Word of the Month word for March

Hi everyone,

In case you missed it yesterday, I announced the new word challenge for March. It’s TRACKS. For the last few weeks I’ve seen plenty of tracks along the beaches I’ve walked and I’ve wondered about their stories. There are other kinds of tracks too. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone does with the word.

This month Sandy Asher and I are returning with a new topic for WRITERS AT WORK. We’ll be talking about publishing e-books and print on demand books and some of the pros and cons we’ve discovered in our own efforts so far. We’ll be joined by Paula Morrow and Michael Wilde so we hope you’ll come by on Tuesdays in March to join us. I’ll go first so my post will go up next Tuesday, March 6.


April Halprin Wayland on Monday

Hi everyone.

Monday I’ll feature as my guest, April Halprin Wayland. I love her work and, if you haven’t already met her, you’re in for a treat. Below is her bio. And here’s a link to the trailer for her latest book. http://www.aprilwayland.com/new-yearat-the-pier/book-trailer/ . Check her out and get ready for an energizing interview with April tomorrow.

April Halprin Wayland is a farmer turned folk musician turned author.

Her work has been called “dazzling”, “honest, heartfelt, poignant”, and “utterly fresh and winning”. Her critically acclaimed novel in poems, Girl Coming in for a Landing, her picture books, and her poetry have garnered numerous awards including the Lee Bennett Hopkins Honor Award for Children’s Poetry, the Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Poetry, and MommyCare’s Book of the Year.

She’s been an instructor in UCLA Extension’s Writers Program for over a decade and teaches workshops in schools all over the world. She lives near in Manhattan Beach, California.

For photos of New Year on the Manhattan Beach pier and more information about Tashlich and related activities, visit April’s website: www.aprilwayland.com (click on New Year at the Pier).

April has teamed with five other children’s authors who also teach writing to create the blog, www.TeachingAuthors.com . Check it out for poetry, writing prompts, lesson plans, interviews and more.

Laura Backes tomorrow

Hi everyone,

My pleasure continues this summer as I bring back Featured Guests from previous posts. For example, tomorrow you will meet or remeet Laura Backes who is, among many other things, a publisher, and someone I especially want you to meet. Laura Backes and husband Jon are tireless supporters of children’s literature and the people who create it. Read her bio and see what I mean.

Laura Backes has been involved in the children’s book field since 1988, as an agent, editor, teacher and as publisher of Children’s Book Insider: The Newsletter for Children’s Writers. Through the pages of her newsletter, her manuscript critique service, and her Children’s Authors’ Bootcamp workshop (www.WeMakeWriters.com ), she has helped countless beginners learn the craft of children’s writing. In January 2009, Laura and her husband Jon launched The CBI Clubhouse (www.CBIClubhouse.com ), an online community for children’s writers that includes informational articles, videos, podcasts and writing tutorials. She is the author of Best Books for Kids Who (Think They) Hate To Read (Prima Publishing/Random House), and Technical Editor for Writing Children’s Books for Dummies (Wiley). Her articles on writing have appeared in Writer’s Digest and The Writer magazines. Laura lives in Ft. Collins, CO with her husband and son.

So be here tomorrow!

Tim Rasinski tomorrow

ANNOUNCEMENT: My thanks to Kathy Popadics and other teachers and students from School #29 in Paterson, New Jersey for a fine time yesterday. It was my third morning of one-hour Skype sessions with students in three Paterson schools and I loved seeing the kids again. My thanks to Dennis Vroegindewey for getting me to Paterson as the Poet in Residence for the grant he obtained and to Adrian Cepero for his technical assistance in making the Skype sessions work smoothly.

Hi everyone,

I hope everyone is having a good summer. Thanks for coming by today. I’m pleased to say that my Featured Guest tomorrow is Tim Rasinski, well known authority on reading fluency. You met him here February 19, 2010 and it’s my pleasure to reintroduce him tomorrow. For now, here is the bio he sent last year. I know that much has happened in Tim’s busy world since then.

Timothy Rasinski is a professor of literacy education at Kent State University. He has written over 200 articles and has authored, co-authored or edited over 50 books or curriculum programs on reading education. He is author of the best selling book on reading fluency entitled The Fluent Reader, published by Scholastic, and co-author of the award winning fluency program called Fluency First, published by the Wright Group. The second edition of The Fluent Reader will be published in 2010. His scholarly interests include reading fluency and word study, reading in the elementary and middle grades, and readers who struggle. His research on reading has been cited by the National Reading Panel and has been published in journals such as Reading Research Quarterly, The Reading Teacher, Reading Psychology, and the Journal of Educational Research. Tim is currently writing the fluency chapter for Volume IV of the Handbook of Reading Research.

Tim recently served a three year term on the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association and from 1992 to 1999 he was co-editor of The Reading Teacher, the world’s most widely read journal of literacy education. He has also served as co-editor of the Journal of Literacy Research. Rasinski is past-president of the College Reading Association and he has won the A. B. Herr and Laureate Awards from the College Reading Association for his scholarly contributions to literacy education.

Prior to coming to Kent State Tim taught literacy education at the University of Georgia. He taught for several years as an elementary and middle school classroom and Title I teacher in Nebraska.

Be sure to join us tomorrow!

June Rae Wood tomorrow

Hi everyone,

I’ve been looking forward to re-introducing June Rae Wood, although I realize that many of you are already well acquainted with June and/or her wonderful YA novels. Sometimes we dwell so much on poetry that we may lose the interest of writers who are more involved in other genres. Featuring a guest of June’s caliber is the perfect way to bring us back to the larger issues of creating children’s literature.

Tomorrow you’ll see what June has to tell us. For now, here’s a brief bio. Like so many others, June could have said a lot more than she did but I hope you’ll take the time to discover additional information about her on your own.

June Rae Wood grew up with seven siblings in Versailles, MO, reading every chance she got. However, writing didn’t interest her—not even when she went to college.
Many years passed before she got bitten by the writing bug. She honed her skills by studying “how to” books and listening to her work on a tape recorder.

Her first novel, The Man Who Loved Clowns, won the 1995 Mark Twain Award in Missouri and the 1995 William Allen White Award in Kansas. She has written four other novels for young adults—A Share of Freedom, When Pigs Fly, Turtle on a Fence Post, and About Face—and she contributed to two anthologies edited by Sandy Asher: Writing It Right! and On Her Way: Stories and Poems about Growing Up Girl. Mrs. Wood’s work has appeared in Family Circle, Reader’s Digest, School & Community, The Lookout, New Ways, the Sedalia Democrat, and other publications.

She is still happily married to William Wood, the man she met on a blind date years ago. They have a daughter and two granddaughters and live near Windsor, MO.

See you tomorrow!