September 28-29, 2018
ICD Book Fair
School Visit and Book signing
Immaculate Conception Catholic School
2089 Hanley Road
Dardenne Prairie, MO 63368
Saturday, October 6, 2018
Storytime and Book signing
Barnes & Noble Mid Rivers
10:00 am to 1:00 pm
320 Mid Rivers Center Drive
St Peters, MO 63376
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Local Authors Day
Spencer Road Branch Library
10:00 am to 1:00 pm
427 Spencer Rd
St Peters, MO 63376
Book Launch at Main Street Books
in St. Charles, with some hippy, hoppy readers! March 24, 2018
With Kim Vernon (R) and Rhonda Roberts (L), wonderful coordinators of the White County Creative Writers' conference in Searcy, AR! 9.2.17
White County Creative Writers conference in Searcy, AR on 9.2.17
Reading from NAME THAT DOG at the St. Charles Arts & Literary Festival on 8.26.17--with help from Author, Stephanie Bearce.
Even Batman and Superman stopped to read at the Arts and Literary Festival in St. Charles! 8.26.17
Making paper-cup puppies at the St. Charles Arts & Literary Festival on 8.26.17
Providence Classical Christian Academy May 2017
Guest author at Nancy Polette's children's writing class April 2017
South Central Elementary School, Kinmundy, IL April 14, 2016
ICD School visit March 1, 2016
With Nancy Polette, Writing for Children instructor, October 1, 2015
Picture Book Intensive, SCBWI conference September 2015, Soaring to New Heights
Author visit, with Author and Instructor (Writing for Children), Nancy Polette May 2015
Author visit at Troy Buchannan HS March 2015
Scholastic Book Fair, St. Charles, Missouri December 2014
Scholastic Book Fair, Fenton, Missouri December 2014
Scholastic Book Fair, Columbia, Missouri December 2014
Saturday Writers presentation on writing and marketing a picture book, June 2014, St. Peters MO
Lakeview Elementary School, O'Fallon, MO in April 2014
With Kim Piddington, Missouri SCBWI Regional Advisor, at the Missouri Association of School Librarians convention in St. Louis, April
Indiana SCBWI Spring conference April 2014
Chesterfield, MO children's writers group at Christmas 2013
scholastic Warehouse Book Signing December 7, 2013
At Main Street Books with owner, Vickie Erwin November 30th
B&N with authors Mike Force, Chris DiGiuseppi, and Valerie Battle Kienzle November 22nd
Local Author Open House at MK Library in O'Fallon, November 21st
Carlin Park Elementary School Angola, IN
Sherwood School Scholastic Book Fair in Arnold, MO
ICD Scholastic Book Fair with students--Immaculate Conception Dardenne Prairie, MO
Peggy with children's author Karen Guccione-Englert at the MK Library Local Authors Open House in O'Fallon, MO
Book signing at Indianapolis Fairgrounds, with Mary Igras
Author Visit to Immaculate Conception School (ICD) April 2012
ICD library staff
Edison Elementary School Hammond IN
Lincoln Elementary School Hammond IN
Beta Delta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, Hammond IN
Heather Alexander, editor at Dial Books for Young Readers
Quinlan Lee, agent, Adams Literary Agency
Suzanne Morgan Williams, author of BULL RIDER
Kids Ink Independent Children's Bookstore, downtown Indianapolis
Shirley Mullin, bookstore owner, with children's authors Janna Mathies, Peggy, and Nathan Clement
Thank You cards from Holy Family School in South Bend
Fieler Elementary students
Ms Hanneman's class at Northview Elementary
In the classroom at Northview Elementary School
Talking to students at Northview Elementary
Working together to create a poem in Starke County
Talking with students at Starke County
Author Judy Roth and students at the Starke County Young Artists Day
Booksigning at B&N Bookfair
Anderson's Children's Literature Breakfast, with author and keynote speaker Tim Green
friendly staff at The Bookstore
Author Book Signing
Butler University Chorus entertains with Christmas Carols
Turkey for Thanksgiving?
