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Join award-winning children’s author Kekla Magoon and the Indiana Authors Awards for a speaking tour on August 30 and 31. This tour celebrates the author, speaker and educator and pairs her with local moderators in two Hoosier cities for conversations about her experiences as an Indiana author. The events are free. However, seating is limited, and registration is required. 

A Fort Wayne native, Magoon has written numerous books for young readers, exploring wide-ranging topics. From biographies of important civil rights figures, to novels exploring difficult themes such as gun violence and race relations, to fantasy series and historical fiction featuring memorable characters, Magoon’s children’s books have been awarded or nominated for countless honors, including the National Book Award.  

Magoon will visit South Bend on August 30 and Fort Wayne on August 31. In South Bend, she will deliver several talks to the students of Clay International Academy, a K-8 multilanguage immersion school. In the evening, she will be joined by Kathy Burnette of Brain Lair Books for a public conversation at the Louise E. Addicott and Yatish J. Joshi Performance Hall at Indiana University South Bend, held in partnership with the Civil Rights Heritage Center. 

In Fort Wayne, she will give talks at two Fort Wayne Community Schools: Kekionga Middle School and Lakeside Middle School. In the evening, she will be joined by local children’s author Dori Graham for a public conversation at the Allen County Public Library.   

The Indiana Authors Awards Tour is a statewide speaking tour, featuring a prominent Hoosier author in conversation with local writers and thought leaders. With the goals of both highlighting Indiana’s national literary status and inspiring more residents to take up the pen and write, the Indiana Authors Awards Tour brings prominent writers to a community near you.  

This tour is generously funded by Glick Philanthropies and held in partnership with the Allen County Public Library, Indiana University South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center, Clay International Academy and Fort Wayne Community Schools. 

About Kekla magoon

Kekla Magoon is the author of many novels and nonfiction books for young readers, including The Season of Styx MaloneThe Rock and the RiverHow It Went Down and Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People

She has received the Margaret A. Edwards Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the John Steptoe New Talent Award, four Coretta Scott King Honors, the Walter Award Honor, an NAACP Image Award and been a finalist for the National Book Award. 

Kekla conducts school and library visits worldwide and serves on the Writers’ Council for the National Writing Project. Kekla holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she now serves on faculty. Visit her online at


South bend: KAthy burnette

Kathy Burnette founded Brain Lair Books in the summer of 2018 after a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. She is the President of Our Stories, Our Future, Inc., a local literacy-focused nonprofit. Prior to opening the store, Kathy was a school librarian and educator for 16 years.

Kathy has served on several book committees, including The 2018 ALA Michael J Printz Committee, The 2014 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults committee, The ILF YHBA for Middle Grades, The ILF Eliot Rosewater Awards and The Kids Indies Introduce Committee. Most recently, Kathy chaired the 2023 Summer/Fall Kids Indies Introduce committee. Kathy has served on the ABA Booksellers Advisory Council, The ABC Children’s Advisory Council, the ABA nominating committee and the board of Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association (GLIBA). She was recently appointed to the board of the American Booksellers Association.

She hopes her other dream of a never-ending supply of good coffee that makes itself comes true soon. She has one child who recently graduated from Harvard Law School with honors.

Fort Wayne: Dori Graham

Dori Graham is an author, teacher and librarian in Fort Wayne, Ind., where she was born and raised. Her debut picture book, Brave Miss Muffet, which came out last September, was star-reviewed by the School Library Journal and praised by the Kirkus Review for its “charming take on the well-known nursery rhyme.” Dori has a master’s degree in Creative Writing from Hamline University and too many bookshelves for her house to hold without someday needing reinforcements.