Day 5: Sharee Miller

Our Day 5 honoree is a both an illustrator and author,  known for her fresh and cheerful characters. Sharee loves creating picture books, graphic novels, and illustrations that depict black joy. We are proud to feature Sharee Miller as part of this year’s 28 Days Later Celebration.

SHAREE MILLER  is the bestselling illustrator and author of Curlfriends: New in Town. She is best known for her acclaimed picture book Don’t Touch My Hair. Her other picturebooks include Princess Hair, and Michelle’s Garden: How the First Lady planted seeds of Change. Sharee is currently working on illustrations for the graphic novel adaptation of One Crazy Summer(2025) by Rita Willams-Garcia, the second book in the Curlfriends series, and Be Black Girl Be (June 2024) by debut author Taylor Darks.

Publication Journey:

I always knew I wanted to tell stories. Even before I could write I would dictate stories to my mom to write for me. I would make comics that I shared with my friends in school. When it came time to go to college, I studied illustration at Pratt Institute. There I had the opportunity to learn from Pat Cummings who introduced me to great organizations like SCBWI and the Society of Illustrators. When I graduated, I got a job in fashion but continued to go to publishing events and workshops. I was able to get my first agent through an SCBWI professional event in 2017. Through them, I got my first traditional publishing job creating illustrations for the Shai and Emmie series. While working on that I switched to my current agent Monica Odom who saw promise in my written work as well. We were able to sell Princess Hair and Don’t Touch My Hair to Little Brown in a two-book deal. Since then, I have both illustrated and written and illustrated many books. It is such a blessing to be able to share my stories with the world.

The Backstory:

This was my first time creating a longer-form story since I’ve only published picture books. Curlfriends: New in Town was a dream project for me. It is the first installment in my graphic novel series that tells the story of 4 black girls becoming friends. Each book will center around one of the four friends giving you that girl’s unique perspective. I loved those types of stories growing up, but I was always disappointed there was only one black girl and she was always portrayed the same way. I wanted to show you could still have a diverse group of all-black friends. The first book follows Charlie who has a foolproof plan for the first day at her new middle school. Even though she’s used to starting over as the new kid—thanks to her military family’s constant moving—making friends has never been easy for her. But this time, her first impression needs to last, since this is where her family plans to settle for good.

Positive impact or benefit of being an Amplify Cohort member:

Amplify played a huge role in helping me grow professionally. Through the connections I made I was able to get a speaking agent! I also learned about grants, workshop teaching opportunities, and book events I didn’t know about.  I also love being a part of such a warm and supportive community. I am so happy every time I run into someone from my cohort at an event or online. We support each other in our careers and life.

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