Center for the Study of Children's Literature

About the Center

In 1977, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Simmons opened the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature (CSCL). Today, the CSCL continues its mission to support and advance the study of children’s and young adult literature through nationally recognized programs and partnerships. In addition to its Summer Institute in Children’s Literature, the CSCL hosts the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards ceremony and “The Horn Book at Simmons” colloquium that examines the winners and honor books in the contexts of publishing, education, library services, and popular culture. Recently, the CSCL hosted a Children’s Book Council seminar for publishers on socioeconomic class in young adult and children’s literature and became a founding member of Children’s Books Boston, an organization dedicated to fostering interaction and discussion among the greater Boston children’s book community. In 2014 and 2015, the CSCL holds the P.E.N. New England- Susan Bloom Discovery Award presentation to rising authors in children’s and young adult literature.

Children's Literature Summer Institute

Save the Date for the Summer 2017 Institute: (im)possible dreams
July 28-30, 2017 (more information to be posted soon)

A hallmark of the Center for the Study of Children's Literature is the Summer Institute held every other year. The intensive long weekend program offers students an opportunity to meet with authors, illustrators, editors, and others committed to the study of children's literature. Guest lecturers have included Newbery Medal winners Avi, Jack Gantos and Lois Lowry; Caldecott Medal winners David Macaulay, Jerry Pinkney, Allen Say, David Wiesner, and Paul O. Zelinsky; young adult authors M. T. Anderson, Kristin Cashore, Jo Knowles, Jacqueline Woodson; poets Marilyn Nelson,  Naomi Shihab Nye and Paul Janeczko; illustrators David Hyde Costello, Kevin Henkes, Laura Seeger Vaccaro, Wong Herbert Yee; review journal editors Vicky Smith, Deborah Stevenson, and  Roger Sutton; graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang; nonfiction creators Jason Chin, Deborah Heiligman; publishers Arthur Levine, Neal Porter, and Anita Silvey.

Past Institutes

The following is a list of past institutes held by Simmons College:

  • 2015: Homecoming
  • 2013: Love Letters
  • 2011: The Body Electric
  • 2009: Crimes and Misdemeanors
  • 2007: Food, Glorious Food
  • 2005: Let's Dance: Performative Aspects of Literature for Children and Young Adults
  • 2003: Midnight Gardens: Themes of Good and Evil in the Garden of Children's Literature
  • 2001: Brave New Worlds: Looking Towards the Future
  • 1999: Halos & Hooligans: Images of the Child at the Turn of the 21st Century
  • 1997: As Time Goes By: the Many Ways Time is Constructed, Interpreted, and Revisioned in Literature and Life
  • 1995: A Room of One's Own: Actual and Metaphorical Constructs of Creativity, Space, and Identity

Enrollment in the institute is on a non-credit basis.

About the Programs

Find out more about our graduate programs in Children's Literature: