Keynote Speakers: Available to Participants in the Summer Literacy Institutes

2022 Keynote Speakers

Coming soon!


2021 Keynote Speakers

Linda Rief 

July 6, 2021, 11:45am

Flash Fiction: Building on and from Tom Newkirk’s Writing Unbound

Linda Rief

Linda Rief left the classroom in June of 2019 after 40 years of teaching Language Arts with eighth graders. She misses their energy, their curiosity, and their desire to read and write. She is a national and international presenter on issues of adolescent literacy. Her newest books are The Quickwrite Handbook: 100 Mentor Texts to Jumpstart Your Students’ Thinking and Writing and Read Write Teach. 

In 2020 she received the Kent Williamson Exemplary Leader Award from the Conference on English Leadership, in recognition of outstanding leadership in the English Language Arts. A recipient of NCTE’s Edwin A. Hoey Award for Outstanding Middle School Educator in ELA, her classroom was featured in the series “Making Meaning in Literature”, produced by Maryland Public Television for Annenberg/CPB.  For three years she chaired the first Early Adolescence English/Language Arts Standards Committee of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Follow Linda on Twitter @LindaMRief. 



Vicki Vinton 

July 20, 2021, 11:15am

Humanizing the Teaching of Reading

Vicki Vinton

Vicki Vinton is a literacy consultant and writer who has worked with teachers and coaches across the country and around the world for many years. She is the co-author of What Readers Really Do: Teaching the Process of Meaning Making, The Power of Grammar: Unconventional Approaches to the Conventions of Language, and the author of Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading, all published by Heinemann. Additionally, she’s the voice behind the literacy blog To Make a Prairie (, and has taught writing at Columbia University’s Teachers College, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education and CUNY’s Queens College. 



Nawal Qarooni Casiano 

July 27, 2021, 11:30am-12:30pm

Images, Memories, Erasure: Cultivating Writing Spaces to Exalt Legacies and Nourish Us Throughout the Year

Nawal Q. Casiano

A writer and educator for 16 years, Nawal believes in the power of photographs, memories and ancestral stories. She is the proud daughter of immigrants and her role as a mother to four multiethnic, multilingual kids shapes her approach as an educator. Forever passionate about growing readers, writers and thinkers, Nawal worked as a classroom teacher, literacy coach and curriculum developer before launching NQC Literacy in 2014. She and her team support schools and districts by facilitating professional development and coaching around a holistic, balanced approach to literacy instruction: always looking through lenses of cultural-sustainability, inclusion and equity. 

Nawal earned a Bachelor of English from the University of Michigan, a Master of Teaching from Brooklyn College, and a Master of Journalism from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School. She won a New Jersey Press Association Award for her international reporting and transitioned into education as a New York City Teaching Fellow. You can find Nawal in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood or on Twitter at @NQCLiteracy.


All keynotes will be available to all participants in the 2021 Summer Literacy Institutes throughout the month of July.  Online Keynote discussions and talks will be made available online through UNH’s CANVAS learning platform.