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6pm Pacific/7pm Mountain/8pm Central/9pm Eastern

Workshops are held on The Second Tuesday of Each Month unless otherwise noted


In the Kidlit Chat Room

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Past Workshops

Logs of these on-line workshops can be found on the Transcripts Page 

15 Ways to Avoid Rejection

Advantages of Conferences 

An Agent Speaks Out

An Agent Talks

An Editor Speaks Out

Approaching Authors, Editors & Agents

Ask an Agent

Ask an Author

Ask an Editor

Behind an Editor's Door

Breaking Writer's Block

Building Believable Characters

Coping with Rejections

Cover Letters & Follow-Ups

Crafting Query Letters

Creating Exciting Non-Fiction

Creating Kid-Like Dialogue

Easy Readers

Eek! A Critique! (On-Line Crit Groups)

Effective Critque Groups

Examining Viewpoints

Finding Markets

Finding More Markets

From a Writer to an Author

Getting into Your Characters' Heads

Great Query Letters

Journey to the Imagination (StoryTelling)

Know it, Don't Blow It! (English basics)

Laundry List Query Letters

Linda Sue Park - Newbery winner Impromptu Workshop

New!Linda Sue Park Q & A

Making Christian Characters Real

New! Making the Most of Conferences

Marketing to Schools

Meet an Agent

Middle-Grade Fiction

Money, Money, Where's the Money?

More About Editors

Networking for Success

1998 SCBWI National Conference

Plotting for Success

Procrastination & Perfectionism

Punctuation Problems

Reading to Write

Rhyming Right

Revision-Your Key to Success


Self-Promotion Panel

Speak with an Editor

Storyboarding & Easy Readers

StoryTelling for Profit

Submitting Articles

Submitting & the Market

Submitting to an Agent

Talk with an Agent

Terrific School Visits

To Publish - or Not to Publish - On the Web

The Truth About Agents

Ups & Downs of a Writer

Why Writers Get Rejected

Words that Work

Working with Editors

Writing Articles

Writing Biographies

Writing Humor

Writing for Inspirational Markets

Writing Multi-Cultural Stories

Writing for Young Adults

Writing Midgrade Series

Writing Right

Writing UP, Not Down, to Kids



Who ARE these People?

... The ones who are leading the Children's Workshops?


new Next Workshop
- Q & A with Editor Megan Atwood -


Llewellyn Publishing

will take place in the #Kidlit chat room on

August 12th



New! This schedule was newly revised on July 29, 2003. Be sure to check this new schedule against your calendar so you don't miss your favorite workshops. 

All workshops in Purple are scheduled for the second Tuesday of the month. Any Workshops which are on different days are RED so that you can make a special note of them. Click on the workshop leader's name to find out more about the leader. NOTE: TBA = To Be Announced. Watch this page for updates.

New! * These workshops are now posted on the Transcripts page


Workshop Topics

Workshop Leaders

May 8

Submitting to an Agent

Barry Goldblatt *

June 12

The End - Finishing a Novel

Linda Sue Park

July 10

The Author/Agent Relationship

Toni Buzzeo & Barry Goldblatt

Oct 10

Writing Plays

Paddy Gillard-Bentley

Nov 13

Writing Multi Cultural Stories

Rukhsana Khan & Uma Krishnaswami *

Dec 11

Know It - Don't Blow it!

Leslie Carmichael *

Jan 8

Behind an Editor's Door

Julie Strauss-Gabel *

Feb 12

Successful Self-Publishing

Jim Donovan

Mar 12

Writing Free Verse

Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

Apr 16

An Author's View of Agents

Verla Kay

May 14

Millbrook Editor in Chief-special two hour workshop

Amy Shields


Making the Most of Conferences

Julie Strauss-Gabel - Dutton Editor * New!

Sept 10

New! Agent Steven Malk

Steven Malk-Writer's House *

Oct 8

New! Linda Sue Park - Newbery Winner!

Linda Sue Park * New!

Nov 12

New! Agent Jennie Dunham

Jennie Dunham

Dec 10

New! Mysteries of Self-Publishing

Miriam Hees

Feb 11

New! Agent Barry Goldblatt

Barry Goldblatt

Mar 11

New! Cultural Context in Picture Books

Uma Krishnaswami

Aug 12

New! Q & A with Llewellyn Publishing

Megan Atwood-Editor





* Topics we'd like to see soon.

If you are qualified to lead any of the topics below, you are encouraged to email Verla to discuss the possibility of becoming a workshop leader.

Brainstorming Ideas

Breaking In

Christian Markets


* Illustrating Children's Books

Hooks and Cliff-Hangers

Learning Your Craft

Non-Fiction Picture Books

No-No's and Must Do's


Setting the Scene

Show, Don't Tell

The Slush Pile and Beyond

* Time Management for Writers

Working with Packagers

Writing a Chapter Book

Writing Easy Readers

Writing Humor


  • If there are topics not listed that you would like to see covered in a future workshop, then Mailbox Send an E-mail message to Verla and put the word - TOPICS - in the subject line. All topic suggestions will be considered for future workshops.

Who are the Workshop Leaders?

