Gillian King-Cargile

Writer. Podcaster. Professional Science Appreciator.

Fueled by creativity, curiosity, and sugar-free energy drinks.

Gillian King-Cargile is passionate about creating books, digital media, events, and experiences that help people learn more about the world around them. She has a B.A. in Film Production and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Southern Illinois University.

Gillian is the author of several stories for adults and children. Her short fiction has appeared in McSweeney’s, Carve Magazine, River Styx, Every Day Fiction, HelloHorror and other publications. Her picture book series (The Toy and the TwisterThe Toy and the Tide Pool, and The Toy and the Test Drive) was published by NIU Press. Gillian is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Horror Writers Association.

As the founder and long-time director of Northern Illinois University’s STEM Read, Gillian used popular fiction books as a gateway to exploring science, technology, engineering, and math. Her program created virtual games, educator resources, author and expert videos, summer camps, and day-long, live-action events that helped ravenous and reluctant readers experience learning in a whole new way. Her innovative programs with authors like Andy Weir, M.T. Anderson, Andrea Beaty, Daniel H. Wilson, Kiersten White, Kate Hannigan, Lex Thomas, and others entertained and inspired thousands of learners each year.

In partnership with Northern Illinois University’s Founders Memorial Library, Gillian created and hosts the Future Telling: Science + Fiction webinar series. The series brings scientists and science fiction authors together to introduce writers to bleeding-edge concepts, to invigorate STEM experts with mind-bending views of the future, and to celebrate the connections between STEM and storytelling.

As a communications coordinator at Argonne National Laboratory, Gillian helps communicate amazing discoveries and pivotal science that will transform our lives.

In everything that she does, Gillian seeks to use humor and creativity to kindle a love of reading and learning.

Her latest book, Vaccines Change the World, will be published by Albert Whitman & Company on October 27, 2022.

What I do…


Science Communication

Event Planning

Professional Development


Digital Media Creation


Horror Genre Research and Scholarship

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