Selime Okuyan

Storyteller: Selime Okuyan

Selime Okuyan is a mixed media artist of Turkestanian descent who works out of her studio in New York City. Born in Turkey, she moved to the United States with her family at 9 years old. She received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts, studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Art Students League. She has exhibited, received commissions and illustration projects primarily in NY. Currently, her focus has been on translating, interpreting, and illustrating Central Asian folktales and fairytales she collected during travels and grew up listening to as a child told by her parents and other family members.

How will Muslim children see themselves in your stories?

“I hope children will feel represented in my picture book stories, illustrated fairytales, and the themes, the characters, and heroes in them will act as a mirror for their identities and experiences. I hope it will give them appreciation for their culturally and spiritually rich Muslim heritage and validation of who they are.”

Selime Okuyan

Follow Selime Okuyan:

Workshops for Writers & Illustrators

> Online
> In-Person
> On-Demand (Self-Paced Online)

New to the Highlights Foundation? Try these:

The Crash Course | The Whole Novel Workshop | Summer Camp


Need help deciding on a workshop?  Ask an ambassador!

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

Equity & Inclusion in Kidlit

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