It’s Harvey’s turn

Hi everyone,

You know my friend and writing partner, Sandy Asher. Yesterday I reminded you about her talented son Ben Asher. Would you believe that Sandy’s husband Harvey Asher is also a gifted author? Talk about a multi-talented family! Harvey, who retired from Drury University after a distinguished career teaching in the history department, has been at work lately introducing his newest book, AMERICA –THE OWNER’S MANUAL: How Your Country Really Works & How to Keep It Running, one chapter per month by posting it on his blog.

This seems like a good week to brag on friends so I would not want to leave out Professor Asher and his remarkable look at the big picture of our country. I recommend the book and hope that you will look it up and start following the chapters as they unfold.

Here’s the link: .

A plug for Ben Asher

Hi everyone,

Many of you know that Sandy Asher and I have hosted America Writes for Kids (  and ) for many years. In addition, Sandy also hosts a site for children’s playwrights (  ).

Sandy makes and receives most of the contacts for these sites but the webmaster behind them all is her son, Ben Asher. Sandy recently put in a good word for Ben and his excellent work on her Facebook page so I’m taking advantage of that to give Ben a two thumbs up here too.

I’m glad to see Ben and his good work get some of the praise he richly deserves. I’ve known him and worked with him for years and count on him for his professional, timely results every time.

To learn more about Ben Asher’s editing and writing services, here’s a link.


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.

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 . 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 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.


America Writes for Kids

My thanks to Bobbi Katz for being my guest yesterday. If you haven’t had time to read her remarks yet, don’t forget!

I’ve mentioned America Writes for Kids before but have never presented the full story about the site, irs origins, and its applications. I asked my cofounder, Sandy Asher, if she would like to provide an article about our sites (there are three). Sandy is the guiding light and energy that drive this effort. Sandy asked Ben Asher if he would do the honors. Ben, who is Sandy’s multi-talented son, created the original site for us and today serves as our webmaster. Here’s the story, told by Ben Asher.

by Ben Asher

In 1998, Missouri authors Sandy Asher and David Harrison founded MISSOURI WRITES FOR KIDS, a website devoted to writers of children’s and young-adult books from their home state. The page is hosted by Drury University, where Asher (now based in Pennsylvania) was writer-in-residence, and Harrison (an alumnus) is currently their poet laureate. The website is designed to be child-friendly. It includes a list of Missouri children’s writers and links to more than two dozen author sites. For a small fee, authors without web hosting can order a standard page hosted on the Drury server. Each month, the “Show Me a Good Book” section features a book by a Missouri children’s writer. The site also links to writing-oriented resources, including two annual children’s literature festivals, and professional organizations ranging from the National Association for Teachers of English to the Missouri Association of School Librarians.

The success of MISSOURI WRITES FOR KIDS inspired Asher and Harrison to create a national page, AMERICA WRITES FOR KIDS. Like the Missouri site, it showcases a book of the month and includes links to literary resources. These include two organizations dedicated to Spanish-language children’s literature, the Barahona Center and the Isabela Schon International Center, and informational sites for aspiring children’s authors. Writers can either submit links for their own websites or order a standard page. The site allows viewers to search for authors alphabetically or by state, using a clickable map. Recently, a blog has been added, with contributions from a teacher and a literary agent along with authors. The website currently links to more than four hundred writers from almost every state in the union.

In addition to books, Asher writes plays, which motivated her to introduce the USA PLAYS FOR KIDS page. This site has a similar format to AMERICA WRITES FOR KIDS. It spotlights a play of the month, and includes links not only to professional organizations such as the Dramatists Guild of America, but to resources for playwrights under the age of eighteen. As on the other sites, playwrights can submit website links or order a basic page. These links, currently totaling about fifty, are searchable alphabetically and by state.

AMERICA WRITES FOR KIDS and its companion pages have been recommended as reference sites by many schools and libraries, including Tufts University. By design, all three pages are useful resources not only for writers promoting their work, but for anyone interested in good books or plays for children or young adults. This includes teachers, play producers and directors, illustrators, librarians, parents, anyone considering a career in children’s literature or theatre, and (of course) children and young adults themselves.