New! Megan Atwood, Editor of Llewellyn Publishing

Megan Atwood says:

I graduated from the University of Iowa with an English/Anthropology degree and began looking for work in the English field. There was none. Really. Absolutely none. Finally, after a couple of years of unfulfilling and downright depressing jobs, I discovered Llewellyn Publishing. I decided I would work there, and I did.

I started four years ago as an intern in their then-subsidiary magazine called Fate. After about 3 months, I was hired on in Llewellyn's acquisitions department as the Administrative Assistant. After 5 months of that, I became their New Submissions Editor. Not long after, I saw an opportunity to begin a Young Adult/Middle Grade line of books and worked for 2 years to achieve this goal. Now, I have an amazing stable of authors and a truly fantastic line of books that is growing exponentially.

During my job search, I had begun to study the ins and outs of Middle Grade and Young Adult books, thinking I would try to write books in these genres. Quickly, I found that it was really hard. I discovered that my talent lay in working with authors to develop their work and their genius, and in brainstorming ideas that would appeal to the market. The research I did, the classes I took, the people I talked with, and the hundreds of books I read made me fall in love with the YA/MG genres. There is nothing more rewarding to me then developing an author and a project that speaks to these audiences.

Submission info for Llewellyn:

Llewellyn is always on the lookout for new or established Young Adult and Middle Grade authors. As the line grows, we may expand to the younger genres, but as it stands right now, we are only interested in ages 8 on up. We look for nonfiction and fiction books with a metaphysical, occult, or paranormal slants. Of course, the main qualification we look for is good writing.

Our very comprehensive guidelines can be found on our website at <>.They are long but worth it. Please read through those and feel free to call with any questions from the guidelines. I ask that you do not call simply to discuss your project, if we have not spoken before. I do wish I had the time to discuss projects with every author, but unfortunately I do not. The best way to grab my attention is compliance with the guidelines and an intriguing and captivating cover letter.

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New! Toni Buzzeo

Toni Buzzeo is both an author and a school library media specialist. She considers it the perfect blend of careers--if only each day had 38 hours! She is the co-author, with Jane Kurtz, of two professional books, Terrific Connections with Authors, Illustrators, and Storytellers: Real Space and Virtual Links (Libraries Unlimited 1999) and Read Novels Across America (Scholastic Professional 2001) as well as the author of two upcoming books on Teacher-Librarian collaborations. Best of all, she has recently sold her first picture book, The Sea Chest, to be illustrated by Mary GrandPre. The book, which won the 2000 Barbara Karlin Grant, will be published by Dial, fall 2002.

As a librarian, Toni is passionate about connecting kids with the authors and illustrators of the books that they read. For the past several years, she has sponsored 4-6 visits (both real space and virtual) annually at Longfellow School in Portland, Maine. She is committed to creating connections that are meaningful for bookpeople and for students and to helping authors and illustrators to get the most from the visits they make to schools and libraries.

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New! Leslie Carmichael

Leslie lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband, son, twin daughters and two colour co-ordinated cats. She has been writing since she was a little girl, but only seriously for the past few years. To date, her list of publication credits includes a short fiction article in a local community newsletter, a travel and costume article in Coztume, the newsletter of the Australian Costumers' Guild, and the creation of the Costume-Con 19 Program Book. Costume-Con is an annual international conference. She also won first prize in a short story contest eons ago at a Science Fiction convention.

She is currently working on a Young Adult Science Fiction novel, and has high hopes for a completed midgrade set in Ancient Egypt, a completed YA about a zombie, and half a dozen picture books.

She is a member of the KooKoos on-line critique group, and is a library technician (although her most recent job title is "mom"). She is also a member of the Writers' Guild of Alberta (WGA), the Imaginative Fiction Writers' Association (IFWA), and the Canadian Children's Book Centre; and is a Friend of the Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP).

Leslie says, "I think I've always been interested in Science Fiction -- the title of my very first book (written -- and illustrated!-- in Grade 3) was 'Animals in the Universe'. Children's literature is where a love of reading is born. I hope to add my name to the list of those who have inspired the next generations."


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Dawn Cloyd

Dawn started making up stories about cats and dogs when she was four and she's been writing ever since. When she was fifteen, Dawn published a poem in an anthology and had a story published after it unanimously won her high school writing competition. Since then, she's earned an AA in English. She tried writing romances, even became a member of the Romance Writers of America for a couple of years. She decided this was not the genre where she wanted to be, so Dawn began writing children stories/young adult novels. After having a rebus published in the Jan/Feb 1999 issue of Turtle Magazine, she joined SCBWI. For the past three years, Dawn has been part of a small critique group that meets weekly. She has solid grounding in point of view techniques as well as dialogue, action tags, setting on fantasy worlds, stimulus/response reactions, motivating characters, and a whole lot more. Dawn says, "Writing is truly my passion and I love helping other writers grow. I'm a firm believer in proper technique -- a writer can write a certain way to please a market but if the technique is flawed it will always be rejected. Good writing is good writing and will always be recognized by the editor." Dawn has two kids, ages two and four, a husband who probably should be lumped in the kid catagory, and a non-writing job that pays the bills.

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Paula Danziger

Paula Danziger started writing in the second grade. She grew up and taught at the junior high, high school, and college levels. Some of her wonderful books are The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, Remember Me To Harold Square, and P.S. Longer Later Letter. She is well-known for her wonderful Amber Brown books. Kids love her characters and often say they feel like real people.

