How to use America Writes for Kids

Hi everyone,

I’ve been meaning to give you a little tour around American Writes for Kids, the website that grew from an earlier idea developed by Sandy Asher and me called Missouri Writes for Kids. We wanted to make it easier for those in search of children’s authors and poets to find them in one place. With help from the Springfield-Greene County Library District and sponsorship from Drury University, Sandy and I identified all of the known Missouri children’s writers who had published at least one trade book that could reasonably be expected to be found in public libraries. We took our show on the road by presenting at conferences and doing a regular TV show in Springfield on KOLR10.

From there the idea grew to a second, much more ambitious site called America Writes for Kids. Same basic idea expanded to include all the states. Over the years since we began, this site has grown to include hundreds of children’s authors and poets from virtually every state and has become a major resource for teachers, librarians, parents, and students.

We screen quite carefully when someone asks to be included on the site. There are many good authros who write for various adult genres as well as for young readers and some of their sites include material meant for adults. We stick strictly with sites that are for children’s books only.

So if you haven’t visited America Writes for Kids, here is how to get there. http://usawrites4kids.drury.edu/

I hope you will take a few minutes to move around the site. Across the top you’ll find several categories, including AUTHORS, BLOG, WRITERS AT WORK, MEMBERSHIP, LINKS, AND PLAYWRIGHTS. Sandy is one of America’s foremost children’s playwrights so she created this additional resource for which she is wonderfully qualified to do.

Click on AUTHORS and you see a map of the United States. Click on any state and you see children’s authors and poets located in that state. You can also use the alphabet bar to find your favorite writers that way. Easy? You bet.

You may already be familiar with BLOG, which reposts many of my Featured Guests, and WRITERS AT WORK, which reposts each month of chats about writing between Sandy and me.

Sandy’s son Ben Asher is our webmaster and the one who makes this all possible. Thanks, as always, to Ben. I asked Sandy to add her thoughts and suggestions so here’s what she has to say. Sandy?

Hi everyone. Take time to explore the three “Links” sections on the America Writes for Kids, Missouri Writes for Kids, and USA Plays for Kids pages. You’ll find useful resources related to children’s literature and to theater for young audiences.

Stop by the “Membership” area as well. If you have at least one published trade book or play and a website dedicated to work for young people and would like to be considered for a link, get in touch with Sandy Asher at sasher@drury.edu . She’ll need your URL and current state of residence. There’s no charge for links to authors’ established personal sites. If you don’t have a webpage, the Membership section will also tell you about inexpensive pages available from America Writes for Kids.

Last but not least, a brief commercial: Please note the Amazon.com buttons. Clicking through to Amazon from the America Writes for Kids pages to buy anything from books to CDs to microwave ovens helps to support the site without costing you a penny. Thanks, David. Back to you.

And there you have it.

David