Hello there!

Judy Campbell-Smith is a writer, speaker and author of the picture book, AJ’s Neighborhood, illustrated by Amanda Dowell (India Street Press) publishing on March 29, 2022. Her writing has also appeared in The Witness: A Black Christian Collective and Resolute Magazine.

Judy was born in New York City, but raised in the suburbs of Chicago. The daughter of a pastor, Judy was a good student and avid reader growing up. Her favorite books from her childhood were Peter Pan and Little Women. Judy also spent her youth doing gymnastics and church activities. In high school Judy became interested in movies, animation and art which led her to attend Biola University, near Los Angeles, where she studied film. Inspired by The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and a desire to travel, Judy attended the University of Auckland in New Zealand where she received her MA in film, TV and media studies. Her expertise is the history of cinema, especially the American musical genre.

After returning to the States, Judy held jobs in preschool and elementary education, higher education and the music industry. Along the way, Judy never lost her love of books and reading, and hoped to one day write and publish a book. Finally in 2020, Judy decided to pursue her dream and wrote her first children’s book, inspired by walks in her neighborhood with her son. When she’s not writing, Judy is busy taking care of her two young children. Her husband is a youth pastor, so Judy is also very involved in her church. She also loves spending time baking, watching movies, going to the beach, and listening to music. She lives in Ontario, California with her family.