Writer in Residence

Writer in Residence

Looking for publishing advice? Frustrated staring at a blank page? The Writer in Residence program brings local authors to the Library to consult with writers of any age, experience, or genre.

This program, generously funded by the Arizona State Library, is a favorite among local writers. To date, the Library has hosted seven Writers in Residence. Each has brought their own special talents to the program to help people with all aspects of the writing process.

Jennifer J. Stewart is our Writer in Residence for Summer 2020.

See our event calendar for upcoming Writer in Residence events!

About Jennifer J. Stewart

Award-winning author Jennifer J. Stewart is known for her seriously funny books for children. Her debut novel, concerning a hot-headed, time-traveling, princess-chasing dragon named Madam Yang, is a favorite among schoolchildren. If That Breathes Fire, We’re Toast! was named to VOYA’s Best Fantasy list and the Oklahoma master list. She followed up her initial success with a tale of a rich orphan and a greedy stepmother in The Girl Who Has Everything, which Kirkus Reviews called “both amusing and engaging... fluffy and fun, with just the right touch of message.”

Her latest novel, Close Encounters of a Third-World Kind, is loosely based upon her family’s real life adventures working as medical volunteers in the kingdom of Nepal. Jennifer tended patients in village hospitals and taught health education classes to women and children. She also trekked to Annapurna Base Camp and rode a runaway elephant. This book was nominated for Arizona's Grand Canyon Reader Award, Connecticut's Nutmeg Book Award, and Maryland's Black-Eyed Susan Award.

Jennifer's first picture book is The Twelve Days of Christmas in Arizona. New York Times bestselling artist Lynne Avril did the illustrations (and the sketch of Jennifer, too!). The book received the Glyph Award. Jennifer also writes educational nonfiction as "J. J. Stewart."

Jennifer was born in East Patchogue, New York, to a librarian mother and a physicist father. When she was four years old, her family moved to Tucson, Arizona, where she grew up and attended Whitmore Elementary, Townsend Junior High, and Catalina High. She received an honors degree in English from Wellesley College, followed by an M.B.A. from the University of Utah. For a while she wore suits and pantyhose, but then she found out that writing for children is a lot more fun.

When Jennifer is not writing, or speaking in schools or at writing conferences, she volunteers with the non-profit organization, Make Way for Books. Its mission is to give all children the chance to read and succeed. She is honored to be a founding board member.

Jennifer makes her home in Tucson with her physician husband. They volunteer as Flying Samaritans together. They have three daughters. Sadly, Hissy Fit, her Madagascar hissing cockroach has passed away.

Visit Jennifer on the Web at www.jenniferjstewart.com.


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Read the Latest

Words @ Play: So You Wanna Be a Picture Book Writer?

"Learn the drama of the page turn. Tell a story that tugs at your heart." - Jennifer J. Stewart on writing children's books.


Past Writers in Residence

Margaret Regan

Margaret Regan is the author of the award-winning book, The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona Borderlands, a 2010 Southwest Book of the Year and a Common Read for the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. An editor and writer at the Tucson Weekly, Regan has won many regional and national prizes for her immigration reporting, including the 2013 Al Filipov Peace and Justice Award.

In her latest book, Detained and Deported: Stories of Immigrant Families Under Fire, Regan draws on years of reporting in the Arizona-Mexico borderlands. Regan demonstrates how increasingly draconian detention and deportation policies have broadened police powers, while enriching a private prison industry whose profits are derived from human suffering. She also documents the rise of resistance, profiling activists and young immigrant "Dreamers" who are fighting for the rights of the undocumented.

J.M. Hayes
Alice Hatcher
Logan Phillips
Susan Cummins Miller
Marge Pellegrino
Lili DeBarbieri
Adrienne Celt
Janni Lee Simner

The Writer in Residence Program is made possible by the Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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