Maya will be giving a keynote address and signing books at the 2024 Pop YS Con (formerly known as the Kids First Conference) on April 8-9, 2024 at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames, IA.

Maya Payne Smart is a writer, parent educator, and literacy advocate who has served on the boards of numerous library and literacy organizations. She and her family live in Milwaukee, where she serves as affiliated faculty in educational policy and leadership in the College of Education at Marquette University. Her website,, provides tips and tools for parents to nurture, teach, and advocate for kids on the road to reading.