#HFGather: Free Online Sessions


Free Online Sessions

#HFGathers are free online webinars for children’s writers, illustrators, and storytellers at any level.  We’d love for you to join us in community.  All are welcome. We also hold occasional online Ask Me Anything sessions, where you can ask questions about upcoming workshops.

To get topics and dates as they become available, sign up for email notifications.

Upcoming #HFGathers

Check back soon for more Gathers!

Recordings of Past Sessions

When the COVID pandemic required everyone to stay home, we began #HFGather, a series of free online sessions to help us stay connected during that time. What we discovered is that we don’t need to be on campus to feel our community. As our #HFGather host Sarah Aronson says: “We know how to make community even when we can’t be together.”

Below are recordings from past sessions that you can browse and watch at your convenience.

2022 #HFGather Recordings

  • January 2022: The community joined us and The Brown Bookshelf in a virtual celebration of Floyd Cooper‘s life and legacy. Watch the celebration here.
  • March 2022: We celebrated our scholarship program and answered questions about the changes to it. Watch the celebration here.
  • April 2022: Poets Padma Venkatraman and Margarita Engle joined us for a Poetry Month celebration! Watch the celebration here.
  • May 2022: Author Sarah Aronson and Amy Guglielmo of Reading Rainbow Live! joined us to celebrate Children’s Book Week and Teacher Appreciation Week. Watch the celebration here.
  • June 2022: Jas Hammonds, Anna-Marie McLemore, NoNieqa Ramos and Em Dickson joined us for a PRIDE Celebration of Stories. Watch here.
  • August 2022: Highlights Foundation’s Alison Green Myers and Alex Villasante had a wonderful conversation with educator, advocate, and activist Julia Torres: Empowering Readers and Reader Choice. Watch here.
  • September 2022: Illustrators Pat Cummings, Shadra Strickland, Xindi Yan and Rudy Gutierrez joined us to talk about income streams for children’s book illustrators. Watch here.
  • November 2022: Authors Ally Malinenko, Amber McBride and Linda Epstein shared an honest and thoughtful conversation about writing about trauma and grief for kids and teens sensitively and honestly.
    Watch here.

2021 #HFGather Recordings

  • January 2021: Sarah Aronson was in conversation with George Brown about 2021 Programs and Scholarships.
    Watch it here.
  • February 2021: The Brown Bookshelf Presents Amplify Black Stories, Opening Celebration of Stories, Programs, and Commitment. Watch it here.
  • March 2021: Author/illustrator Steve Light Pen & Ink Drawing Demo. Watch it here.
  • March 2021: Author Claribel Ortega: Immersive Book Launches and Virtual Visits. Watch it here.
  • April 2021: Author illustrator Pam Cummings talked with author/illustrator Daria Peoples, our 2021 Artist of the Year. The two shared a powerful, honest discussion about art, race, mentorship and more. Watch it here.
  • May 2021: Host Sarah Aronson had a Writer Chat with author Jasmine Warga. Watch it here.
  • June 2021: The members of our Muslim Storytellers Fellowship program committee gave an overview of the program. Watch it here.
  • July 2021: The creative team from the Rise-Home Stories project joined us to discuss how stories can create impact and empowerment for kids. Watch it here.
  • August 2021: Christine French Cully, Editor in Chief/Chief Purpose Officer of Highlights, joined us to talk about the book Dear Highlights: What Adults Can Learn from 75 Years of Letters and Conversations with Kids. Watch it here.
  • September 2021: Five children’s and YA authors joined us in conversation to celebrate the start of Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month: Alex Villasante, Mia García, NoNieqa Ramos, Ismée Williams, and Hilda Eunice Burgos. They shared a wealth of resources for Latinx authors and illustrators, and ways for educators, librarians, booksellers, and other members of the Kidlit community to amplify Latinx voices during this month and throughout the year. Watch it here, or listen on our podcast.
  • November 2021: Laurie Calkhoven helped us kick off NaNoWriMo (or any creative project!) with a Monday Meditation. Watch it here.
  • December 2021: The Highlights Foundation Team visited with our community to share our highlights for 2021! Watch it here.

2020 #HFGather Recordings

Writer Chats with host Sarah Aronson

Illustrator Chats with Shadra Strickland and Pat Cummings

  • Pat Cummings with Diane Dillon, 6/19/20. Watch it here.
  • Pat Cummings with Shadra Strickland and Sarah Jung: Agents, 6/5/20. Watch it here.
  • Pat Cummings with Dan Santat and Mike Curato: Graphic Novels, 5/29/20. Watch it here.
  • Pat Cummings with art directors Cecilia Yung and Laurent Linn: The Legacy of Tomie dePaola, 5/22/20. Watch it here.
  • Shadra Strickland with guest Mike Curato, 4/10/20. Watch it here.
  • Shadra Strickland with guest Pat Cummings, 4/03/20. Watch it here.
  • Shadra Strickland with guest Kelly Light, 3/27/20. Watch it here.