Upcoming Author Visits


April 2, 2014
Lakeview Elementary School
Lake St. Louis, MO

April 14, 2014
MO Association of School Librarians
Spring Conference
8:30-9:00
10:30 to 11:00
St. Louis Union Station
Doubletree Hotel
St. Louis, MO

April 15, 2014
Providence Christian Academy
Author reading
Fenton, MO

May 9, 2014
Ozark Writing Project Youth Conference
Springfield, MO

June 28, 2014
Saturday Writers
"Writing & Marketing the Picture Book"
Chimis Restaurant
St. Peters, MO

I would be glad to autograph copies of my picture book, NAME THAT DOG, at your school's Scholastic Book Fair.

Recent Author Visits


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

Keynote Speakers
MO SCBWI Fall Conference


Heather Alexander, editor at Dial Books for Young Readers

Quinlan Lee, agent, Adams Literary Agency

Suzanne Morgan Williams, author of BULL RIDER

Author Visits
Spring 2011


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

Indiana SCBWI PAL Luncheon and Bookfair at B&N Bookstore


Booksigning at B&N Bookfair

Anderson's Bookshop Children's Literature Breakfast


Anderson's Children's Literature Breakfast, with author and keynote speaker Tim Green

December Booksigning at The Bookstore in Michigan City


friendly staff at The Bookstore

Holiday Author Fair
Hosted by the Indiana Historical Society


Author Book Signing

Butler University Chorus entertains with Christmas Carols

Bellaboo's Play and Activity Center


Turkey for Thanksgiving?

Stuffee and the author

Stuffe's lunch!

November: Picture Book Idea Month

October Author Events


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


IN SCBWI presents Esther Hershenhorn:
Getting Your Stories Right
October 9, 2010


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

Smiling faces

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

door prizes

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

Author visits at Citizen's Financial Bank and ROAR's (Reach Out and Read) Evening With the Authors


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

2010 SCBWI Conference for Children's Writers and Illustrators in Los Angeles, CA


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

Bruce Hale--Skyping

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.

IWC Writers' Picnic


Anyone for Literary Bingo?

Children's Corner



Knee-high by the 4th of July!


This is the cornfield just down the street from my house on July 13th. That's me with the boot on my foot again!

Springtime Author Visits


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

Book Launch Party for NAME THAT DOG!, Valparaiso Public Library


Happy Birthday, Name That Dog!

Little reader loving that dog book!

Celebrating the Book Launch!

Doggy treats at the book launch party

More springtime author visits


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!

Chad & Sara's Wedding Day


The new Mr. and Mrs. Biggs!

Focus on the Novel:
Indiana SCBWI Spring Conference


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.

School visits
Chesterton, IN








Mitchell, IN
Library Event


Afternoon Tea with the author in Mitchell

Alexis talks about storytime for the very young

Starke County Young Artists Day
North Judson, IN


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

Sharing the Christmas holiday with writer friends


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

F&G's for Name That Dog!


Name That Dog! ISBN: 978-0-8037-3322-0

Christmas Writing Celebrations


Writing friends from the beginning!

November Author Visits


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


Ladies Tea
St. Mary's Church


Family Book Basket


Indiana SCBWI Fall Picture Book Conference


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

...Pawprints on the heart.


Snickers 2009

Snickers 1998


IWC Dinner Event
The Business of Writing


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


Writing the Picture Book
Rensellaer, IN


Smile and say 'author'!

Ready to start!

"Ghostwriting" with Sara Grant, Editor,
Working Partners


Sara Grant, Editor, Working Partners

One on one with Sara

Author and Editor...

Getting to know you...

Sharing thoughts... connecting

Schmoozing...

Smiling faces...

Our Kentucky friends...

Trish, RA, Peggy, ARA, Christi and Alina, steering committee members

Writing the non-fiction picture book


Picture book author, April Pulley Sayre, speaking in South Bend.

Writers and Friends


Surprise!

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.

Summer Critique Meeting


Critique group gathering at Peggy Miller's house. Karen, Fred, Mary Ann, Katie, Judy, & the two Peggy's in front.

Songwriters in the Family


Our daughter, Sarah & our son, Dan both sang original songs at the Porter County Fair in the Colgate Country Showdown.

Indiana SCBWI Summer Schmooze


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.

Schmoozing.

Meeting other children's writers.

Sharing thoughts.

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.

ALA 2009 Chicago


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.

