More about our adult poets

BULLETIN: Tricia Stohr-Hunt features me today on her blog site at Each day all month (Poetry Month you know) Tricia is featuring a different poet. If you want to see more, be sure you visit Tricia’s great site.

Yesterday I updated you on our young poets and urged more teaches to get their students involved in the Word of the Month Challenge.Today I thought you might like to see the entire list of adult poets who have been sharing their work with us over the past six months and so far in April.

The totals are becoming impressive. We have sixty-two poets listed below. Steven Withrow and Mary Nida Smith have participated in all seven months from October 2009 through April 2010. Three others — Jan Gallagher, Tricia Stohr-Hunt, and Liz Korba — have appeared six times and still have plenty of time to post poems in April.

Each month we see new poems by a number of poets who routinely join the group to share their latest efforts inspired by the one-word exercise. And every month we are joined by first timers as word of the Word continues to spread.

My thanks to you all — poets and readers alike — who are making this project seem more and more worthwhile.


Rosalind Adam
Jamie Adoff
Reta Stewart Allen
Geradine Baugh
Melanie Bishop
Susan Taylor Brown
Ashley Burns
Stephen Clay Bush
Beth Carter
Mimi Cross
Marjie DeWilde
Gay Fawcett
Jan Gallagher
Genia Gerlach
V. L. Gregory
Jennifer Harrison
Jane Heitman Healy
Yousei Hime
Tricia Stohr-Hunt
Jackie Huppenthal
Darlene Beck Jacobson
Andromeda Jazmon
Liz Korba
Becky Kruger
Linda Kulp
Claire McBride
Erin McMullen
Diane Mayr
Brian Miller
Delane Parrott
Valorie Provenzano
Laura Purdie Salas
Vera Jane Goodin Schultz
Lynne Smith
Marilyn Smith
Mary Nida Smith
Terry Smith
Ken Thomas Slesarik
Kathy Stump
Sydney Sullivan
Melanie Szymborski
Kathy Temean
Barbara Turner
Euleta Usrey
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
Adrienne VanderPloeg
Judith Lachance-Whitcomb
Fahad Witchking
Steven Withrow
Patricia WoodwardIf you have comments, corrections, or suggestions, please post them below. Thanks!

Calling all young poets!


Believe it or not, our Word of the Month Poetry Challenge is now in its seventh month. Today I want to stress the need to support student writers and their teachers who help them participate in the challenge.

The word for April is SPRING. Cutoff for entries for “spring” poems is 10:00 CST on Friday, April 23 so there is plenty of time to get those poems written and posted. For complete guidelines, go to the box right above this blog and click on Young Poets W.O.M. Poems.

I know there are many demands on a teacher’s time so to work in the opportunity to write poems and enter them in this monthly exercise in imagination is not an easy thing to do. Yet teachers in Missouri, Maryland, Oregon, Ohio, and Pennsylvania have, and we are looking for other teachers who will also help their students join the fun.

If you or a teacher you know is interested and needs more information, it’s easy to contact me. Send your question through Contact on my website. I’ll get right back to you.

Here is a summary of our Monthly Hall of Fame Young Poets through the first six months. I know you will remember many of these talented young poets.

October 2009:Alyssa Kirch, 5th Grade
Disney Elementary
Springfield, Missouri
Nancy Raider, Teacher

November 2009: Claire Scott, 7th Grade
Monocacy Middle School
Frederick, Maryland
Linda Kulp, Teacher

December 2009: Priya Shah, 7th Grade
Monocacy Middle School
Frederick, Maryland
Linda Kulp, Teacher

January 2010: John Sullivan, 6th Grade
Maumee Valley Country Day
Toledo, Ohio
Jana Foster, Teacher

February 2010: Megan Barnett, 6th Grade
Maumee Valley Country Day
Toledo, Ohio
Jana Foster, Teacher

March 2010: Colin Hurley, 3rd Grade
Jeffries Elementary
Springfield, Missouri
Chloe Shank, Teacher

Quite a lineup of young poets and supportive teachers! Other great teachers who have participated so far include:

Becky Kruger, Ray Miller Elementary, Kirksville, Missouri
Mrs. Chapman, Ray Miller Elementary, Kirksville, Missouri
Janet King, Joel E. Barber School, Lebanon, Missouri
Becky Kruger, Ray Miller Elementary, Kirksville, Missouri
Miss Poston, Ray Miller Elementary, Kirksville, Missouri
Jennifer Harrison, William Walker Elementary, Portland Oregon
Marjie DeWilde, Boyd Elementary, Springfield, Missouri
Mrs. Wormington, Field Elementary, Springfield, Missouri
Andrea Wimberley, Field Elementary, Springfield, Missouri
Mr. Bax, Field Elementary, Springfield, Missouri
Amanda Demster, Boyd Elementary, Springfield, Missouri
Mrs. Swafford, Boyd Elementary, Springfield, Missouri
Sharon Brock, Study Middle School, Springfield, Missouri
Michelle Heinrichs (parent), Glen Acres Elementary, West Chester, Pennsylvania

And here’s a quick look at other young poets who have entertained and impressed us with their creative work.

Tasha Freed
Maisha Khan
Peres Reed
Kelsey Winfrey
Serena Berrey
Beau Coffie
Naresh Moudgil
Cassidy Redding
Hope Murphy
Fareid Elgafy
Karena Amy
Natalie Skaist
Maddy O’Donnell
Chase Cantrell
Will Grosser
Zane Wimmer
Ian Wooten
Seamus Williams
Marleigh Banaei
Jessie Hummer
Teea Orem
Levi Graham
Zimm Reeves
Aaliyah Brizendine
Laura Bigbee
Cecily White
Sam Shekut
Brandy Johnston
Rachel Heinrichs
Grace O’Leary
Bennett Miller
Victoria Kessinger
Anne Fox-Strauss
Victoria Kessinger
Taylor A. McGowan

A standing round of applause for all participants please!


