November 2, 2013
Missouri SCBWI Fall Conference
Breakout: Writing the Picture Book
with Nancy Polette
MO SCBWI Fall Conference
MO SCBWI Fall Conference for Children's Writers & Illustrators
Read a book, Dr. Seuss style!
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.
April 26, 2011
Melody, from NAME THAT DOG!
Between new babies and other family matters, my blog has taken a back seat this month. I decided to get in a late contribution to poetry month by going through how I wrote, and re-wrote, one of the poems from my picture book, NAME THAT DOG!
My inspiration for Melody was my friend’s dog, Mellie. Every time I would go to Karen’s house, Mellie barked like crazy, even before I got the front door! I told Karen, “You don’t need a doorbell. You have Mellie!”
My first idea was to write about a dog who loved to ‘sing,’ and with his barking he would get all of the dogs in the neighborhood to join in. I called him Maestro, like the leader of an orchestra. Here’s the first draft:
He sings along
When I play the piano
He hits the high notes
In perfect soprano.
He can hold it long
He can sing it low
Dogs follow the lead
Of my dog, Maestro.
Ok, I wasn't really happy with this poem--yet. Here are some reasons why.
Rhythm: This poem didn’t just roll off your tongue with that easy rhythm.
The stress fell on different syllables in the lines. I try to have each line stress the same syllable, either the first or the second usually, to make it easy to read. It doesn’t always work out that way, but at least it feels right when you read it out loud. The stress here falls on the second or third syllable, and doesn’t line up in order. The last line puts the stress on the word ‘my,’ which doesn’t feel natural. In addition, the lines don’t have the same number of syllables. It doesn’t always have to be exactly the same, but I felt that it was too far off.
Imagery: I didn’t feel that the end result put any special pictures or images in the reader’s mind. Ok, maybe a piano, maybe an orchestra conductor. Boring!
Language: Word choice, or language, is what creates the images that the readers see when they read a poem. It’s also what makes the reader feel something when they read a poem. I definitely thought I could do better here.
So I started to make my lists. I made a list of words of ways that a dog makes noise: bark, howl, yap, etc. I made a list of words that were synonyms for ‘sing:’ croon, tra-la-la, chant, hum, wail, moan…. I made a list of types of music: country, opera, pop, rock, rap…. I made a list of musical instruments: piano, saxophone, flute, violin….
I decided to re-name my dog Melody, after Mellie, who barked whenever someone came up the walk, and made her a girl like the real Mellie. I looked at my lists, and tried to relate the different words to a dog, in particular to a dog who liked to ‘sing.’ Here’s what I ended up with.
She sings when I play the piano.
She croons to the saxophone blues.
She wails to that sad country music
And moans to the nine o’clock news.
She boldly increases her volume,
enjoying the voice that she’s found,
And sings a duet with the doorbell—
That howling, melodious hound.
Poems are meant to be read out loud! I ended up with a much better rhythm, and a poem that was fun to read. The language was fun, too. And the images are there in every line for the reader to enjoy. I hope that you enjoy these poems, as well.
April 30, 2010
What a fun month April has been!
I visited schools and libraries where I talked about my books and writing poetry. I got some great questions from the students (and grown ups, too) and got to meet some very nice people. There was a book launch party for my new book, NAME THAT DOG! at the Valpo Library, complete with dog bone cookies, and cookies in the doggy dish. Thanks to everyone who was there to help celebrate. I met pet owners and some beautiful dogs at the Be Kind to Animals event, sponsored by the Porter County Animal Shelter and PAW, at the PC Expo Center. And I've enjoyed the book reviews, and seeing my new book finally out in bookstores. I'll be wrapping things up for a bit next week after a presentation at a Young Authors Event in Plainfield, Indiana. Be sure to keep an eye out for new pictures being added on the left.
Later in May I'll be taking time out for our Indiana SCBWI Spring Conference, and to enjoy our daughter's wedding! It's been a joyful year.
I thought I would wrap up this week's blog post with one of the poems that did not make it into the book. This one is for Spot:
One black nose
Is all that shows
In all that fur she’s got.
White as snow
From head to toe--
I think I’ll call her
(copyright Peggy Archer)
April 2, 2010
It's official-- Name That Dog! is finally released for sale by Penguin's Dial Books for Young Readers,and is available in bookstores and on line!
Happy Poetry Month!
I'll be looking at poetry books for children, poetry blogs and websites, and posting more this month.
December 17, 2009
An early Chritmas gift came in the mail this week from Dial Books. I received the F&G's for my newest picture book, NAME THAT DOG! F&G's, meaning 'folded and gathered,' is the un-bound cover and pages of the book. I love the pictures, the lay-out, the names of the dog breeds on each page! But I especially love the cover. Portraits of different dogs from the book, the little dog on the front looking up and his portrait on the back, the bone after my name, and the pawprints on the spine and back cover. "The A to Z Guide to Perfect Pupy Names!" is the caption over the puppy portrait on the back.
Available for pre-order at stores and online, NAME THAT DOG! will be out in less than four months.
Thanks, Liz, for bringing my book to life! And thanks, Stephanie, for the great artwork!
November 4, 2009
Because of her I write poetry. And I’m filled with new ideas and stories to write.
When we got Snickers she weighed 5 pounds. I could hold her in my hand. At the animal shelter they said, “Her mother is a cocker spaniel.” The vet said, “You have a little lab!” Her daddy had the dominant genes.
She was creative. She pulled the tablecloth off the kitchen table to get to the food. She ate a dozen chocolate cupcakes from the back of the stove without leaving a trace. She could get the screen door open, even when it was locked.
She was contradictory. Snickers did not like cats. One day she ate the cat food from the neighbor’s front porch.
She got carsick. The only way to get her back home when she escaped from the yard was to back the car out of the driveway and open the car door. She came running.
She was full of energy. She ate my yellow tulips, and chased lightening bugs. She barked at birds, and once or twice at an airplane. She took her snowman toy with her everywhere. She ‘buried’ rawhide bones in a corner of the living room. She liked pretzels.
One day when she was a puppy, she peed on the kitchen floor while I was mopping it for the third time in a row. I put her outside. That was the last time she peed inside the house. Until recently. She never went past the baby gate when we had it up, even though she could easily push it over or jump over it. Back then. She would race across the back yard, and followed us everywhere...
We’ll miss you, Snickers.
A Dog’s House
copyright PeggyArcher, 1999
Noseprints on the window.
Pawprints on the door.
Bones are in the pantry,
Dishes on the floor.
You left your mark upon this house.
You claimed it from the start.
With noseprints on the window,
And pawprints on the heart.
July 22, 2009
My name is Peggy Archer and I am a children's author. My newest picture book, NAME THAT DOG!, will be out from Dial Books for Young Readers in April 2010! To see more about me and my books, please visit my website at www.peggyarcher.com.
My author website has been around for awhile, but until now I have resisted 'The Blog.' My plan is to add something of interest to children's writers and anyone interested in children's books weekly on Wednesdays. So please check back.
The ALA (American Library Association) convention was (more…)