About the Author
EMMA WALTON HAMILTON is an author, editor, arts educator and arts and literacy advocate. She has co-authored sixteen children’s books with her mother, Julie Andrews, including the DUMPY THE DUMP TRUCK series of picture books, board books and Early Readers (illustrated by her father, Tony Walton), the original fable SIMEON’S GIFT, the medieval novel DRAGON: HOUND OF HONOR and the recent best-sellers THE GREAT AMERICAN MOUSICAL and THANKS TO YOU – Wisdom from Mother and Child (#1 New York Times Bestseller). She is the Editorial Director for The Julie Andrews Collection (formerly with Harper Collins, now with Little Brown Books for Young Readers), a publishing program dedicated to quality books for young readers that nurture the imagination and celebrate a sense of wonder. Recently, Emma and her mother completed a stage adaptation of SIMEON’S GIFT, which was produced at Bay Street Theatre in the Fall of 2007, and which went on symphonic tour to venues including the Hollywood Bowl and the Atlanta Symphony during the summer of 2008.
Currently, Emma serves as the Co-Director of Stony Brook Southampton’s Annual Playwriting Conference, as well as the Executive Director of YAWP (Young American Writers Project), an inter-disciplinary writing program for middle and high school students on Long Island, both of which are sponsored by Stony Brook Southampton’s MFA Program in Writing and Literature.
A former actress, Emma worked in theater, film and television for ten years before turning her attention towards directing, producing, educating and writing. She was a faculty member at the Ensemble Studio Theater Institute, then left New York City to become one of the founders of Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, New York. She served as Bay Street Theatre’s Co-Artistic Director for thirteen years, at which point she chose to focus her energies on the Theatre’s educational and young audiences programs. Until 2008, her role there encompassed bringing theater to young people on Long Island and in New York City as Director of Education and Programming for Young Audiences. In addition to the Young Playwrights Program (the flagship of Bay Street’s educational outreach), Emma administered Bay Street’s Internship Program for serious students of technical theater and the Continuing Classes courses for adults and children in acting, singing and playwriting. She was also responsible for creating, booking and managing Kidstreet, the Theatre’s highly acclaimed, year-round variety performance series for young audiences.
In addition to writing and editing children’s books, both for the Julie Andrews Collection and independently, Emma writes articles for magazines, newspapers, e-zines and periodicals. Her latest book, RAISING BOOKWORMS: Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment, premiered as a #1 best-seller on Amazon.com in the literacy category and won a silver medal from the Living Now Book Awards in the parenting activities category. Emma travels frequently across the country, speaking to groups about the value of, and synergy between, the arts and literacy. She also enjoys doing voice-over work, and has provided voicing for radio, television and theater spots as well as industrial pieces. She has co-written lyrics for several songs, including “The Show Must Go On” recorded by Julie Andrews, and “On My Way” recorded by Laughing Pizza, and selections of her poetry will be included in the forthcoming anthology JULIE ANDREWS’ COLLECTION OF POEMS, SONGS AND LULLABIES, illustrated by James McMullan and edited by Emma (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.)
Emma is a member of the Author’s Guild, The Dramatists’ Guild, The Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators, the International Reading Association, SAG, AEA, AFTRA and ASCAP. She has served on the theater panel for the New York State Council on the Arts, as a National Ambassador for The Broadway League’s “Kids’ Night on Broadway”, and as a trustee for the Morriss Center School in Bridgehampton, NY.
She lives in Sag Harbor, NY, with her husband, producer/actor Steve Hamilton and their two children, Sam and Hope.