A potpourri


REMINDER: The Word of the Month word for April is SPRING. Check the W.O.M. boxes above this post for further informaiton. We’re already seeing some strong efforts from adult poets and also a good one, actually two, from our young poet Taylor. Think about the various meanings of spring and, uh, spring into action.

I’ve asked Sandy Asher to present AMERICA WRITES FOR KIDS and its sister site, AMERICA PLAYS FOR KIDS. I’ll post her article in the next few days. These sites have grown over the years into valuable resources for anyone in search of favorite authors. Hundreds are now represented.

I want to remind everyone that the Writers Hall of Fame Tour of Missouri Children’s Authors and Artists is coming up June 4-7. If you haven’t signed up for it, you need to make your reservations. During the tour you will meet and visit with Cheryl Harness, Dorinda Nicholson , Kate Klise, Vicki Grove,  June Rae Wood, J. B. Cheaney, Lynn Rubright, Constance Levy, Eileen Bluestone Sherman , and Leslie Wyatt For more information, about this unique opportunity contact me at .

Have you visited the KIDS page on my website? You must! Kathy Temean is a wonder at presenting fascinating word puzzles and activities each month. If you are a teacher or have children or grandchildren, please check out the page on my website menu and prepare to be impressed and engaged.

I’m also inviting Kathy for an update on the upcoming New Jersey SCBWI conference in Princeton. She’ll use the space below or chime in later when she has time. I was happy to have an article, “Matter of Meter,” in this issue of SPROUTS, the New Jersey SCBWI publication edited by Kathy in her spare time.

Hello, everyone.  Plans for the conference are in full swing.  The hotel is all set up.  I’m picking out the menus for all the meals.  Each year we give out stickers that the attendees can use when submitting to the editors and agents on the faculty.  This is something every loves, because it helps highlight their submissions and helps to keep them out of the slush pile.  I have the design done and tomorrow I will order them.  In another week, I will have all the entries from the Logo Contest and then I will be able to order the bags that you will receive when you check in at registration. 

The last few day I have been matching up the attendees who signed up for one-on-one critiques with an editor or agent.  I have assigned everyone, but I still have to go over the list again and make adjustments.  Right now we have 182 people getting critiques, but registration is not closed.  There are still some additional spots.  Agent Scott Treimel was only supposed to do 6 consultations, but we had some many on the waiting list that I asked him if he would do 3 more and he said, “Yes.”  Simone Kaplan is doing 15 consultations and has a waiting list, but I really can’t push more on her, unless I would add another day – and that’s not happening.

The next thing I have to work on, is rounding up people to donate to our auction.  Each year we ask for donations, so we can raffle them off to help make money for our Scholarship Fund.  It seems like it is even more important this year with so many people out of work.  I use that money to help members who are out of work or having financial difficulties get the support they need to be able to attend events.  It is a good cause.  We have had people donate printers, books, baskets, gift cards, artwork, baseball tickets, facials, messages, dinners, theatre tickets, a get-a-way to a cabin in Maine, and more.  But the exciting part is that I get the editors and agents to donate critiques.  Last year Carolyn Yoder donated a full manuscript critique.  So did Steve Meltzer and Susan O’Keefe.  All the editors donated a critique of some amount.  Even Richard Peck donated a 30 page critique. 

Last year we even got editors and agents who attend the conference to donate and evening at dinner with them.  They were held all summer in NYC and Princeton.  We will be doing something like that again this year.  Critiques are great, but networking is important, too.  Everyone who came out loved them, even the editors and agents.

Anyway, I am excited about this year.  I don’t know how long we can continue improving each year, but somehow we do.  With all the success stories that came out of last years conference, we are really building our reputation.  We have people fly in from all over the country and they are repeat attendees.  I know many of you are not from New Jersey, but you should give some thought to coming out.  Most people say it is the best conference for Children’s writers, bar none.  (Did you just hear me patting myself on my back?)

And David is going to kick off Friday with his keynote speech.  He also is doing a poetry Intensive workshop on Friday morning and a short workshop on Saturday.  He also will be meeting people and doing critiques.  If you haven’t looked at the line-up, here is the link.  Kathy

New Hall of Fame Poets PLUS the Word of the Month for April

The last day of the month is always a biggie. I have the pleasure of announcing the newest Monthly Hall of Fame Poet and Young Poet and also reveal the word that I hope will inspire you to write a poem for April.

Without further ado, here are our March winners. In the adult group we have our first tie for first place: Laura Purdie Salas from Minneapolis, Minnesota and Jackie Huppenthal from Dyer, Indiana are co-Hall of Fame Poets for March. Second place is also a tie between and DeLane Parrott from Springfield, Missouri and Fahad A. Careem from Sri Lanka. Congratulations to everyone!

Our Young Poet for March is Colin Hurley from Springfield, Missouri. Second place goes to Josh from Springfield, Missouri and third place goes to Sophie from Springfield, Missouri. A clean sweep!

We’re proud of all of the students who posted their poems in March and, as always, we’re grateful to the teachers who somehow find time in their busy days to encourage their young poets to enjoy the Word of the Month challenge.

And now we come to that other important moment that occurs on the last day of each month: the announcement of the new word.

The word for April is SPRING.

You have until 10:00 CST on Friday, April 23 to complete your poems and get them posted.

Voting will take place from Saturday, April 24 through Thursday, April 29, and the April Hall of Fame Poets will be announced on Friday, April 30.

Ladies and gentlemen of all ages, start your engines.