photo credit Sakeenah Graves

Short bio

Autumn Allen is an educator and author of the historical young adult novel ALL YOU HAVE TO DO (Kokila/Penguin, 2023). Her picture books, STEP ON BOARD: SCULPTING A MEMORIAL TO HARRIET TUBMAN, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, and ANSWERED PRAYERS, are forthcoming from Knopf. Autumn is a senior editor at Barefoot Books and a lecturer in children’s literature at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Autumn grew up in Boston and lives in Massachusetts with her family.

Long bio

Autumn Allen writes books for children and teens, and wears many other hats in the world of children’s literature. She is a senior editor at Barefoot Books, a small, independent publisher of children’s books in Massachusetts, where she acquires and develops picture books and board books. As an educator, she leads literature circles and writing workshops for children and teens outside of traditional school settings, and is on the faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Kweli, Grub Street, and the Highlights Foundation. As a consultant, she offers sensitivity reads, creates educator’s guides, and gives workshops on using diverse books to discuss race and social justice with young people.

Autumn was the Writer in Residence selected by the Associates of the Boston Public Library in 2020-21, a Highlights Foundation Muslim Storytellers’ Fellow from 2021-23, and a Kweli alum since 2017. Her debut young adult novel, All You Have to Do, earned three starred reviews, was a People Magazine must-read for fall 2023, and a Kirkus Reviews most anticipated book for fall 2023. ​Her picture books, Step On Board, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, and Answered Prayers, will be published by Knopf.

Autumn holds an MA-MFA in children’s literature and writing for children from Simmons University, a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she studied cultural psychology, and a BA in literature from Yale. In her scholarship and in her practice as an author, editor, educator, and consultant, she is interested in young people’s literature as a tool of cultural transmission and as a site of cultural transformation.

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photo credit Jannah Graves