New virtual series features W&M alumni children’s authors

By Tami Back, W&M Libraries

W&M Libraries has partnered with the W&M Alumni Association to host virtual talks with alumni children’s authors. The new “Summer Story Time Series” features authors reading their books and answering questions from the audience.

“We are excited to provide a space where our community can come together and connect with our talented alumni authors,” said Carrie Cooper, dean of university libraries. “This is especially important at a time when we physically cannot be together.”

Anne Marie Pace
Anne Marie Pace '87 led a virtual story time on July 8 via Zoom.

The events will be held on the virtual conferencing platform, Zoom, and are free and open to the public. Participants must register online for each talk to receive the Zoom link for the event.

The first event in the series was held on July 8 and featured Anne Marie Pace ’87, who read two of her children's books Busy-Eyed Day and Sunny's Tow Truck Saves the Day. Pace is the author of the popular Vampirina Ballerina series; in 2017 Disney Junior premiered the animated series “Vampirina” based on the books. She has also written Groundhug Day, Pigloo, A Teacher for Bear and Never Ever Talk to Strangers.

Pace believes by encouraging young readers and writers, she can help develop future authors.

“My love of reading and writing began at a young age,” said Pace. “When I was 6 years old, I wrote a story, which would later become the basis for my book, Pigloo.”

After the reading, Pace answered questions from the audience including who her favorite author was when she was a kid (Beverly Cleary) and where she finds inspiration (everywhere!). She encouraged the children in the audience to embrace their ideas and share their stories with others.

“Just because you’re a kid doesn’t mean you can’t have good ideas,” she said. “Kids have good ideas all the time!”

The schedule for the series is: (all story times will be held at 1:00 p.m. EST)


Carter Higgins
Carter Higgins '00

July 30: Carter Higgins '00

Join Carter Higgins '00 for a reading of her children's book, Bikes for Sale. Higgins is the author of A Rambler Steals Home and three picture books: This is Not a Valentine, Everything You Need For a Treehouse, and Bikes for Sale. Register online.


August 4: Cece Bell ’92

Cece Bell
Cece Bell '92

Join Cece Bell '92 for a reading of her children's book, Smell my Foot. Her books include the Newbery Honor and Eisner-winning graphic novel El Deafo, the Geisel Honor-winning Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover, Rabbit & Robot and Ribbit, I Yam a Donkey, Bee-Wigged, Itty Bitty, and the Sock Monkey series. She has also created books with her husband, author Tom Angleberger, including Crankee Doodle and the Inspector Flytrap series. Register online.


August 18: Hilary Dixon ’00

Hilary Dixon
Hilary Dixon '00

Join Hilary Dixon ‘00 for a reading of her children's book, Maggie Sinclair, Will You Please Fix Your Hair?! The story, inspired by her real life experience, shows how a young girl uses her creativity and imagination to celebrate her lovely head of hair while sharing a lesson about self-love. Hilary writes about current events, upcoming projects, and more on her blog. Register online.