Find Authors

American Library Association Announces Award Winners

January 25, 2011

Tags: ALA, Caldecott, Newberry, children's books, awards for children's literature

On January 10th the American Library Association announced the 2011 awards for best books, videos, and audiobooks for children. Selected by judging committees of librarians and other children’s and young adult experts, the ALA awards encourage original and creative work. Following is a partial list of the winners.

Award Winners for Children’s Books 2011

The Caldecott Medal, awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children:
A SICK DAY FOR AMOS McGEE, illustrated by Erin E. Stead, written by Philip C. Stead, a Neal Porter Book, published by Roaring Brook Press

The John Newbery Medal, given for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:
MOON OVER MANIFEST by Clare Vanderpool, published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, a division of Random House Inc.

The Michael L. Printz Award, for excellence in literature written for young adults:
SHIP BREAKER by Paolo Bacigalupi, published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

The Coretta Scott King Book Award recognizing an African American author of outstanding books for children and young adults:
ONE CRAZY SUMMER, by Rita Williams-Garcia is the 2011 King Author Book winner. The book is published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

DAVE THE POTTER: ARTIST, POET, SLAVE, illustrated by Bryan Collier, is the 2011 King Illustrator Book winner. The book was written by Laban Carrick Hill and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

The Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:
THE PIRATE OF KINDERGARTEN, written by George Ella Lyon, illustrated by Lynne Avril and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, for children ages 0 to 10.

AFTER EVER AFTER, written by Jordan Sonnenblick and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc, for middle-school readers (ages 11-13).

FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB, written by Antony John and published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., for teens (ages 13-18).

The Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video:
Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly Ellard of Weston Woods, producers of THE CURIOUS GARDEN. The video is based on the book of the same name, written and illustrated by Peter Brown, and is narrated by Katherine Kellgren, with music by David Mansfield.

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. The 2011 winner is TOMIE DE PALOA, author and illustrator of over 200 books, including: “26 Fairmont Avenue” (Putnam, 1999), “The Legend of the Poinsettia” (Putnam, 1994), “Oliver Button Is a Sissy” (Harcourt, 1979) and “Strega Nona” (Prentice-Hall, 1975).

The Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States:
THE TRUE MEANIING OF SMEKDAY, produced by Listening Library, an imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group. The book is written by Adam Rex and narrated by Bahni Turpin.

The Robert F. Sibert Medal for most distinguished informational book for children:
KALAPO RESCUE: SAVING THE WORLD’S STRAGEST PARROT, written by Sy Montgomery. The book features photographs by Nic Bishop and is published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book:
BINK AND GOLLIE, written by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee and illustrated by Tony Fucile. The book is published by Candlewick Press.

The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults for the best nonfiction book published for young adults during a November 1 – October 31 publishing year:
JANIS JOPLIN: RISE UP SINGING, written by Ann Angel. The book is published by Amulet/Abrams.

Congratulations to all of the winners of the 2011 ALA Awards for Children’s literature!

And now we’ve got some reading to do!

For a complete list of winners and runners up, go to: http://ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/news/pr.cfm?id=6048.

Advice From a Dog

January 21, 2011

Tags: Snoopy, Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life, Charles Shulz

One of my Christmas presents last month was a book from my husband called “Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life. “Snoopy’s Guide…” is a wonderful tribute to Charles Schulz, author of the Peanuts cartoons, edited by his son, Monte Schulz, and Barnaby Conrad.

I have always loved the cartoons about Snoopy as a writer. Like us, he faces the challenges of writing a good story, revision, criticism, and advice. Snoopy listens to suggestions and gives them a try. He imitates the masters, in his own way. And he never gives up.

I love Snoopy’s rejection letters. They make you laugh because, for the most part, no one could top the letters that Snoopy gets from publishers. Like any dedicated writer, Snoopy believes in himself and keeps on going, in spite of rejection.

As a children’s writer, I think may relate a little more to Charlie Brown when Lucy challenges him and Linus to look at the cloud formations and use their imaginations to see beyond just clouds. Linus sees a map of Honduras, a famous artist, and an apostle in the different clouds. Charlie Brown sees a ducky and a horsie. When writing for children we should probably aim somewhere in between.