Paula is the recipient of numerous honors, state library awards, and nominations, including: a Parent's Choice Award, an International Reading Association - Children's Book Council Award, an IRA-CBC Children's Choice Award, and she also received a California Young Reader Medal nomination.

Currently residing in New York City, Paula writes full time for the children she adores. She is passionate about life, loves to travel, talk, and write. She is a dynamic, energetic and marvelous speaker with the tremendous gift of sharing her love of children, books, and writing with everyone she meets.

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Dianne de Las Casas

Dianne is a professional storyteller in the New Orleans area. She is known as DIANNE and THE MAGIC SUITCASE. Her journey into storytelling began while writing stories for children. She became a volunteer storyteller at her local library, then went to a writer's conference where she met some professional tellers. She thought, "I am already doing what they're doing but they get PAID for it!" With the encouragement and support of her favorite children's librarian, her career in professional storytelling began.

Dianne now performs at schools, libraries, festivals, and special events and she also conducts workshops on the art and business of storytelling. Her motto is: "No matter how near, no matter how far . . . Stories are Magic wherever you are!"

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Melody DeLeon

Melody DeLeon has been writing since the age of 6, when she picked out her pen name, Melody Lane. She writes stories, skits and novels, all aimed toward middle grade to young adult ages. She edited a church newspaper for two years, and recently sold six skits to Group Publishing for their "OUTREACH SKITS FOR YOUTH MINISTRY". She studies the Inspirational/Christian Markets avidly and is currently writing for the newly termed "cross-over" market.

Melody is a licensed Jail Minister/Interpreter and frequently preaches at both the County Jail and the Juvenile Detention and Jail center. She heads the ministry team for the Juvenile center and knows first-hand the kinds of pressure today's teen deals with. Her writing and ministry goals are the same: to equip young people with the faith in God that will enable them to deal with today's world and to help them attain their goals.

Melody currently lives in Marshall, Texas, with her three daughters, ages 17, 15 and 12. She is actively involved in the Youth and Children's Ministry at her church.

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Jim Donovan

Jim Donovan, The Book Coach, has been recognized as a publishing authority by the prestigious Publishers Marketing Association (PMA), the leading association in independent publishing.

His articles have appeared in Writers Digest, PMA News, Small Publishers Association of North America newsletter, and numerous other writers Web sites and e-zines. He is a member of the Small Business Advocate Brain Trust and has been interviewed in Publishers Weekly as well as leading business magazines and radio & television shows.

The author of three critically acclaimed self-help books and owner of a small publishing business, Lahaska Publishing, Jim coaches aspiring authors and independent publishers to help them realize their dreams.

For more information, visit or

Jim can be reached at (215) 794-3826 or by e-mail to:

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Greg Fishbone, Esq.

Greg Fishbone is an attorney, website designer, former Chapterhouse Press publisher, and editor emeritus of Mythic Heroes magazine. What spare time he has is devoted to writing YA novels. In 1999, Greg and two co-authors were finalists in the Delacorte Press contest for first young adult novelists for the (still forthcoming) "HOW TO BECOME A SUPERHERO (IN TEN EASY STEPS!)".

Greg is a member of the OPUS email-based critique group for children's and young adult literature, for which he offers the following obligatory plug: Ask me about OPUS! We now return you to your regularly scheduled bio.

Greg lives in cyberspace, practices law in Massachusetts, and writes by laptop in coffee houses around the Boston area.

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Adrianne Fitzpatrick

Adrianne is a semi-professional singer and computer whiz, as well as a writer, editor and teacher. Her first short story was published in 1977, and she has gone on to have numerous short stories, poetry, articles and puzzles published in many magazines.

While she is writing her own YA fantasy novel, she teaches creative writing classes to students who are enjoying much publishing success. Adrianne is currently working as editor of an Australian writers' magazine.

To find out more about Adrianne (aka Abbey) and for information aimed at both writers and book collectors, visit her regularly updated, delightful website.

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Alma Fullerton

Alma lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two daughters. She's been making up stories ever since she could pick up a crayon and draw them out. Alma truly believes that if you have to ask yourself if you should be a writer, then you shouldn't be a writer. It's something you just know.

She currently spends her days running a home daycare. Her daily routine consists of juggling whiney children, housework, dirty diapers, mealtimes (she really tries not to get those last two mixed up), and her hubby while trying to find a few moments to actually write something coherent. HA! This is an impossible task to anyone but a writer.

Alma says, "I know how to get my stories requested by publishers, and get enough personal rejections to file. I've also learned something invaluable to all writers --- how to wait Ö and wait, and wait...."

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New! Paddy Gillard-Bentley

Paddy, among other things, is a writer of children‚s literature and a playwright. She has had two children‚s books published, The Twilight of Enchantment (EMG 1989), and Alexandra Meets the Octopus (EMG 1991). She also has five other children‚s books, plus, a series, The Great Adventures of Liam the Curious, where she is busy into the sixth book.

