Boston Public Library
Children's Writer-in-Residence Program

Associates of the Boston Public Library

The Children’s Writer-in-Residence program is now in its eleventh year. To read about our current author, Natalie Coward Anderson, please visit the Children's Writer-in-Residence Program page. She is preceded by ten talented authors:

Writer-in-Residence 2013-2014

Annie Hartnett of Newton, MA was the Associates of the Boston Public Library’s tenth Children’s Writer-in-Residence, for the year 2013-2014. Upon her selection, Hartnett said, “I can't tell you how much it means to have the Associates of the BPL's support behind my novel. What a magnificent opportunity! And what a wonderful world we live in that there is still strong support for working writers. I just feel so unbelievably lucky that my character's voice resonated with you all, and I can't wait to share more of her story with you.”

During her residency, Hartnett wrote write Rabbit Cake. In her novel the main characters are learning to cope with their mother’s strange and tragic death: drowning while sleepwalking. The narrator, Elvis, struggles to stay awake at night to protect her slumbering older sister—another sleepwalker— from harming herself or others. During the day, Elvis attempts to navigate fifth grade before escaping to her volunteer job at the zoo.

A 2008 graduate of Hamilton College, Hartnett holds an M.A. degree from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English, and received an MFA in Fiction from the University of Alabama in 2013. While she was at the University of Alabama, Hartnett also taught undergraduate creative writing and composition courses. Her short stories have been published in various literary magazines, including Unstuck magazine and Indiana Review.

Writer-in-Residence 2012-2013

Hollis Shore, of Lancaster, MA, was the Associates of the Boston Public Library’s ninth Children's Writer-in-Residence, for the year 2012-2013. During her residency she wrote Saved – a story about a young artist on a search for the music within. Upon her selection, Ms. Shore said, “I keep thinking of Claudia and Jamie in From The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, running away to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But this is better; this is a museum with books. I am filled with joy at the prospect of having the inestimable treasures of the Boston Public Library at my fingertips as I write and research my new novel, Saved. The Children’s Writer-in-Residence Program is unique in the support it offers emerging writers, and it is a great honor to be selected. My undying thanks go out to the Associates of the Boston Public Library for this once in a lifetime opportunity. And I promise not to hide under my desk after closing…”

Ms. Shore earned a B.A. in English at the University of Vermont and a MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults at Vermont College. Her first novel, The Curve of the World, a historical story set in a small Vermont town at the end of World War II, won a PEN/New England Discovery award.

Writer-in-Residence 2011-2012

Sarah Winifred Searle, of Danvers, Massachusetts, was the Associates' eighth Children’s Writer-in-Residence, for the year 2011-2012. Upon her selection, she, said "It would be impossible to express my gratitude and joy in receiving the fellowship. Thank you to the Associates from the bottom of my heart. I can't wait to become a part of the community at BPL this upcoming fall, and to finally have the resources to share [my] story with the world." Ms. Searle's graphic novel, Under the Apple Tree, is a ghost story. Set during World War II, a girl must solve the dark mystery that shrouds her home, while handling the trials and tribulations of adolescence during times of great change in American history. Her book is available to read online for free at Ms. Searle built her foundation in fine arts at Maine College of Art, graduated from Southern Maine Community College with a degree in New Media, and is currently studying Humanities at Harvard Extension School. She found her professional niche as a game artist – a skill that she uses to create a unique storytelling experience.

Writer-in-Residence 2010-2011

Elaine DimopoulosElaine Dimopoulos, of Arlington, Massachusetts, was the seventh Children's Writer-in-Residence Fellowship winner, for the year 2010-2011. “I am absolutely thrilled to serve as the Boston Public Library Children's Writer-in-Residence,” said Ms. Dimopoulos. “The inaugural writer-in-residence, Hannah Rodgers Barnaby, was my first writing mentor at Simmons, so I have known for years how prestigious the fellowship is. It is an honor to have been selected; I haven't stopped celebrating since I heard the news. My work-in-progress, ECO-CHIC, monopolizes my thoughts these days, and I'm so grateful to have the time, space, resources, and funds to complete it.”

Ms. Dimopoulos is a graduate of Yale, Columbia, and, most recently, Simmons College, where she earned an M.F.A. in Writing for Children. She has taught English at a New England boarding school, an all-boys school in New York City, and an all-girls school in Pennsylvania. She is currently an instructor of children's literature at Boston University. In 2008, she received an Emerging Artist Grant from the Saint Botolph Club Foundation. As a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, she writes with a Needham-based SCBWI critique group.

Writer-in-Residence 2009-2010

Kelly HourihanKelly Hourihan, of West Roxbury, Massachusetts was the Associates’ sixth Children's Writer-in-Residence Fellowship winner, for the year 2009-2010. She said, “I want to offer all the thanks in the world to the Associates for selecting me for the Children’s Writer-in-Residence program for this coming year. I honestly can’t express how much this means to me as I work towards shaping my career as a writer. Thank you, and thanks to everyone who was part of making the decision; I hope I’ll have the opportunity to thank some of the others personally as well.”