Stuffee and the author
November: Picture Book Idea Month
Author Panel: the Road to Publishing--Kathryn Page Camp moderating
Kate Collins: adult trade publishing, mysteries
Peggy Archer: children's trade publishing, picture books
Katherine Flotz: self-publishing, memoir
Michael Poore: adult trade publishing, fiction
Cynthia Echterling: e-publishing & small press, science fiction
Author visit to Portage Public Library, October 23rd
Esther Hershenhorn talks about the Reader's story and the Writer's story
Esther shares resources, experience, and opportunities
Trish Batey, Indiana RA
Yellow paper on your back gave a hint of 'What author are you?' for the day
Peggy Archer gives an overview of the 2010 SCBWI conference in LA
Karen Kulinski gives an update on Indiana's HoosierLinks
Janna Mathies at the piano sings "Why It Matters" by Sara Groves
IN SCBWI steering committee with Trish: (L to R) Karen Kulinski, HoosierLinks, Kristi Valiant, Website Coordinator, Alina Klein, Listserv Coordinator, Peggy, ARA (not pictured: Sharon Vargo, Illustrator Coordinator)
New Regional Advisor, Kristi Valiant, talks about plans for 2011
Indiana SCBWI: Outgoing RA Trish Batey, ARA Peggy Archer, Incoming RA Kristi Valiant
Visiting with author/illustrator Nathan Clement and son Theo at the ROAR author event
Autographing for a young reader
Story Time at ROAR's (Reach Out and Read) Evening With the Authors Event in Indianapolis
Reading to young bankers at Citizens Financial Bank in Valparaiso
Some of the crowd at the SCBWI conference in LA
Ashley Bryan, Golden Kite winner for Nonfiction
with Keynote speaker and Golden Kite winner, Marion Dane Bauer
Illustrator and Keynote speaker, Loren Long
E.B. Lewis, Keynote speaker
with Keynote speaker, Gennifer Choldenke
Keynote speaker, Gordon Korman
Chris Cheng, Australia RA and SCBWI Member of the Year
Kris Vreeland, Independent Bookstore manager, Vroman's Bookstore
Eva Mitnick, LA librarian and reviewer for SLJ
Greg Pinkus and Alice Pope on networking
with Lin Oliver, co-founder of SCBWI
Steve Mooser, co-founder of SCBWI, with Sally Crock RAE
Indiana SCBWI members Mary Jo, Shannon, and Peggy celebrate in LA with Heart and Soul.
East and Midwest members celebrate at the Golden Kite Luncheon in LA--Peggy, Courtney, Julia and Mary Jo.
Peggy with Alice and Lisa, co-RAs from IL--friends and roommates
Linda V., formerly of Indiana, with her 'dog-in-training,' Dusty.
Anyone for Literary Bingo?
This is the cornfield just down the street from my house on July 13th. That's me with the boot on my foot again!
Local Authors Day, Valparaiso B&N
Welcome to the Young Artists Fair in Plainfield, IN
Signing books at Van Buren Elementary School in Plainfield, IN
Happy Birthday, Name That Dog!
Little reader loving that dog book!
Celebrating the Book Launch!
Doggy treats at the book launch party
With Jocelyn at the Porter County Expo Center for the Be Kind to Animals Celebration
Speaking to readers and writers at the LaPorte County Public Library in April
Our new grandpuppy, Dudley!
The new Mr. and Mrs. Biggs!
Trish Batey, Indiana SCBWI RA, Stephen Roxburg, Lisa Graff, Helen Frost, Peggy Archer, Indiana SCBWI ARA
Stephen Roxburg, Publisher of namelos, talked about writing the YA novel, the current state of publishing, and his new company, namelos
Lisa Graff, Middle Grade author, talks about writing the middle grade novel and the Slush Pile
Lisa autographs books with a smile
Introducing Helen Frost, YA author and poet
Question and Answer panel--Lisa, Stephen, and Helen
Registration, getting to know you
Schmoozing with other writers
Trish with author, Valiska Gregory
Books for sale--writers can never have too many!
Taking it all in.
Afternoon Tea with the author in Mitchell
Alexis talks about storytime for the very young
My little corner--I love when students come up to talk.
