National Book Foundation Presents Teen Press Conference

Event starts Monday, November 16 at 10:30 a.m. For the first time, the National Book Awards Teen Press Conference will be a wholly virtual experience! Co-presented with Miami Book Fair […]

National Book Foundation Presents Teen Press Conference

Authors:Jason Reynolds, Gavriel Savit, Omar Mohamed, Victoria Jamieson, Candice Iloh, Kacen Callender, Traci Chee

Event starts Monday, November 16 at 10:30 a.m.

For the first time, the National Book Awards Teen Press Conference will be a wholly virtual experience!

Co-presented with Miami Book Fair and in partnership with 92nd Street Y, this year’s event will continue a decades-long tradition, bringing the excitement of the most prestigious literary award in the country to middle and high school students in New York City and Miami-Dade County.

Students from NYC and Miami are invited to participate in this free, virtual literary event that’s curated just for them, with access to exclusive videos, digital materials, a live Q&A with authors, and more.


Sponsored by

2020 National Book Award Finalists in Young People’s Literature 

King and the Dragonflies

When Stars Are Scattered

We Are Not Free

Every Body Looking

The Way Back


Additional activities featuring this year’s National Book Award honorees that are free and open to all students include:

Online Book Clubs: Miami Book Fair will be hosting a series of online book clubs for young people, creating an opportunity for dialogue between NYC and Miami students around this year’s National Book Award honorees. Click here for more info.

Student Writing Showcase: Miami Book Fair will be sharing student writing (related to this year’s National Book Award honorees) on its official blog. Students from NYC and South Florida are invited to submit their work. Click here for more info.

Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds is an award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author. Jason’s many books include Miles Morales: Spider Man, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Correta Scott King Honor, and Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, which was a National Book Award Finalist. His latest book, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, is a collaboration with Ibram X. Kendi. Jason is the 2020-2021 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and has appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and CBS This Morning. He is on faculty at Lesley University, for the Writing for Young People MFA Program and lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at

Gavriel Savit

Gavriel Savit holds a BFA in musical theater from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he grew up. As an actor and singer, Gavriel has performed on three continents, from New York to Brussels to Tokyo. He is also the author of Anna and the Swallow Man, which the New York Times called “a splendid debut.”

Omar Mohamed

Omar Mohamed spent his childhood at the Dadaab camp, after his father was killed and he was separated from his mother in Somalia. He devoted everything to taking care of his younger brother, Hassan, and to pursuing his education. He now lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with his wife and five children, and works at a center to help resettle other refugees. He is the founder of Refugee Strong, a nonprofit organization that empowers students living in refugee camps.

Victoria Jamieson

Victoria Jamieson is the creator of the graphic novels All’s Faire in Middle School and Roller Girl, which received a Newbery Honor. She received her BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and worked as a children’s book designer before becoming a freelance illustrator. She has also worked as a portrait artist aboard a cruise ship, and has lived in Australia, Italy, and Canada. Now she lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and son.

Candice Iloh

Candice Iloh is a first-generation Nigerian-American writer, teaching artist, and youth educator. She has performed her work around the country, most notably at Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City, the Women in Poetry & Hip Hop celebration at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore (where she performed as Nikki Giovanni), and as part of the Africa in Motion performing arts series at the National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of Howard University and holds an MFA in writing from Lesley University. Her work has earned fellowships from Lambda Literary and VONA among many others. This is her first novel.

Kacen Callender

Kacen Callender is originally from Saint Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. They are the author of the young adult novel This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story and the middle grade novel Hurricane Child. Felix Love, the title character in Kacen Callender’s Felix Ever After (Balzer + Bray) has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after. When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a revenge plan. But he didn’t expect it would land him in a quasi–love triangle and a journey of questioning and self-discovery that would help redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself. In a starred review Publishers Weekly praised it as a “top-notch depiction of a messy, complicated, romantic young artist navigating the bumpy road to self-love and self-determination …”

Traci Chee

Traci Chee is a New York Times bestselling author of the YA fantasy trilogy- The Reader, The Speaker, and The Storyteller. In We Are Not Free (HMH Books for Young Readers) Traci Chee offers the collective account of a tight-knit group of young Nisei, second-generation Japanese American citizens, whose lives are irrevocably changed by the mass U.S. incarcerations of World War II. Fourteen teens who have grown up together in Japantown, San Francisco. Fourteen teens who form a community and a family, as interconnected as they are conflicted. Fourteen teens whose lives are turned upside down when over 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry are removed from their homes and forced into desolate incarceration camps. In a world that seems determined to hate them, these young Nisei must rally together as racism and injustice threaten to pull them apart. Kirkus, in a starred review, called it “A compelling and transformative story of a tragic period in American history […] Each voice is powerful, evoking raw emotions of fear, anger, resentment, uncertainty, grief, pride, and love. […] unforgettable.”

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