Jan Cheripko workshop

Hi everyone,

Jan Cheripko and I go back a number of years. We met when I first began publishing with Boyds Mills Press and he was my editor on WILD COUNTRY, one of my personal favorite collections of poetry.

In addition to being a smart editor, Jan is a respected author as well as a teacher and former journalist. You may know of his books for young people: IMITATE THE TIGER; SUN, MOON, STARS, RAIN; RAT; BROTHER BARTHOLOMEW AND THE APPLE GROVE; and others. Here’s a link for more information about Jan. https://secureapps.libraries.psu.edu/PACFTB/bios/biography.cfm?AuthorID=77

Yesterday Jan told me about a Highlights workshop he has agreed to do and I thought it was something that many of you might find of interest. Without further ado I’ve printed the note from Jan below.

Kent Brown and I were having breakfast the other day and we got talking about my workshop, “Breathing Life Into Minor Characters and Transitional Scenes.” I think, and Kent agrees, that this is a topic that a lot of authors are interested in, and we’d like to make it available. But to be honest, outside of my wife and daughter, very few people know just how wonderful I am. (Of course, on any given day, my wonderfulnesss isn’t so apparent to them, either.)

I haven’t had a book published in several years, because I’ve been spending my time teaching. I haven’t yet made it to be an answer to an author question on Jeopardy (Jerry Spinelli has, by the way.) But I do know this topic, and I do know how to teach it. So Kent suggested that we make this a pilot workshop. The Highlights Foundation has some grants available to any writers who are at any stage in working on a novel and who would like to focus on understanding and developing either minor characters or transitional scenes. It’s a three-day workshop, April 6-9, and the complementary openings include lodging at the cabins and great food. The workshop will be a combination of discussion, centering on studying both classical and contemporary literature; one-on-one mentoring looking at a conferee’s work in progress; and time to write. If you know of anyone interested, tell them to contact Jo Lloyd at 877-512-8365 or visit the Highlights Foundation Website at http://www.highlightsfoundation.org. Or, if they wanted to know more about it, they can email me at jancher@ptd.net or call me at 570-253-0473

For the record, I’ve heard Jan speak about writing as well as a variety of other subjects. He has a standing quip about things being “adequate.” But that doesn’t apply to Jan. He’s quite good. If this workshop sounds like something you’d like to try, you won’t regret it.

Conference coming up

David giving brief remarks

Hi everyone,

One week from today I’ll have the pleasure of presenting the general assembly keynote address at Missouri DESE’s Annual Conference on the Young Years and I look forward to it. Following the one-hour talk I’ll do a breakout session for an hour and a half so this event has required quite a bit of preparation. But I’m ready, or close enough that I can finish tweaking in the next few days.
After that I’m off for a while so it will be nice to settle back into my routine. I’m working on poetry chapters for a couple of books and look forward to digging into some of the other projects that have been back burnered lately.

I also need to get back into my poetry workshop this fall in Honesdale and see where we are on enrollment. If you plan to come to that and haven’t registered yet, let me know so I can count noses.

For this morning it’s pleasant to sit here visiting with you and drinking coffee. I wish everyone a good day.


Sylvia Vardell’s newest book

Poetry Aloud Here 2Sylvia Vardell

Hi everyone,
Congratulations to Sylvia Vardell for her newest title, POETRY ALOUD HERE 2.
This is a comprehensive, user-friendly roundup of what is what and who is who in children’s poetry and follows her original POETRY ALOUD HERE published in 2006. Chapters include “Why Make Poetry a Priority?”, “Which Poets Are Popular?”, “What Poetry Do Children Enjoy?”, “How Do You Promote Poetry?”, “How Do You Present Poetry to Children?”, and “What Happens after You Share the Poem?”

My copy arrived a few days ago and the wait was certainly worth it. Sylvia is a professor at Texas Woman’s University in the School of Library and Information Studies, where she teaches graduate courses in children’s and young adult literature. She is recognized as one our leading authorities on children’s poets and poetry and I’m grateful to see her latest book in print.

Many of you also know her through her partnership with Janet Wong that has produced a growing number of poetry anthologies for the classroom under their imprint, Pomelo Books, including Poetry Friday Anthology (K-5), Poetry Friday Anthology, and Poetry Friday for Middle School. The dynamic duo also collaborated on PoetryTagTime (K-5), P*TAG (for teens), and Gift Tag (holiday poems for K-8).

If you don’t follow Sylvia’s wonderful blog, start today! It’s a professional must. Today she talks about her new book so I urge you to read and enjoy what she has to say. http://poetryforchildren.blogspot.com/

Way to go, Sylvia! And thank you!

ANNOUNCEMENT: Here’s part of a note from Christopher Boucher, Managing Editor of POST ROAD. This might be of interest to my west coast friends.
“Dear Issue 26 Contributors,
I’m writing, first, to thank you again for allowing us to showcase your work in Issue 26 of Post Road. I hope that you’re pleased with the issue – we certainly are; the consensus here is that it’s one of the strongest issues that we’ve ever produced. We’ll be featuring PR26 at this year’s AWP Conference, which begins on Thursday at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. If you’re attending AWP, please stop by our table (J10) and say hello.


Post Road #26

Hi everyone,

When I opened my mail yesterday, I was delighted to find my contributor’s copies of POST ROAD, winter issue #26, which runs 296 pages. POST ROAD is published by Boston College and attracts quite a readership. Here’s something from the site description.
“Post Road is an American literary magazine founded in 1999 that publishes fiction, nonfiction, criticism, poetry, art, and theatre. In addition to these traditional genres, the magazine also features a “Recommendations” section in which established writers suggest their favorite work and an “Etcetera” section which presents literary curiosities such as letters, reprints, and interviews. Post Road is published biannually by the Department of English at Boston College. Many prominent writers have had work published in Post Road, including Rick Moody, Tom Perrotta, Edith Pearlman, Olena Kalytiak Davis, Maile Chapman, Barry Gifford, Michael Lowenthal, and Jonathan Ames. Other established writers, for example Robert Pinsky and Annie Proulx, have contributed recommendation pieces to the magazine. In 2008, the Boston Globe identified Post Road as one of the top ten literary journals in New England because it “publishes a great mix of high-quality writing while maintaining its cutting-edge voice.”

This issue includes poems by former U.S. Poets Laureate Billy Collins and Robert Pinsky along with numerous contributions in fiction, nonfiction, criticizm, poetry, theatre, recommendations, and guest folio.

My own contribution is in the recommendations section and is titled, “Q&A Reflections.” The subject is the work of E. B. White. My thanks to my editor, Daniel Cattolica and Managing Editor Christopher Boucher. I’m glad to appear in this fine magazine.