Visiting Authors and Experts

BEST brings authors, experts and students together. Authors and experts visit Summit to share their work and the creative process involved in being an author or artist with students.

If you have any ideas for Visiting Authors and Experts, or have contacts of authors/experts the committee would love to hear from you. Please contact Stephanie Austin and Laura Bachrach at

2016-2017 Upcoming Authors & Experts

Musette Young, Horsehair Workshop ~ TBD, November 2016 with 4th Grade

Colorado ceramic artist, Musette Young, will facilitate a horsehair workshop with Fourth Grade. Musette studied ceramics at the Rhode Island School of Design and has established production and fine art pottery studios in Colorado and Arizona.  In addition to exhibiting her work, Musette teaches a series of popular workshops throughout the United States.

Chris Gail ~ Friday, April 28, 2017

For 25 years, award-winning illustrator Chris Gall has been creating artwork for clients all over the world.  In addition, he has authored and illustrated a dazzling array of books for children, including the Dinotrux series which has over half a million copies in print, and has spawned a Dreamworks produced, Netlfix television series.

Stephan Pastis ~ TBD, October 2016

Stephan Pastis is a former lawyer turned children’s book writer, who’s book “Timmy Failure” became an instant New York Times Bestseller. “Mistakes Were Made” was quickly followed by three other installments in the popular middle grade series.  Critics have praised the author for appealing to young readers with his knack for comic timing and the interplay of cartoon, text, and elements of the absurd in his storytelling.

Jack Gantos ~ TBD

Jack Gantos has written books for readers of all ages, from picture books and middle-grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults. His works include Hole in My Life, a memoir that won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert honors; Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book, and Dead End in Norvelt, the 2012 Newbery Award Winner, and the Scott O’Dell Award Winner for Best Historic Fiction. Jack continued to write children’s books and began to teach courses in children’s book writing and children’s literature. He developed the master’s degree program in children’s book writing at Emerson College and the Vermont College M.F.A. program for children’s book writers.

Polly Shulman ~ TBD

Skype Visit with Marta Gomez, Latin Grammy Award Winner from Colombia.

2015-2016 Authors & Artists

  • Margaret Peterson Haddix – January 2016 (3rd – 6th grade)
  • Gordan Korman – February 2016 (K-8th grade)
  • Middle School Professional Career Day – March 2016 (6th – 8th grade)
  • Dom Moio – March 2016 (4th, 5th and Band)
  • Marta Gomez – March 2016 (Skype with 4th and 6th grade)
  • Arizona Opera – April 2016 (Preschool – 8th grade)
  • Childsplay Theater – May 2016 (Preschool – 8th grade)

2014-2015 Authors & Artists

  • Amy Fellner-Dominy – October 2014
  • Musette Young (Ceramics) – November 2014
  • Chris Grabenstein – January 2015 *Skype
  • Molly Idle- April 2015
  • Monica Brown- April/May 2015

2013-2014 Visiting Authors & Artists

  • Adam Rex – September 2013
  • David M. Schwartz – November 2013
  • Phoenix Symphony (Woodwinds Quintet) – January 2014
  • Musette Young (Ceramics) – November 2013
  • Susan Castriola – January 2014
  • Julie Fischer – April 2014
  • Cinco de Moio – May 2014

2012-2013 Visiting Authors & Artists

  • Kawambe-Omowale (African Drum and Dance) – September 2012
  • Musette Young (Ceramics) – November 2012
  • Ralph Fletcher (Parent Workshop) – November 2012
  • Ralph Fletcher (Student Presentations) – November 2012
  • Ralph Fletcher (Teacher Workshop) – November 2012
  • Celso Machado (Brazilian Musician) – March 2013