Her first play, White Noise, has produced at The Water St. Theatre for MayPlayFest 2000. It was directed by Artistic Director, Stuart Scadron-Wattles, and produced by Nicole Lee. She has been a member of Writer‚s Bloc, Theatre & Company‚s playwright‚s group, under the direction of Dramaturge, Henry Bakker, since Sept. 1999. Hunting the Penumbra, Howard and the Snake and Breathing, are plays that have all received staged readings at a professional theatre. She has written four full-length plays, two children‚s plays, adapted from her own books and five short one-act plays. Paddy is an associate member of the Playwrights Union of Canada and a member of I.C.W.P. (International Center for Women‚s Playwrights)

Paddy is also a published poet and writer of short stories. She has written a screen play, and a one-minute film to be produced in the next year. In 2000, she was nominated, in the area of literature, for the Waterloo Region Arts Awards.

She also enjoys participating in a Medieval Recreation Society, doing stained glass with husband Caz, studying medieval herbology, and hanging out with her ten year old son, Samuel.

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New! Barry Goldblatt

Barry Goldblatt began his publishing career as a lowly but energetic rights assistant at Dutton Children's Books, and proceeded to assiduously climb the corporate ladder, moving first to The Putnam & Grosset Group, then finally to Orchard Books as Rights and Contracts Director . There he sold every kind of rights imaginable (and a few that weren't imaginable) and negotiated hundreds of author/illustrator and license agreements. In September 2000, he decided it was time to switch to the other side of the desk, and so he opened his own literary agency.

Barry Goldblatt Literary Agency specializes in YA and middle grade fiction, but also handles picture book writers and illustrators. Barry prefers character driven work, and also leans towards the quirky, edgy and offbeat. He does not handle nonfiction (unless, of course, someone decides to write the YA equivalent of MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL). However, what matters most is the writing; if it's brilliantly written, he's interested.

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Stacey Granger

Stacey Granger is the mother of six wonderful children who keep her rooted in reality and give her plenty of material for both her adult and children's stories.

Born in Rochester, Michigan, the home of Madonna, she was afraid of one day wearing pointy bras and bangles and skeedaddled outta there. She now lives in Elkton, Maryland with her husband of twelve years and their six small children.

Stacey hopes to publish many children's books. At present, she has three nonfiction books in publication about parenting and exercising. She has sold numerous essays to Chicken Soup for the Soul, newspapers and magazines as well.

Stacey's writing interests are in science fiction and coming of age stories. She would like to write humor, but wouldn't have a clue to humor writing if it slapped her in the face.

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Judy Gregerson

Judy grew up on Long Island and after a stint in Upstate New York ended up in NYC. She worked for two newspapers, an advertising agency and a mail order company, as well as Viking Penguin Publishers. Her first book SAVE ME! A YOUNG WOMAN'S JOURNEY THROUGH SCHIZOPHRENIA TO HEALTH was published by Doubleday and Judy hopes to publish her novels for kids one day, too. While she waits for that phone call, she cares for her multitude of animals (including one rat, a rabbit, a dog, a puppy, 2 kittens, a cat and two fish who died a terrible death when the cat knocked over their bowl).

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Miriam Hees

Miriam Hees is a 4th generation Texan who has been writing for the past 8 years. She is retired after 22 years in the Network/Computer Industry. She has been married for over 20 years, has 2 teenage kids, and is now the office coordinator of a well-known Rheumatologist.

Miriam was inspired to write by her young childrens' interest in reading. To provide a "reality check" for her writing, she formed a group call "Kid Critics". These are boys and girls from different age groups (6-14) and backgrounds that read her manuscripts and answer detailed questions. They provide helpful suggestions as well as honest critiques to make her books even more "kid friendly". Her goal in writing her Middle-Grade and Young Adult Novels is to make sure children stay on the edge of their seats when reading her books.

Miriam lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Greg, and their two children, Jillian and Bradford.

She began her own publishing Co. in January of 2002 and will soon be self-publishing her 2nd novel. Her first book, "From Heaven to Earth - Angel Eyes" was published in Sept 2002. "The Adventures of Jilly and Brad - Noises in the Attic" is expected out in early Feb 2003.


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Kate Johnston

Writing and editing are Kate's life-long loves, and she tries to devote as much time as possible to those items. When asked how she became an editor, Kate said, "I had been a contributor of articles to the Keystrokes Newsletter. Late in 1997, I became the Managing Editor when the former Editor resigned and I let the publisher know that editing was my forte."

Besides editing the Keystrokes newsletter for writers on the web, <>, Kate writes poetry, articles, stories, and has a first novel currently in the rewrite stages. She is a writer, editor, wife, mother, chauffeur, laundress, and former computer programmer, but most of all, Kate is her own woman!


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Verla Kay

Verla says about herself, "Writing is the love of my life, which seems amazing to me now, since as a child I not only hated to write, but was convinced that I was the "world's worst writer." It wasn't until I was in my 40's that I finally understood that the reason I had such a hard time writing wasn't because I was a "bad" writer, it was because I was a "dedicated" writer who needed to revise over and over again before I was satisfied with what I'd written." 

Verla started writing for children in 1989, by taking a correspondence course from the Institute of Children's Literature in Connecticut. After being rejected for three and a half years, her first picture book, MOVING ON (name later changed to COVERED WAGONS, BUMPY TRAILS ,) was pulled from the slush pile by G.P. Putnam's Sons in December of 1994. Putnam then purchased (at a rate of about one per year) eight more historical picture books in rhyme.