HOW many dogs do you have?!
Authors of the day
Keynote address: Growing an Author with Peggy Archer
Making a book with Katie Mitschelen
Research--detective work, with Peggy Miller
Crafting a poem with Mary Ann Moore
Becoming an artist with Edwin Shelton
Music with the Band
One small hand holding onto another
Name That Dog! Sharing F&G's and write-up in Dial's catalog with group.
Writers Christmas lunch and meeting in Michigan City
Meeting up with Esther and Karen in Chicago
Name That Dog! ISBN: 978-0-8037-3322-0
Writing friends from the beginning!
Drawing a turkey at Hussey-Mayfield Public Library-- Zionsville, IN
Autographs at Hussey-Mayfield Library, Zionsville
"Who likes to eat turkey at Thanksgiving?" --Morton Elementary School, Hammond, IN
Thank you cards from Morton Elementary students
Reading to my grandson's pre-school class at Zion Lutheran School-- Bethalto, IL
Family Book Basket
Courtney Bongiolatti, Editor S&S
Laurent Linn, Art Director S&S
Terry Harshman, Editor CBHI
Author-Illustrators, Kristi Valiant and Sharon Vargo
Kristi Valiant, IN-SCBWI logo winner
Our volunteer crew (minus a few)
author Katie Mitschelen and Peggy enjoying the conference
Janine Harrison, opening remarks
Sharon Palmeri, President IWC and speaker
Kathryn Page Camp speaks on Taxes for Writers
Kate Collins, mystery book author and Keynote speaker
Gordon Stamper, secretary IWC
Peggy, Sally, and Karen--writing friends enjoying the dinner event together
Autographs with a smile :)
Smokies in the morning
Smile and say 'author'!
Ready to start!
Sara Grant, Editor, Working Partners
One on one with Sara
Author and Editor...
Getting to know you...
Sharing thoughts... connecting
Our Kentucky friends...
Trish, RA, Peggy, ARA, Christi and Alina, steering committee members
Picture book author, April Pulley Sayre, speaking in South Bend.
Esther and Heidi
Esther with Steve and Sally from National SCBWI
Heidi and Peggy, friends and poets
We came from Indiana...
...from California and Iowa
and enjoyed the friendships.
Peggy, Karen & Esther--connecting once again.
Critique group gathering at Peggy Miller's house. Karen, Fred, Mary Ann, Katie, Judy, & the two Peggy's in front.
Our daughter, Sarah & our son, Dan both sang original songs at the Porter County Fair in the Colgate Country Showdown.
From Fort Wayne to Whiting, we gathered to talk & gain some bit of insight into the world of creating children's books.
Enjoying the company of other children's writers & illustrators.
Meeting other children's writers.
Smiles were free.
Peggy Archer talks about trade publishers.
Judy Roth talks about working with a small publisher.
Karen Kulinski talks about working with an agent.
Karen fielding questions.
Peggy with the Cat in the Hat
Katie and the Cat in the Hat
I won a collection of autographed books from the IL SCBWI (Society of Children's Writers & llustrators) booth at ALA for the Valparaiso Public Library. An awesome prize! Thank you IL SCBWI!
Peggy, presenting books won at ALA to Connie Sullivan, Branch Manager and Leslie Cefali, Youth Services Assistant, Valparaiso Public Library.
October 31, 2010
The more I see, the more I find!
Well known writing teacher and author, Darcy Pattison, has declared November 30 Days to a Stronger Scene month! Another choice for ways to get those juices flowing, starting tomorrow, November 1st.
Darcy has created a facebook page for a discussion of creating scenes. Here's now it goes.
First, write a scene of a story. Then, think about scenes and how they work. Add to the discussion on her facebook blog, or on Darcy's webpage. Then read other posts and Darcy's fiction notes to stretch your understanding of story scenes.
Find the discussion on Facebook at: http://apps.facebook.com/blognetworks/blog/fiction_notes_believe_in_your_story?ref=mf
or go to Darcy's website and check out her Fiction Notes at: http://www.darcypattison.com/.
