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

ALA announces Caldecott and Newberry winners

January 24, 2012

Tags: Caldecott Medal, Newberry Medal, children's book awards, A Ball For Daisy, Chris Raschka, Dead End in Norvelt, Jack Gantos

Caldecott Winner 2012

Randolph Caldecott Medal
The Randolph Caldecott Medal honors the illustrator of the year's most distinguished American picture book for children. Presented every year since 1938, the medal is named for Randolph Caldecott, a 19th-century English illustrator known for the action, vitality and humor of his picture books. It is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA.

Dorothy P. Lathrop won the first Caldecott Medal in 1938 for ANIMALS OF THE BIBLE.

This year’s winner is A BALL FOR DAISY written and illustrated by Chris Raschka, published by Schwartz & Wade Books (Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.).

“In a wordless book with huge children’s appeal, Chris Raschka gives us the story of an irrepressible little dog whose most prized possession is accidently destroyed. With brilliant economy of line and color, Raschka captures Daisy’s total (yet temporary) devastation. A buoyant tale of loss, recovery and friendship.

“Chris Raschka’s deceptively simple paintings of watercolor, gouache and ink explore universal themes of love and loss that permit thousands of possible variants,” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Steven L. Herb. ‘A Ball for Daisy’ holds as many unique stories as there will be young readers and re-readers.” –from the ALA website.

Caldecott Honor Awards went to:

Blackout, written and illustrated by John Rocco, published by Disney • Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group

Grandpa Green, written and illustrated by Lane Smith, published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership

Me … Jane, written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

The John Newberry Medal
The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children's book published the previous year. The award was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery.

The Newbery Award became the first children's book award in the world. Its purpose: "To encourage original creative work in the field of books for children. To emphasize to the public that contributions to the literature for children deserve similar recognition to poetry, plays, or novels. To give those librarians, who make it their life work to serve children's reading interests, an opportunity to encourage good writing in this field."

Hendrik van Loon was awarded the first Newberry Medal in 1922 for THE STORY OF MANKIND.

This year’s winner is DEAD END IN NORVELT by Jack Gantos, published by Farrar Straus Giroux.

“The importance of history and reading (so you don’t do the same “stupid stuff” again) is at the heart of this achingly funny romp through a dying New Deal town. While mopping up epic nose bleeds, Jack narrates this screw-ball mystery in an endearing and believable voice.

“Who knew obituaries and old lady death could be this funny and this tender?” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Viki Ash.” –from the ALA website.

Newberry Honor Awards went to:

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai, published by HarperCollins Children's Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers

Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin, published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

Contest Deadlines Coming Close!

January 24, 2012

Tags: children's writing contests, Highlights for children, Children's Wrtier


Here are a couple of contest opportunities for children's writers. Note the deadlines of January 31st and February 29th.

Highlights 2012 Fiction Contest.
This year's theme is a funny story inspired by an unusual newspaper headline. There will be three prizes of
either $1,000 or tuition for the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua.

Your entry must be no more than 750 words and postmarked by January 31, 2012. No entry fee is required.
For guidelines and mailing address, go to: http://www.highlights.com/highlights-fiction-contest.

Children’s Writer—Middle Grade fiction.
Submit a well-constructed fictional mystery that will engage readers 9-12, to 900 words. Entries will be judged on structure, appeal for the audience, use of the best elements of the mystery genre, and an interesting protagonist. The judges will look for originality and publishability.

Submissions: Entries must be received by Feb. 29, 2012. Current subscribers to Children's Writer enter free. All others pay an entry fee of $15, which includes an 8-month subscription. Winners will be announced in the July 2012 issue. Prizes: $500 for 1st place plus publication in CW; $250 for 2nd place; and $100 for 3rd, 4th, and 5th places.

For complete information go to: www.childreswriter.com.

Walter Dean Myers selected as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

January 19, 2012

Tags: Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Walter Dean Meyers, Children's Book Council, Center for the Book

Walter Dean Meyers, Ambassador for Children's Literature

On January 10th, author Walter Dean Myers was sworn in as the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.

Myers is the third person to be appointed to the post, which was created in 2008 and is chosen by a committee formed by two groups: the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and Every Child a Reader, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Children’s Book Council.

Myers has earned two Newbery Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, two National Book Award finalists, the Margaret Edwards Award for his YA literature. His books have also won the Coretta Scott King Award and the Michael L. Printz Award.

He stresses that parents need to read to their children. "Read to them at three months, six months, nine months old," he said, citing a new study showing that, when they start school at five years old, most kids are "already far behind." (from www.shelf-awareness.com)

One of his goals: "Reading has to become cool for boys." Myers was raised by foster parents. He went through some difficult family times and dropped out of high school to join the Army. In spite of everything, he became a successful author. Myers credits his success in life to being able to read.

His platform as ambassador is "Reading is not optional."

New Year's Resolutions Still Intact?

January 5, 2012

Tags: New Years resolutions, 2012, writing, networking, marketing, goals


Happy 2012!

Is it too soon to be breaking New Year’s resolutions yet? One of mine was to be on time with weekly blogs, and here it is already January 5th! Here are a few other resolutions, that are still intact up to now.

Reading—at least one book a month. I’d like to say one book a week, but another of my resolutions is to set realistic goals. So if I go for one a week and don’t make it, then I feel let down. But if I go with one a month and read more than that, then I’ve exceeded my goal and feel pretty good. I’ve actually read two books so far in January. One, a Christmas mystery book, and the other, DIAGNOSIS: MONSTER, a children’s book by Nancy Polette which I absolutely enjoyed.

Writing—to finish what I’ve started (I have at least a few things close to being completed), and start something new (I have ideas that have been floating around in my head forever—and my kids wonder why I don’t remember things they tell me!). There are at least two manuscripts that I am determined to finish before the year is out. The best way for me to accomplish that is to aim for their completion sometime in the next few months. I’ve a good start on one of them so far. This category would probably include working on submissions to contests and grants, too.

Marketing—submitting my ‘finished’ manuscripts, the ones that I’ve worked on until I feel they’re ready. That includes some that will probably never be books but would be a good fit for a children’s magazine. And sending out poems that don’t have a home, and submissions to contests and grants. I think I should be able to do this once a month, or at least twelve in 2012. Hey, that might be a good slogan—12 in 2012!

Networking—this is my real challenge! Blogging once a week tops my list. Here are some other things I’d like to do: update my website, learn how to do more on my website, post on facebook more often, maybe even create a separate author listing on facebook, check out other authors on facebook, jacketflap, twitter, and their websites on a regular basis and post on their sites. Another thing is to connect more with other children’s authors in Missouri, through critique groups or by attending author appearances close to home.

When making New Year’s resolutions, it’s also important to look back and see how you did with your Old Year’s resolutions. If you sailed through all of your goals with flying colors, then maybe you need to up the stakes a little. I think that if the resolutions that you made helped you move forward even a little, then you succeeded. So take a look back before striking out in 2012. Then file 2011 away, and leap into the New Year!