Judy Allen Dodson
Storyteller: Judy Allen Dodson
Judy Allen Dodson is a librarian, archivist, and children’s book author. The winner of the 2016 SCBWI On-the-Verge Emerging Voices Award and a recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Grant, she’s a member of SCBWI, the regional co-ambassador for the Authors Guild, and a former member of the Coretta Scott King Archives and History Committee. Through her lens of an authentic and experienced voice, Judy’s purpose is to teach young children about Black history through the stories of unsung heroes. Her passion is to give Black children books where they see characters that look like them and know that they too can aspire to be great. “The best part about writing for young people is that I get to take them on journeys that will positively impact their lives forever. From history to the fantastical, we’ll explore new adventurous worlds together.” Her recent book, Escape From Hurricane Katrina (Little Bee Book, July 2021), is a 2021 Junior Library Guild selection. She lives in Raleigh, NC, with her family.
On writing for children:
“I want Black children to see themselves in books and know that they too can aspire to be great. I also want children from all cultures to see Black people living and being in everyday situations so that they know that we are human and that our lives matter. It’s important for me as an author, librarian, and historian to reach children and teach them at an earlier age to respect differences as a positive, not a negative, whether that be someone’s race, religion, gender, disability, etc.”
What was the most valuable or memorable experience of AMPLIFY for you?:
What I gained from my Amplify experience was immeasurable and priceless. I am honored to have participated in such a profound initiative between the collaboration of The Brown Bookshelf and The Highlights Foundation that focused on the full career of Black storytellers. I relished in the marketing workshops the most. I learned creative ways and tactics to give my book the jump it needs to create buzz surrounding it even before it goes on sale. Honestly, what will stick with me forever and what I found to be the most valuable aspect of the marketing session was that marketing and promotion is not about my one book, but it’s about my brand.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
ARTHUR ASHE JR.