Ms. Hourihan was born and raised in Roslindale, attended Boston Latin School, followed by Harvard College, where she obtained a BA in English in 2004. She’s been trying to strike a balance between writing and “jobs that pay the rent” since then, and is thrilled to have this opportunity to spend the bulk of her time on her writing. Ms. Hourihan has also spent a good deal of time volunteering, both as a mentor to young adults and as a certified rape crisis counselor. These experiences have informed the writing of Springbound, a contemporary young adult novel focusing on the struggles of a troubled teen in an alternative high school.

Writer-in-Residence 2008-2009

Sarah Hamburg, of Somerville, Massachusetts was the fifth Children's Writer-in-Residence Fellowship winner for the year 2008-2009. Upon hearing the news she said, “Thank you so much! I must admit that I am overwhelmed-- and honored-- to have been selected. I am deeply grateful to the Associates for this tremendous opportunity.” Ms. Hamburg was born in a farmhouse in rural Vermont, and her family moved to Boston when she was ten years old. She has been trying to balance her dual love of the city and the wilderness ever since. Sarah graduated from Hampshire College with a BA in Literature and Creative Writing, and received an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College. After completing her undergraduate degree, she spent six months hiking the Appalachian Trail, and later did volunteer work with a crew on the Long Trail in Vermont. Sarah lived for a time in Boulder, Colorado, and returned to the Boston area in 2004. She has spent the last ten years working with children.

Ms. Hamburg’s book, A River Outside, is a middle-grade novel set in the Alaskan wilderness. The story follows Jonah, a quiet and thoughtful twelve year old whose life is closely attached to the rhythms and routines of his natural environment. When his grandparents invite him to stay in the city, Jonah must evaluate the life he has always taken for granted.

Writer-in-Residence 2007-2008

Sheryl DePaolo, of Newton, Massachusetts was the Associates’ fourth Children's Writer-in-Residence Fellowship winner for the year 2007-2008. After graduating from The Hartford Art School with a BFA in Ceramics, Ms. DePaolo moved to Los Angeles where she worked for nearly a decade in film and television as a costumer. She returned to the East Coast and earned an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College. In her own words, Ms. DePaolo is “very grateful for the opportunity that the BPL has given me.” Ms. DePaolo’s book Child Star, is a young adult novel about Sofia, a 14-year-old, who returns to her small Connecticut town after a brief career in a TV sitcom. Sofia must now readjust to small town life, her friends and her school after a brush with the fast-paced lifestyle of Hollywood. Through Child Star, Ms. DePaolo is excited about sharing some of her Hollywood experiences with a young adult audience. She presently works at The Children's Bookshop in Brookline Village.

Writer-in-Residence 2006-2007

Anna Staniszewski, of Brighton, Massachusetts was the third recipient of the Associates’ Children’s Writer-in-Residence fellowship. Born in Poland and raised in the United States, Ms. Staniszewski grew up enjoying stories in both languages. After receiving a B.F.A. in Theater from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY, she was a Polish tutor in a first grade classroom and worked at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. She earned an M.A. in Children’s Literature, as well as an M.F.A. in Writing for Children from Simmons College in Boston, MA. Her novel, The Last Story, is about a girl who resides in a closed island community separated from the rest of civilization. The novel explores the way history can change over time and how a society that relies on an oral tradition and maintains strong taboos shapes its own story.

UPDATE: Ms. Staniszewski’s debut novel, My Very UnFairy Tale Life, was published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in November 2011. This launched a trilogy and was followed by My Epic Fairy Tale Fail (published in March 2013) and My Sort of Fairy Tale Ending (Nov 5, 2013). During 2014 Ms. Staniszewski plans to publish The Dirt Diary and its sequel, The Prank List.


Writer-in-Residence 2005-2006

Jane LeGrow of Sandwich, Massachusetts was the second winner of the Children's Writer in Residence fellowship for 2005-2006. Upon Hearing the news, LeGrow said, “I was very excited and pleased to have been selected by the Associates for this honor. The novel I’m working on is a work of historical fiction set in a women's craft cooperative in Dublin at the turn of the twentieth century.”


Writer-in-Residence 2004-2005

Hannah (Rodgers) Barnaby of Brighton, Massachusetts was the Associates of the Boston Public Library’s first Children's Writer-in-Residence fellowship. Ms. Barnaby spent October 1, 2004 through June 1, 2005 writing a novel that was originally titled Gideon and Portia, about a young girl who leaves a work camp for teenagers to follow a traveling carnival. While traveling across the United States with the carnival, the girl, Portia, and her mysterious friend Gideon meet and befriend other performers. Acquaintance with such marginalized and talented people prompts Portia to question the manner in which one society rejects those that don't conform, only to cause them to be accepted by others in similar circumstances.

UPDATE: the manuscript that Ms. Barnaby wrote during her residency was published in March 2012, by Mifflin Books for Children, with an updated title:Wonder Show.

For further information about the Children's Writer-in-Residence Program, program recipients, or about the Associates of the Boston Public Library, please contact the Associates’ Office at 617.536.3886 or

Associates of the Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116