Verla's books have gotten starred reviews from such prestegious places as Kirkus Reviews, Publisher's Weekly, and School Library Journal. GOLD FEVER was on San Francisco library system's "recommended reading list" and was named by Bank Street College of Education as one of the "Best Books of the Year." IRON HORSES was named to the Children's Book Council's Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2000 list, and it was also named a Society of School Librarians' International Honor Book in 1999. COVERED WAGONS, BUMPY TRAILS was recommended by the Missouri Reading Circle for Primary Grades 1-4. TATTERED SAILS was named to the Children's Book Council's Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2002 list, and has been named a Children's Best Book by Child Magazine.


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New! Rukhsana Khan

RUKHSANA KHAN has sold five books. Her first two are "Bedtime Ba-a-a-lk" with Stoddart Kids and "The Roses in My Carpets" published jointly by Stoddart Kids in Canada and Holiday House in the United States.

"The Roses in My Carpets" has received an honorary Janusz Korczak Award from the Polish Section of the International Board of Books for Young People (IBBY.) The cultural attache of the Canadian embassy has been invited to accept this award for Rukhsana at a special awards ceremony in Warsaw, Poland on November 23rd! The other winners of this award were from Russia, Sweden, Austria, and Indonesia.

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New! Uma Krishnaswami

UMA KRISHNASWAMI is the author of three folktale collections for children (THE BROKEN TUSK, SHOWER OF GOLD, and STORIES OF THE FLOOD) two emergent readers (YOGA CLASS, and HELLO FLOWER from Lee & Low), and a picture book (CHACHAJI'S CUP from Children's Book Press). She has two more picture books in press with FSG and Scholastic respectively, and a middle grade novel due out in 2004 from FSG. Her short stories have been published in middle grade and YA multi-author anthologies from HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, and in Highlights and Cricket group magazines.

Visit Uma's webpage at


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Kathryn Lay

Kathryn Lay has been hooked on writing since her first contest win in 2nd grade with "The Giraphant" and her next contest win in her Sr. Year. Since then, she has entered many contests, placing in 87 times, most with cash awards. She has also judged contests throughout Texas and Oklahoma in many genres.

Kathryn loves writing in all areas, both fiction and nonfiction, for children and adults, religious and fantasy. She has had 400 short stories and articles published in Woman's Day, Woman's World, Guideposts, Writer's Digest, The Writer, Home Life, Straight, U.S. Kids, and lots more. Her essays have and will appear in CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE MOTHER'S SOUL, STORIES FOR THE FAMILY'S HEART, STORIES FOR THE MOM'S HEART, CHOCOLATE FOR A WOMAN'S BLESSING, 1996 AND 1997 editions of THE WRITER'S HANDBOOK. Her short story, "The Healing Truth" is included in children's author Bruce Coville's anthology, A GLORY OF UNICORNS by Scholastic Press.

She lives near Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and daughter and can be reached at


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Pat McCarthy

Pat tells us about herself:

"I've been writing for publication for about 12 years. In 1987, three years before I was due to retire from teaching elementary school, I decided I wanted to sell my writing and photography after I retired. So I began taking classes and workshops in both.

I retired in June of 1990 and have been writing, among other things, ever since. I have sold stories, articles, puzzles, quizzes, and photos to a variety of magazines, many of them for children. My work has appeared in Highlights for Children, Cricket, Children's Digest, On the Line, R-A-D-A-R, Pockets, and other magazines.

A couple of years ago, I decided to write a biography of Annie Oakley for kids. She grew up in the county where I live, and there is a great deal of information available. I know her grand-niece, and she was upset that there were no good factual biographies of Annie written for children. Most are very inaccurate. So I decided to write one.

I did all the research, then wrote a few chapters. I wasted almost a year waiting for Dutton to reply, after they had asked to see the first three chapters. Then I decided I was not sending out one query at a time. I sent out five queries, and received an answer from Enslow Publishers. The editor said they already had someone working on an Annie book, but I should call her if I was interested in other topics. I finally got up nerve enough to call, and the rest is history. My first book, Daniel Boone:Pioneer Legend, will be out on November 1. The second, Thomas Paine, will probably be out about a year later.

I'm a regular writer for a local monthly magazine, The Darke County Profile, and I still write for both children's and adult magazines. In my spare time, I volunteer at the Darke County Parks Nature Education Center. I work as receptionist several days a month, and also co-manage the gift shop there. I belong to two photo clubs, a writers' club, a birders club, and the parks' volunteer organization. I love traveling, camping, birding, wildlife, puzzles, reading, crafts, doing photo albums, and playing on the Internet."

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Steven Malk

Steven Malk grew up around children's books. His grandmother, Sylvia Klugman, opened one of the first children's bookstores in the world in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1952. His parents own the White Rabbit <> which stocks over 35,000 children's books and has locations in La Jolla and Costa Mesa. Malk worked at the White Rabbit for six years, and developed the knowledge and instincts that he still relies on today.

