are wonderful for creative abundance!”

Upcoming Workshops with Nikki Shannon Smith

Visiting Our Campus

Our campus (The Barn at Boyds Mills) is tucked away in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.  It's a few hours from both New York City and Philadelphia, but worlds away from everyday life.

Line drawing of the Barn at Boyds Mills

Our Mission in Action

Scholarships
Equity & Inclusion in Kidlit
Sustainability

The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.

For Businesses & Organizations

Fund a Scholarship
Partner with Us