Autumn is an educator, a writer, an editor and a reviewer of books for children and young adults, and an independent scholar of children’s literature. She edits picture books and board books as a senior editor at Barefoot Books, and teaches children's literature at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Autumn holds an MA-MFA in children’s literature and writing for children from Simmons, a master‘s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she studied cultural psychology, and a B.A. in literature from Yale. Her graduate studies and her practice as an educator in community settings inform her interest in children’s literature as a tool of cultural transmission and as a potential site of cultural transformation.
More About Me
I wear many hats, and most of them involve two of my favorite things: young people and books! I have worked with children and families in the Boston area for over ten years, homeschooling my own children and coordinating and teaching classes, coops, mentorships, book groups and more in various communities.
Early on in my journey as a parent and educator, I found that sharing many “classics” of children’s literature with my children caused setbacks in their developing sense of confidence and cultural identity. I realized that the written word is every bit as powerful as images in transmitting values, beliefs, standards and norms. I learned that reading would be an essential part of how my children would learn who they are and who they can become. This sparked my interest in studying children’s literature at a deeper level, and in writing for young people.
I still teach and homeschool, but now I also work in the wider world of children’s literature as well. Explore the rest of my site for more information about my work.
Autumn Allen writes books for children and teens, and wears many other hats in the world of children’s literature. As an educator, she leads literature circles and writing workshops for children and teens outside of traditional school settings, and teaches children's literature at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 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. She also reviews books for publications like Kirkus Reviews.
Autumn was the 2020-21 Writer in Residence selected by the Associates of the Boston Public Library, where she worked on her young adult novel, All You Have to Do, which also won a 2020 Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award. All You Have to Do will be released by Kokila, an imprint of Penguin Random House, on August 29, 2023. Her picture books,Step On Board, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, and Answered Prayers, will be published by Knopf.
In 2021, Autumn was selected for the Highlights Foundation's Muslim Storytellers' Fellowship along with 15 other creatives. Autumn’s work on writing, children’s books, and parenting has appeared on the We Need Diverse Books blog, Embrace Race, and the Calling Caldecott blog. Autumn holds master's degrees in education, children's literature, and writing for children from Harvard and Simmons Universities.