In 1998, Malk opened a West Coast office for the New York-based Writers House, one of the largest Agencies in the country. Some of the authors and illustrators Malk represents include Jon Scieszka, Cynthia Rylant, Franny Billingsley, Elise Primavera, Marla Frazee, Margie Palatini, Lisa Wheeler, and Janie Bynum.

In addition, Writers House also represents betselling and award-winning authors such as Sharon Creech, Robin McKinley, Cynthia Voigt, Dav Pilkey, Laurie Halse Anderson, Paula Danziger, Ann Martin, and James Howe.

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Gail Martini

A graduate of the University of Washington in English, Gail Martini has been a middle school teacher for the last 32 years. A year and a half before her recent retirement, she suddenly got the idea for a children's story, and a friend recommended she write it. But teachers have little time to write amongst all the papers and planning, so only recently has she begun to write in earnest.

Teaching grammar, mechanics, and writing to 14 year olds prepared her well for her own writing efforts. You learn nothing so well as when you must break it down into its parts and spoon feed it to adolescents. Gail loves the language as only an English teacher can. Remember your English teacher in junior high? Maybe it was Gail.

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Linda Sue Park  

Linda Sue Park is the author of four novels for young people, including A SINGLE SHARD (2002 Newbery Award winner) and WHEN MY NAME WAS KEOKO. Five picture books are forthcoming, and she has also published poems, short stories and essays for the adult market.

Linda Sue worked at various writing jobs for many years, including public relations work, food journalism and freelance editing. Since childhood, however, her first love has always been children's literature. You can learn more about her and her work at her website:



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Alice Pope

I've been editor of Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market (CWIM) for more than five years. I'm also Senior Editor of the market books department of Writer's Digest Books. In addition to editing CWIM, I also assist on acquisitions and development of our trade books dealing with writing for children. I'm also the assistant regional advisor for the Ohio SCBWI (The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.)

I attend a lot of writers conferences and at each one I'm asked at least half a dozen times if I write outside of my job. I don't, but children's books have always been something I've been passionate about and I feel like I fell into the perfect job for me. When I'm preparing to interview an author, I may spend a week sitting at my desk studying her picture books or reading her novels. I can't imagine getting paid for anything better.

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Jenny Reed

NOTE: "Whatie" is Jenny's chat room nickname.

Whatie's real name is Jenny Reed. Born and raised in the exotic wilderness of Northern Virginia, near DC, she grew up dodging wild politicians and learned to avoid barbed speeches early in life. Miraculously, she survived her dangerous surroundings, and somehow managed to become a decent human being, despite the odds.

She proudly owns a beautiful four-bedroom, three-bathroom home on one spectacular acre of land, where she lives with her spouse and a menagerie of animals. She achieved the amazing feat of becoming a genuine EDITOR, but gave it up, and now writes full-time. She aspires to motherhood, a farm on lots of acreage, more animals, an orchard, and fame as a brilliant writer.


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Pamela Ross

Pamela Ross has been writing and reading forever. She has vivid, happy memories of reading HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN =to= her father at the doctor's office when she was 3 years old-- and knew she was going to grow up to write stories one day. In fact, Pamela made her first manuscript submission, SUSAN'S TRIP TO MARS, to HIGHLIGHTS when she was 6 years old. She wishes her mother had kept that lovely rejection letter. The kind editor invited Pamela to send more of her "charming stories" when she was a wee bit older. Little did she know then the value of a personal rejection! (She prefers acceptances, of course, but a personal rejection is the Next Best Thing.)

Pamela grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from New York University with an Honors English degree. She was lucky enough to work part-time at VIKING PENGUIN while still attending college. She began her genuinely fascinating-but-brief publishing career at Viking Penguin's reception desk. Working the front desk was ideal: she knew everyone in the company and volunteered her services wherever AND whenever needed. She went on to floating among all the departments and learned all she could about the publishing business. Eventually, Pamela was asked to be the slush reader for Viking's Senior Editorial. She is proud to announce she was the first person to work on a computer-- an Apple IIe-- at Viking. A highlight of her job was speaking to famous writers and agents on the phone and bringing home lots of free books. She fondly recalls serving tea to playwright Arthur Miller and thinking she had Made It to Heaven.

After graduating from NYU in 1983, she was offered a full-time position with Viking in their Special Sales department while continuing to read and review manuscripts for Senior Editorial. Pamela moved on to working for PUTNUM BERKLEY in Berkley Book's Operations department. She learned a great deal about the business end of publishing, although she also read and reviewed manuscripts for the Editorial Department. Pamela was young, making no money, and still living at home. Something was not right. Just as she was about to become an Editorial Assistant at Berkley, Pamela decided to return to school and pursue a law school degree.

As a non-practicing attorney, Pamela is now a full-time mother and children's book writer. Her first two books, THE CHINOOK PEOPLE and THE PUEBLO INDIANS, were published in January 1999 by Capstone Press, an educational publisher. She has been published in the children's writer magazine ONCE UPON A TIME. She also is a freelancer for the greeting card industry. Pamela has two lovely young daughters-- Mom's fan club-- and is married to her biggest fan and best friend, her husband, an attorney. (Yes, they met in law school.)