And if you're looking for something more on pictue books, check the link to 31 Days of Writing the Picture Book, from August 2008, at: http://networkedblogs.com/9QD9x.
November is almost here, so get down and write!
October 29, 2010
Welcome to National Novel Writing Month, and now, to National Picture Book Idea Month, as well!
I'm not a novel writer, so I've never taken an interest in National Novel Writing Month, which is November, but many children's novelists do. Novel writers know this as NaNoWriMo. The idea is to complete a novel in 30 days.
Sound unrealistic? In this contest the only thing that matters is output--quantity vs: quality, enthusiasm and perseverance over craft, permission to make mistakes and not be perfect. Thirty days and night of literary abandon! Who knows? You may end up with something good enough to revise. So if you are a novelist and would like more information about NaNoWriMo, go to http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/whatisnano.
Now for us picture book writers. Tara Lazar has created PiBoIdMo, a 30-day challenge for picture book writers!
From her website: "The concept is to create 30 picture book ideas in 30 days. You don’t have to write a manuscript. You don’t need potential best-seller ideas.
You might think of a clever title. Or a name for a character. Or just a silly thing like “purple polka-dot pony.” The object is to heighten your picture-book-idea-generating senses so by the end of the month, you’ll have a file of ideas to help inspire you throughout the year."
Writers who complete the 30-ideas-in-30-days challenge will be eligible for prizes.
The kick-off will be posted this Sunday, on Halloween. You’ll be asked to officially sign-up in early November. Visit every day during the month of November for a new post on inspiration and creativity from guest bloggers.
For a list of guest bloggers, and for more information, go to Tara's website at http://taralazar.wordpress.com/piboidmo2010/.
So, novelist or picture book writer, have fun being creative in November!
October 20, 2010
“… It has been said that reading can serve as a window to the world; if that is true, then writing is what opens the window. That window must be opened for all.”
-- from The Human Context for the National Day on Writing, Kylene Beers, President, National Council of Teachers of English
I love this quote. I'd like to share the following information about the NCTE National Day on Writing with you.
On September 29, 2010, the Senate passed a resolution declaring October 20, 2010, the National Day on Writing. The following information was taken from the NCTE National Day of Writing website.
People in every walk of life, in every kind of work, and at every age write more than ever before for personal, professional, and civic purposes.
•They write through text messages and IMs, they use video cameras and cell phones, and, yes, even traditional pen and paper.
•The social nature of writing invites people in every walk of life, in every kind of work, and at every age to make meaning through composing.
•More and more people in all occupations deem writing as essential and influential in their work.
Why a National Day on Writing?
In light of the significance of writing in our national life, to draw attention to the remarkable variety of writing we engage in, and to help writers from all walks of life recognize how important writing is to their lives, October 20, 2010, will be celebrated as The National Day on Writing.
The National Council of Teachers of English invites you to explore and celebrate the integral role writing has in each of our lives by participating in the National Gallery of Writing.
Everyone! We encourage everyone to submit a piece of writing: students, teachers, parents, grandparents, service and industrial workers, managers, business owners, legislators, retirees, and many more.
A National Gallery of Writing where you can contribute any type of writing composition that matters to you.
The National Gallery of Writing and Local Partner Galleries are open for submissions.
Online at www.galleryofwriting.org and in small towns and large cities nationwide. Writing is for everyone and is everywhere.
Because we, as a nation, are writing like never before—through text messages and IMs, with video cameras and cell phones, and, yes, even with traditional pen and paper. Whether it is done in a notebook or on a blog, writing, in its many forms, has become daily practice for millions of Americans.
GET STARTED TODAY at www.ncte.org/dayonwriting
Help us put writing front and center by:
• Starting a Local Gallery: Curators wanted. You can start a local gallery for your classroom, your town, or your civic group. Once your gallery is established, you can solicit writing on any topic or theme you’d like—the possibilities are endless!
• Contributing Your Writing: Writers come from all walks of life, and everyone has something important to share. Upload your writing—whether it’s a story, a video montage, an audio file, or a photo—to the gallery of your choice.
