7,000 English Teachers, Authors, and an Astronaut Gather in St. Louis Nov. 16-19 - National Council of Teachers of English

7,000 English Teachers, Authors, and an Astronaut Gather in St. Louis Nov. 16-19


ST. LOUIS, MO (Nov. 15, 2017) – If there’s a substitute in your English class, it’s probably because your teacher is at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Convention in downtown St. Louis. A veritable who’s who of literary heroes, this gathering draws more than 7,000 educators from across the country.

“For 107 consecutive years, the NCTE Convention has created a place where teachers can recast their classrooms and recapture their agency. Teachers have always been the leaders of this event, and who ultimately benefits from this renewal, this rebuilding, this self-empowerment? Our students today, tomorrow, and forever,” said NCTE President and 2017 Convention Program Chair, Jocelyn A. Chadwick. Chadwick is also the force behind prominently involving students and classrooms from Missouri as well as across the country into many of this year’s notable sessions.

Throughout the event, there will be opportunities for teachers to meet more than 200 prominent authors of children’s and adult literature.  Featured speakers include National Book Award winner Jaqueline Woodson, Newbery Award Winner Lois Lowry, and NASA astronaut Leland Melvin. Melvin will share his inspiring life story on Friday night from 6:30 to 8:45 p.m. during a special event featuring a pop-up planetarium and space-themed fare.

The Children’s Book Awards Luncheon takes place on Saturday starting at 12:30 p.m. Dozens of authors join attendees for lunch and book signings at every table.  Last year’s winners, Jason Reynolds, Melissa Sweet, and Marilyn Nelson, will all be honored and give talks. Starting at 2 p.m., the 2018 winners will be announced in a live broadcast.

This year, there’s also special programming that brings NCTE members into conversation with the St. Louis community. Local Events include:

  • Screenings of the film Teach Us All followed by a panel discussion with educators and students from St. Louis schools and St. Louis community leaders. (Thursday, 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
  • A school visit by Brendan Kiely, co-author of All American Boys. (Thursday)
  • A Town Hall featuring local educators, students, NCTE members, and more who will offer diverse perspectives on the role of activism in schools, local government, and daily life. (Friday, 3 p.m.)
  • A Silent March and Take-a-Knee Protest to address issues that affect teachers and students both locally and nationwide. (Saturday, 4 p.m.)

“This historic event always draws the brightest minds in the country. We have rallied iconic institutions such as the Folger Shakespeare Library, the most notable authors sharing their new and upcoming works, and publishers ready to share their support for teachers and classrooms. Attendees will leave this Convention with suitcases overflowing with books for their classroom libraries, minds filled with the latest improvements in instructional practice, and strong support from NCTE and thousands of their peers,” said NCTE Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick.


The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is the nation’s most comprehensive literacy organization, supporting more than 25,000 teachers across the preK–college spectrum. On November 16-19, 2017, NCTE will hold its 107th consecutive Annual Convention in St. Louis, MO. Through the expertise of its members, NCTE has served at the forefront of every major improvement in the teaching and learning of English and the language arts since 1911.

Press Contact: Jenna Fournel, Communications Director

jfournel@ncte.org \ 703.599.5749