They don’t write them like this anymore

Hi everyone,

My favorite editor just sent me a book that was published in 1937. It’s called FOUR AND TWENTY FAMOUS TALES, A Silent Reader. It was written by Anna Clark Nelson and published by Hall & McCreary Company in Chicago. Following the introduction and procedure are twenty-four short fables, a spelling list, and a brief test for each tale.

I read every word and marveled at how education has changed over the last eighty years. I’ll quote an example from the procedure. “As a chart to show improvement in comprehension is an incentive to more careful reading, it is suggested that the name of each pupil be written on the blackboard in a column, after which, in vertical spaces, may be recorded the correct number of answers of each pupil each day.”

I recognize some of the tales: “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” “The Lion and the Mouse,” “The Pied Piper of Hamelin,” etc. Many others were new to me although they followed a traditional formula. I have vowed to keep this book on my desk where I can see it and smile. I’m most grateful.

Karen Boss is coming

Hi everyone,
KAREN BOSS headshot
I just received excellent news. Karen Boss, my editor at Charlesbridge, is driving in from Boston to make a special appearance at my poetry workshop in Honesdale. I am delighted! Karen is a wonderful editor and will have a lot to say about the publishing business in general and getting poetry published in particular.

My first book with Karen came out in February this year: NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T.61wO366ugqL__AA160_ Currently we’re wrapping up my part of a second book of poetry, also illustrated by Giles Laroche in his unique style. I’m sure that Karen will have something to say about that when she speaks. She is sweet but tough and knows her stuff. Hey! A couplet!

Karen will arrive on Sunday in time for the kick-off dinner and spend the evening with us. The next day she will speak about the workshop’s theme: how do we get our poetry published? No one person has all the answers but Karen will add significantly to the conversation. Not only that, she’s going to stay with us that day and evening before leaving on Tuesday morning. Here’s her bio.

Karen Boss is an associate editor at Charlesbridge where she works on fiction and nonfiction picture books and middle-grade novels. She holds a MA in Children’s Literature from Simmons College and regularly acts as a mentor for their Writing for Children MFA program. Karen also has an MA in higher education administration and worked at colleges and in the nonprofit sector for the first 15 years of her career. She still works part-time in development at Hyde Square Task Force, a nonprofit that works with at-risk youth in Jamaica Plain. Some authors she’s currently working with are David L. Harrison, Jane Yolen, Nancy Bo Flood, Rich Michelson, and debut author Tami Charles. Her favorite children’s book is The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White, and she thinks that Holes by Louis Sachar is quite possibly the best thing ever written.

I’m grateful to Charlesbridge for loaning us this talented editor, and I’m grateful to Karen Boss for driving the distance twice to join us at The Barn. If you are coming to my Highlights Foundation Workshop, Karen will truly be a highlight! If you are counting, we now have four editors (Mary Colgan, Rebecca Davis, Allison Kane, and Karen Boss), plus an art director, Patrick Greenish. I don’t want to brag, but is this cool or what?

How about this for a poetic idea?

Hi everyone,

My editor Karen Boss spotted this on a bathroom wall and shared it with me. So I’m sharing it with you. Makes me want to do something creative with this idea, such as having stickers printed of a poem to cover some of the more traditional graffiti one finds scratched or inked onto bathroom stall walls. Would that be funny or would it just bring out the limerick writers? Keep it clean kids, keep it clean.
Poetry is Holy

NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T

Hi everyone,

I’m looking at a set of proofs for my poetry collection, NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T, which is handsomely illustrated by Giles Laroche and due out in February from Charlesbridge.

20150723_063634_resized

I plan to show it off tonight at “An Evening with David Harrison: Readings, Backstories and Belly Laughs” and read a poem or two from it. I’ve waited a long time for this one but it was worth the wait. Now I’m eager to start sharing it. Way to go Giles! Way to go, editor Karen Boss!

20150723_063642_resized