Pamela writes picture books and middle grade novels and is at her happiest when making her keyboard talk. She is forever lamenting her decision to leave publishing but is grateful for her many exciting and biblioholic hours spent Behind Publishers' Doors.

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Linda R. Rymill

Linda, author of GOOD KNIGHT, illustrated by G. Brian Karas, loves picture books. "Not all, mind you," she says, "but those with a fresh voice, an emotional tug--or a strong character. I love tight prose or verse--and hate tongue entanglement!" Some of her recent favorites are BARNYARD SONG by Greene, EDWINA THE EMU by Knowles, and RAISING DRAGONS by Nolan. "I read them over and over, and always aloud. The illustrations are fun too," she says.

Lindy likes intriguing words and phrases, worn out shoes (not her own), rocks for thinkin' on, twigs to poke with, blossoms and weeds, and creating interesting compositions from items of overlooked value. She and her husband own a sailboat shop, Avon Sailboats, in Rochester, MI. She also serves as the Michigan Regional Advisor for SCBWI.


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Katrina Schmitz

Katrina is an (almost) 35 -year -old mother of seven. Her kids range in age from almost 2 to 14. The oldest five were adopted. She is a homeschooler and a freelance writer.

Her first stories and articles were published when she was 17. She's continued to write since then, although sometimes more part-time than others. Katrina has somewhere over 60 sales, primarily in the Christian market. She wrote book reviews and some features for Christian Retailing for nearly a decade, reviews for Charisma, and fillers for Virtue. She writes devotionals for teens for a denominational publication every quarter and has written for Homeschooling Today, Adoptive Families, The Upper Room, Standard, Live, Teen Power, Freeway, Seek, Purpose, HiCall, Vista, Woman's Touch, In Touch, Power Station, Living With Children, and Real Time.

Katrina writes both nonfiction and fiction and has done interviews for a few different publications. Her favorite was with Elizabeth Yates, author of many children's books, but most notably Amos Fortune, Free Man. That is for Homeschooling Today, and will appear this spring. She writes a lot of humorous how-to's for teens, and some serious as well as fun fiction for children and teens, and occasionally adults. She's also done quite a bit of devotional writing for various publications.

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Amy Shields

Amy started her career just out of college at a little bookclub called Firefly owned by Scholastic. She went from there to Simon and Schuster where she helped to start Little Simon imprint. Moved to L.A., and after a brief stint at Disney working on character anthologies became literary agent/packager working with such forgettable luminaries as Morgan Fairchild and Gary Busey. 15 minutes of fame selling autobiography of Patti Davis (Reagan's daughter). Moved back to NY to become Editorial Director of Walker and Company Books for Young Readers. Took a few years off to become a mother, divorce the husband, buy and fix up a house in her hometown, and then get back to work, now as Editor-in-Chief of The Millbrook Press/21st Century Books.

Submission guidelines. We are not currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts. HOWEVER, if any of the authors and illustrators participating in our forum wish to submit appropriate manuscripts/artwork we would be happy to take a look. They should be sent to Kristen Vibbert, Editorial Assistant, at The Millbrook Press. People should mention the forum/chat so manuscript doesn't get sent back unread. Picture book manuscripts may be sent in full, anything longer please send synopsis and first few chapters. All to be accompanied by sase. What's appropriate? Millbrook publishes to the curriculum - a broad definition but one which carries implicit parameters. For example, we do not publish fiction unless it can be considered supplementary reading to curriculum studies.


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Linda Joy Singleton

Linda began writing as a child, filling notebooks with stories about a cat named Taben and girl-sleuth mysteries. It wasn't until she had children of her own that she learned about marketing, critique groups and how to become a professional writer. She writes almost daily and attends writing conferences whenever possible. A frequent speaker, she LOVES to speak about writing -- to both kids and adults.

Among Linda Joy Singleton's 20 published books are two series by Avon Camelot -- MY SISTER THE GHOST and CHEER SQUAD. Her most recent book is THE TALKING SNOWMAN, a self-produced Judy Bolton mystery, co-written with author Margaret Sutton, the author of the original Judy Bolton series. Linda lives near Sacramento, CA, on three acres with her supportive husband, David, and their two great teenagers, Melissa and Andy. She loves sunshine, cats, old-fashioned series books, camping, swimming and walking.

Find out more about Linda Joy Singleton by visiting her website.

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Linda S. Smith

I have no idea how to write Bios...I am terrible about writing them.

Basically, I have eight kids (6 boys, 2 girls..ages three to seventeen) and still have a few hairs left...still have a husband, thank God. I have a lovely Golden Retreiver. I've got twelve articles and poems accepted or published (I never get the danged magazine copies so I never know if they have actually been in print or not...I just like cashing the checks) I have four books that have JUST been accepted by Harper have that posted, of course. I can write a sentence thirty times and still think it needs to be written a thirty-first time. I've played the piano and violin since I was three, but no longer have a violin or piano to play. I graduated from college with a chemistry degree, but never liked chemistry. I just got good grades and the state of Michigan sent me to school for free because I was a woman who could pull A's in that course. I LOVE favorites are Eugene Fields, Tennyson and Dorothy Parker. Beautiful words make me cry. Clever ones make me thank God the author was born in the first place. I burn a candle for Anne Frank before I start writing a new story. Oh, gosh, and did I tell you I'm a little nuts? I have dirty fingernails too...I think writers should have dirty fingernails. Or something a little dirty about them...maybe behind the ears. I don't have a lot of money but my house is clean, and if my dog is fed and I have hotdogs in the fridge, ice cream in the freezer and a candy bar stashed just for ME..hey, I'm happy. Oh, and I've never met a writer I didn't like.