What I didn’t expect to find in this book were the essays and advice from 32 best-selling authors. Some comments:

“No matter what method you choose, start with something happening!” –Barnaby Conrad

“…characters are what a story is about—they drive the story; plot and theme come from character, not the other way around.” –JF Freedman

“A story’s setting is what puts us there, gives us readers a sense of being in the situation with the characters.” –John Leggett

“One of the most difficult decisions an unpublished writer makes is when to take advice and when to ignore all your well-meaning critics and do it your way.” –Sue Grafton

“Anyone who tells you how to write best-sellers is a sham and a liar. …I write them with fear, excitement, discipline, and a lot of hard work.” –Danielle Steel

This is a great addition to my library, and a great book for writers of all genres and stages of their writing life. It will leave you smiling, nodding your head as you share the feelings that all writers feel, and gaining insight into the craft and business of writing.

Winter Block? Some Brain Boosting Tips!

January 12, 2011

Tags: writers' block, creative energy, winter blues, healthy tips

Why does the new year have to start in winter?! It’s cold outside, at least here in northwest Indiana. Your brain seems to want to hibernate with the bears instead of sparking those creative juices. If you’re feeling less motivated this season, here are some suggestions that might help you out of that slump.

Open the curtains and let the sunshine in! Sunlight can increase the body’s production of serotonin, which lifts mood and increases alertness and energy. If it’s gloomy outside, turn on more lights. Make your work space sunnier by choosing bright colors in your room.

Get up from your desk and move around. Take a 5-minute break once an hour and stretch. Walk into another room. Take a brisk walk outside to the mailbox, or go out to feed the birds. Frequent small bursts of physical energy lessen muscle tension, can get you out of a slump and clear your thinking.

Daily exercise, even 15 to 20 minutes a day, gets your blood flowing and increases energy by maintaining good levels of oxygen in your body.

Warm up! Put your hands around a hot cup of cocoa or hot tea. Put on some warm fuzzy socks or a cozy cardigan. Find your comfort level to help you stay focused and motivated.

Find something to laugh about. Laughter stimulates both sides of the brain. Laughing reduces stress hormones, resulting in enhanced attentiveness and brain function.

Keep a bottle of water at your work station and take a drink every now and then. Staying hydrated helps maintain energy. If water is not your thing, drink flavored water or tea. Tea is loaded with antioxidants and provides other health benefits as well.

Make sure you eat breakfast. A cup of coffee just won’t cut it. Whole grains and fruits will do more for you than a quick caffeine or sugar boost that will wear off in a couple of hours, then leave you in a slump.

Eat a snack. A healthy snack every couple of hours can help keep your blood sugar level and your energy up. Try an apple with peanut butter, string cheese, or a cereal bar for a carb-protein boost.

Finally, try something new. According to Gregory Berns, M.D., a neuroscientist at Emory University in Atlanta, when people do something new and different it releases a motivating chemical in your brain that gears you up to do more.

So say good-bye to winter block, and get your energy flowing!

resources: RealSimple.com, Webmd.com, Mayoclinic.com, porterhealth.com

Another New Year and Resolutions

January 6, 2011

Tags: Humpty Dumpty magazine, Verla Kay messageboard, JacketFlap, google analytics, SCBWI, Twitter, GoodReads, Janet Fox, IWC

Is it 2011 already?! I'm still catching up with 2010!

It seems like my New Year's resolutions never change. At least not very much. I fall short of my goals. But each new year I start over. Some recurring resolutions include:

Read more
Write more
Submit more
Read all of my newsletters as soon as I get them
Read more blogs, author sites, etc.
Update my wesite more often and more fully

But maybe I should look a little closer at what I DID accomplish last year. Some things were:

Read a few books.
Wrote a few first drafts and revisions.
Submitted and had a poem published in Humpty Dumpty magazine.
Eventually read all of my newsletters.
Kept up with my weekly blog, most of the year.

And things accomplished, not on my list of new year's resolutions:
Joined Verla Kay's message board
Joined JacketFlap
Signed up for google analytics
Joined the speakers directory on SCBWI
Made a speakers video for the SCBWI directory (still waiting for that to be added)
Joined twitter (I don't know if I'll ever post there, but I'm on!)
Had my first Book Launch Party!
Did numerous author visits since NAME THAT DOG! was released in April
Attended the National SCBWI conference in LA (WOW!)
Signed up on GoodReads and posted my first book reviews.
Had my first online author interview on Janet Fox's website (http://bit.ly/9h0zPI), and again on the IWC website (http://www.indianawritersconsortium.org/).
Changed email service (a big job)

Personal events:
Our 6th grandchild came along!
Our daughter's wedding!
Branson with my sister and her husband
Las Vegas for the first time

Looking back over all that I DID acomplish is inspiring! So look out 2011! I'll be seeing you there.