The Opening Page: A CLNE Colloquy

First Colloquy, May 8-11, 2008
May 8-11, 2008
The Inn at Essex, Essex Junction, Vermont

In May, 2008, Children’s Literature New England, Inc., held a new venture in a new setting.

At THE OPENING PAGE, a half-week colloquy, speakers and participants convened to consider opening pages from the points of view of reader and writer. How is the author’s invitation extended, and to what destination does the invitation imply? The opening page refers to the opening lines or pages of a book, but the phrase can also refer to the opening of a chapter or the introduction of a character, or even suggest the threshold crossed when the child or adult reader enters the text.

For four days in May, CLNE considered these questions in the light of the solitary and communal welcome that the opening pages of a book can offer. Time for rest, conversation, reflection, and walking extended the investigations begun in plenary lectures and in optional small discussion groups.


M. T. Anderson is the winner of the National Book Award for The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation; Volume One: The Pox Party. Among his other titles is the National Book Award finalist, Feed.

Susan Cooper won the Newbery Medal for The Grey King, the fourth novel in the Dark is Rising sequence. Her most recent novel is Victory.

Sarah Ellis is a Vancouver writer and recovering librarian. Her novel Odd Man Out won the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. She teaches writing for Vermont College and her latest book is Days of Toil and Tears: The Child Labour Diary of Flora Rutherford.

Janice Harrington received the 2005 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award on the publication of Going North, and she is the author of The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar Country.

Arthur A. Levine is the founding editor of Arthur A. Levine Books, now celebrating its tenth anniversary. His authors include Kevin Crossley-Holland, Roddy Doyle, J. K. Rowling, Jonah Winter, and Lisa Yee.

Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia and more recently, Bread and Roses, Too, is the 2006 winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

Pam Muñoz Ryan, the 2007 Author Recipient of the National Education Association’s Human and Civil Rights Award, is the author of over thirty books for young people including Esperanza Rising, When Marian Sang, and her most recent novel, Paint the Wind.

Brian O. Selznick is the author and illustrator of many books for children including The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which was named one of the New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year and was a finalist for the National Book Award.