SPECIAL NOTE: Linda died in 2000 after a valiant but unsuccessful fight with cancer. She never got to see any of her books in print, but the world is so lucky to have them! They are some of the most special books you will ever read. To see what Linda wrote, and when they are being published, go to the Getting Started Page of this website.

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Julie Strauss-Gabel

New! Julie Strauss-Gabel is an Editor at Dutton Children's Books, an imprint of Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. Dutton publishes picture books and fiction, as well as selected nonfiction. The list includes WINNIE THE POOH, Paul Zelinsky, Elisa Kleven, Lloyd Alexander, and Eva Ibbotson.

Before joining Dutton, Julie was at Clarion Books for almost five years where she worked with authors and illustrators including Karen English, Carol Matas, Howard Fine, Eileen Christelow, Linda Sue Park, and Javaka Steptoe.

Julie works on a variety of projects, including picture books and contemporary young adult / middle grade fiction. She is especially interested in finding new voices in fiction and enjoys both tender and irreverent picture book manuscripts with tight, lyrical writing. Humor is a plus for any submission. She is not as interested in chapter books or historical fiction.

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Anastasia Suen

Anastasia Suen is the author of 16 children's books, including MAN ON THE MOON (Viking) an American booksellers Pick of the List, BABY BORN (Lee & Low), a Reach Out and Read Selection, and WINDOW MUSIC (Viking), A Book of the Month Club Selection.

A credentialed teacher and poet-in-residence, she presents poetry programs in schools, bookstores and libraries. As a textbook consultant, she has selected poetry for phonics and mathematics textbooks series. She is currently writing basals for a reading textbook series and speaking at schools, bookstores, conferences, book festivals and universities.

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Jessica Swaim  

Jessica Swaim is a former librarian who has been writing seriously (while trying to maintain a sense of humor) for nearly 20 years. After selling some magazine pieces in the '80s, she turned her attention to writing mid grade novels and experienced absolutely no sales for 14 years, until she sold a picture book last December. During the long dry spell, she learned all she ever wanted to know about battling frustration!

(Special Note: Verla had the thrill of getting to see Jessica's fantastic new picture book, NATE AT NIGHT, that is being released in 2000. It's destined to be a classic. Be sure to look for it in your bookstore this spring!)

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Janis Waldrop (Field)

Janis has been a freelance writer for over ten years. She began with newspapers after graduating with a Journalism degree, but discovered that newspaper work drained all the fun from her life. So she moved on to writing for magazines -- mainly about families, kids or crafts.

Her mother encouraged her for years to become a children's writer. Finally she listened. This year Janis will have 8 picture books coming out to accompany the "It's Me" toy line by the Family Company. She also just sold a poem to LadyBug. (Her first poetry sale -- Shazam!).

Janis also writes interactive stories for the site produced by the Family Company. Because she makes her living writing, she has become creative at finding new ways to market words.

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Karma Wilson

Karma Wilson is a mother of three, wife and a cheerfully struggling writer. She spends her time avoiding dust bunnies, ignoring piles of dishes, kissing boo boos, and trying to think of a perfect rhymes for fourteen syllable words. She writes mainly secular and religious picture books, with a peppering of children's verse and young adult novels.

At present Karma has had a short story published by Skillsbank Software Co. (a division of the Learning Co.). Her work has also appeared in various ezines for children and adults. She has, however, accumulated enough letters starting with the phrase, "We regret to inform you...." to make her a virtual expert on rejection. Hence her interest in teaching a workshop on how to cope with rejections.

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Kim Marie Wood

Kim Marie Wood is a parent of two teens, educator and full-time freelance writer living in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She is the education columnist for Family Software Magazine and the online issues columnist for Parenting Today's Teen. Kim has been widely published in the regional parenting market in the past six months. Her syndicated equine childrens' mini-page, Young Rider Roundup, appears in several regional equine publications in the U.S. and Canada. "Horsepower: The Power of Horses," an equine activity book for children, will be published this spring by Syncopated Press.

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Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

Tracie Vaughn Zimmer has taught students of nearly every age and ability in her ten years as a public school teacher. Currently, she is an adjunct instructor at Tidewater Community College in Hampton Roads, Virginia. She attended Ohio State University where she majored in special education, and received her master's degree in reading from Miami University of Ohio. In 1995, she was awarded the Teacher's Excellence Award from her peers at the middle school where she taught.

Clarion books will release her first book in 2004, Across the Back Fence: Neighborhood Poems. A book which straddles poetry collection and novel, it tells the story in free verse of a family in the midst of big changes through the eyes of 12 year old Anne Marie. While narrative in scope, each poem can tell a story divorced from the others.

In the meantime, a poem from that collection is featured in Ralph Fletcher's popular series of books on writing: Poetry Matters: How to Write a Poem from the Inside Out, March 2002.

Visit her website for more information.

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