• Celebrating Writing Nationwide: Join us—and thousands of other Americans—as we celebrate writing.
For more information on how you can help celebrate, visit www.ncte.org/dayonwriting. Then follow the links there for more information on writing.
October 13, 2010
In my last blog I gave a short wrap-up of what Esther Hershenhorn had to tell us about Getting Our Stories Right at the Indiana SCBWI program for children's writers. Writing is a solitary job, self-disciplined, and writing is a one-person job. Events for writers not only help us to become better at what we do, but give us a chance to connect with one another.
The Benton House was a beautiful setting for our program on October 9th. A warm fall day, with leaves of many colors, added to the atmosphere for a day of friendship and inspiration. And just in case there were people there that you hadn't met before, we all became a famous author for the day. With 'your famous author name' on your back, hints from others helped you discover which children's author you were. Pat Wheeler was the first to figure out her new identity.
Trish started out the program with some stretching to help limber us up. Then it was on to the first part of Esther's presentation.
Delicious snacking, book sales and schmoozing came during a break in the program. Then it was back to Esther for the rest of her Rx for Children's Book Creators.
Following the program, we got updates from Karen Kulinski on HoosierLinks, which is moving forward to connect SCBWI members across the state, and from myself with a short wrap-up of the SCBWI National Conference in LA this summer. Updates were followed by door prize give-aways, and a wonderful performance by Janna Mathies who played the piano and inspired us even more as she sang 'Why It Matters' by Sara Groves.
The day ended with a thank you to Trish Batey as she stepped down as Indiana SCBWI Regional Advisor, handing over the reins to Kristi Valiant, who took over as our new Indiana RA. Kristi gave an overview of plans for Indiana members in 2011 and heading into 2012.
Trish was then treated to a surprise, with thankful words and gifts, which included an SCBWI tote bag illustrated by Pat Cummings and signed by the founders of SCBWI, Lin Oliver and Steve Mooser. Tucked inside were SCBWI note cards, the new SCBWI baseball cap, a Writers Block with a Writer's Survival Kit, and a Jar of Inspiration filled with quotes from children's authors. Indiana members contributed to a Memory Book, with notes, illustrations, and memories of the past two years while Trish was at the helm.
Thanks, Trish! For your energy and enthusiasm, and for everything you did for Indiana SCBWI during your time as RA.
Welcome, Kristi! We couldn't have a better person to take over the lead as our new RA in Indiana.
October 13, 2010
On Saturday Indiana SCBWI hosted Esther Hershenhorn, who talked to us about ‘Getting Your Stories (plural) Right.’ The Character was Esther herself, former Regional Advisor for Illinois SCBWI and current board member for SCBWI, award-winning author, speaker, and writing coach. The setting was the beautiful Benton House in Indianapolis, IN. The Plot…
Esther talked about the two stories you tell as an author: the story you have to tell your readers, and the story you’re living as a writer. These stories need to intersect meaningfully.
There are 3 elements of story: character, setting and plot. Of these, Character is everything!
Get to know your character. Ask yourself ‘What’s on his iPod?’
You need to know two things that about your characters (yourself and your story character): what your character wants (the physical plotline), and why he wants it (the emotional plotline).
Ask yourself: Why do you write for children? What do you want out of it?
II Setting—When and Where?
You live in the character’s book world, but you also need to stay current in the children’s publishing world. Learn from others, through libraries, book sellers, teachers, editors and others. Read children’s literature. Keep a reader’s journal. Write down the books you read.
Plot is characters in action, overcoming obstacles, by cunning and craft. Events are linked by causation. Things happen for a reason. Every scene, every character, etc., matters.
Esther’s description of plot, put simply, is:
Oh—Oh, my!—Oh, dear!—Oh, no!—Oh, yes!
In story, there must be action. The character must act against an obstacle. Then he re-acts with accompanying emotion. This is the emotional plot line.
Your plot as a writer asks three questions:
What do you want?
Why do you want it?
How do you get it?
In conclusion: Write from who you are. Write true to yourself.
Finally: Never throw out the beginning pages of your writing—it’s where the heart of your story is.
More on the ‘rest of the day’ later!