About Us

Founded by Rosanne Kurstedt, Ph.D., an educator and children’s book author, The Author Experience married two of her passions—education and children’s books. The idea for The Author Experience evolved when a confluence of events occurred. 

  • Rosanne was working with schools in East Harlem. 
  • Rosanne was working with authors to plan author visits.
  • A high schooler told Rosanne that he was really impacted by an author visit when he was in elementary school.

Rosanne wanted the students she worked with to reap the benefits of author visits too. She shared the idea with teachers and administrators in the schools in which she worked. They were super excited, but thought , why only do it for our school? This would be great for so many kids. And The Author Experience was born. 

When conceptualizing The Author Experience Rosanne leaned on her knowledge of literacy development. Research continually demonstrates the importance of the home-school connection, sharing stories, and book ownership in the development of children’s literacy skills. Rosanne made it a point to include those aspects within The Author Experience. Research also notes the importance of tradition. The 6 year partnership was established to support schools in their efforts to create a community of readers and writers and a school culture that celebrates sharing stories and the written word.

TAE partners with schools that have at least 80% of their student population receiving free or reduced lunch. Partnership for schools is free but Title 1 funding can be used to support the partnership.

Mission/Key Principles


The Author Experience is an organization committed to the transformative power of sharing stories. In collaboration with students, families and educators, we provide sustainable literacy-based experiences that build a culture of literacy—one that elevates connections and delivers lasting impact.
We do this by:
  1. connecting students with authors,
  2. supporting book ownership,
  3. sharing the power of stories, and
  4. engaging the entire school community (students, educators, staff, and families)..

  • Everyone has a story to tell.
  • Sharing stories promotes connection and engagement.
  • Engaging the entire school community (students, educators, staff, and families) is essential.
  • All children deserve access to quality books.
TAE partners with schools that have at least 80% of their student population receiving free or reduced lunch. Partnership for schools is free but Title 1 funding can be used to support the partnership.

Our Team - Board Members

Founder and President

Rosanne has been an educator for over 20 years —first as a classroom teacher in NYC and then as a staff developer. She moved to Hong Kong with her family where she helped start an international school. After returning to the United States, she received her Doctorate from Fordham University in Language, Literacy, and Learning. She currently is an Adjunct Professor at Hunter College, writes for educational publishing companies, is the Associate Director of READ East Harlem, and writes children's books.

Vice President

Jackie brings nearly two decades of advertising sales and marketing experience across global consumer and b2b brands. Most recently as the GM, Revenue & Client Partnerships at Ad Age, she was responsible for leading the sales and client activations teams across its portfolio of print, digital, custom and experimental offerings. Prior to her joining Ad Age in 2012, Jackie held positions at Time Inc. as both Eastern ad director of Sunset magazine and as a senior sales executive at Entertainment Weekly. She has also served as publisher of Bauer Media's Teen Group (J-14, M and Twist) and began her career on the launch marketing team of Hearst Corp.'s Lifetime magazine.

Formerly, Ms. Ramsey was a professional actress and holds a degree in fine arts from the University of Michigan. She currently resides in Manhattan with her husband and daughter and spends much of her time working on the upcoming launch of a health brand of which she is a co-founder.


Julie Segal Walters is a children’s book writer and the author of This is Not a Normal Animal Book. Before becoming a writer, Julie was the president and founder of Civic Action Strategies, a grassroots organizing and democracy development consulting firm. She worked in Kosovo, where she directed citizen engagement programs for U.S.. Julie is a lawyer and former Congressional lobbyist for civil rights and civil liberties. She is fluent in Spanish, has appeared as a commentator on Court TV, C-Span, NPR, and Univision, and taught courses at American University in lobbying and public policy advocacy. She is deeply committed to fostering literacy and social justice, and can usually be found advocating for her many favorite children’s books to anyone who will listen.

Board Member

Dr. Jennifer Tuten is Associate Professor, Literacy Education, at Hunter College--The City University of New York. For five years she served as Chair, Department of Curriculum and Teaching, one of the largest departments in the college. In addition she was appointed Acting Dean for The School of Education, 2015-2016. Currently she directs READ East Harlem/Hunter College, a collaborative, grant-funded professional development project uniting university literacy faculty with K-2 teachers and school leaders to support literacy teaching and learning. She teaches courses in literacy development and assessment, children’s literature and family/community partnerships. Her scholarship is practitioner-focused, closely aligned with the challenges and opportunities facing teachers as they strive to meet the needs of diverse literacy learners in urban schools. She has authored several books such as Teaching and learning in the (dis)comfort zone: A guide for new teachers and literacy coaches and the forthcoming Crossing literacy bridges: Collaborating with families of struggling readers. Prior to coming to Hunter College School of Education, she taught elementary and middle school in New York City, Hoboken, NJ, and London, UK.

Our Team - Participating Authors

Why Sharing Stories Matters