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

Independence Day Dog!

July 4, 2012

Tags: July 4th, Independence Day, poetry, puppy names, Freedom


In my picture book, NAME THAT DOG!, I decided to name one of my puppies for the Fourth of July Day holiday. I feel very blessed to live in a country where I am free—free to vote, to say what I think, and to practice my religion—and I thought that it would be good to show that love for my country by naming one of the dogs in my book for Independence Day.

I decided to make it a ‘list’ poem. I began by listing all the words that I could think of that had anything to do with the Fourth of July. I had freedom, independence, liberty, parades, marching bands, fireworks, America, picnics, ice cream and many more.

From my list, I chose Liberty for my puppy’s name for the letter ‘L.’

I started putting the words together, looking especially for good rhythm and rhyme. Then I thought, how great it would be to have this poem ‘sound’ like the Fourth of July as well. Maybe I could give it the rhythm of a marching band?

Here’s what I ended up with.

Liberty

Marching bands
Fire trucks
Flags held high.
Barbecues
Hot dogs
Ice cream, pie.
Firecrackers
Fireworks
up in the sky.
Little puppy
born on the
Fourth of July.

I hope that you enjoy this great holiday! I hope it makes you think of all that the Fourth of July means to you, and that it reminds you of the freedoms that have been won for us and protected over the years. And that we all continue to work to protect those freedoms.

Happy Independence Day to everyone!

Babies…Grandchildren…and poetry

April 21, 2011

Tags: babies, pre-school, poetry

Our new granddaughter--inspiration #7
Our newest inspiration was born on March 29th—baby girl, Claire Elise! Claire is beautiful. Of course, all babies are beautiful. But your own are the very best.

PapPap (my husband) and I had an amazing two weeks in Missouri at the beginning of the month. Two of our children live there with their young families. We spent time with the little ones and their parents. We celebrated the new birth. We babysat. We helped our daughter’s family move into their new house a week after their baby was born. And we enjoyed the warm weather!

I always come home inspired by the comments and observations of our four (now five) grandchildren who live there. Each comment is like a slice of life, a photograph taken from life’s scheme of things. Kind of like poetry, it’s just a little piece of the picture.

Some things I learned:

If you want to get your mother’s attention, stand on a sit and spin. --from the viewpoint of a one-year old.

Lock your bedroom door when you challenge a four-year old to a race to see who gets dressed first.

A little-girl sized umbrella will make a three-year old smile for a long time.

Big helium balloons are more fun than toys.

Running in circles in an empty house is more fun than toys.

“Avocado” can make a kid laugh just because it’s fun to say.

Coloring can be great fun, or overrated, depending on which four-year old you’re with.

A kitchen chair blocking the way will not keep a one-year old away from the cabinet with the horse statues—he just crawls underneath it.

A little boy might forget about a hurt knee if you tell him you’re going to get up the stairs before he does.

A two-year old will tell you he’s going to hide under the bed, and that you have to come and find him.
A four-year old makes you count to 35 and can hide in places you can’t get to.

A one-year old can’t wait to see the next page in the book, and turns the pages before you’re done reading all the words.
A three-year old will count every apple/ball/spot on every page of the book you’re reading.
A four-year old picks the book with the most words/pages for his bedtime story and tells you when you’ve missed any words.

“Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.” --from an almost 5-year old, playing Candyland with his mother.

And writers who get to spend time with pre-schoolers are blessed.

Poetry at the Zoo

March 2, 2011

Tags: Brookfield Zoo, poetry

Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield IL
Have you been to the zoo lately? Last fall, my husband and I went to Brookfield Zoo, just outside of Chicago, where we enjoyed one of the last nice days of the season. We went to spend time outside. We went for the exercise, the change of pace, and to see the animals. Our expectations were met. But an added surprise was to find poetry at the zoo! As we walked, we found poetry on stone, signs, and glass as well as in the beauty of nature.

Etched on a large rock:

Earth, people and poetry
are one and the same entity
bound together by mysterious
subterranean passageways.
When the earth flowers,
the people breathe freedom,
the poets sing and show the way.

Written on a wall:

To the earth, to the earth.
He has renewed our life,
He has taken pity on us.

I did a little bit of research on line and found this information.

Aside from majestic North American animals and beautiful exhibits, Great Bear Wilderness also embraces the “Language of Conservation,” an initiative aimed at deepening conservation awareness through poetry.

With the support of a $1 million National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Poets House (national literary center and poetry library headquartered in New York City) has partnered with five zoos to create approximately 200 unique poetry installations in New Orleans, Milwaukee, Little Rock, Jacksonville, and Chicago. The selected zoos have seamlessly woven poems into the habitats of animals such as polar bears, snakes and flamingos to inspire millions of zoo visitors to become better stewards of the environment.

If you are a poet at heart, and even if you aren’t, and you are near any of the areas near the zoos mentioned above, you won’t want to miss an afternoon of Poetry at the Zoo.

Time for Writing

May 6, 2010

Tags: time to write, memories, inspiration, Once Upon a Time magazine, OUAT, poetry

I never seem to lack for ideas of things to write about. I write from childhood memories, memories of when my children were small, and observations of what other people say and do. I'm inspired by bits and pieces of life as it happens around me, and from things that I read.

My biggest obstacle is finding the time to write. But I figured out that sometimes we just have to come to terms with the time that we have.

One of my favorite magazines for children's writers was Once Upon a Time, published by Audrey Baird, until it ceased publication not all that long ago. I had a few things published in OUAT. One was a poem that I had written about writing time vs family time. Family has always been a top priority for me. It's also been a huge influence on my writing. I thought I would share that poem with you here this week.

Ideas are many.
Minutes are few.
Should I spend them writing,
Or spend them with you?

The things that you do,
And things that you say,
Are my inspiration,
Day after day.

So in daytime I gather
The bits of our lives
And hold them inside me
‘Til quiet arrives.

And sometimes in morning
And sometimes at night,
Those bits merge with dreams
And I sit down and write

copyright Peggy Archer

April Was For the Dogs!

April 30, 2010

Tags: dogs, poetry, poems about dogs, book launch, school author visits, library author visits, Name That Dog!, PAW, Inc., dog names

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
Spot!

(copyright Peggy Archer)

Math and Poetry?

March 10, 2010

Tags: math, poetry, patterns, rhythm, simplicity

A former teacher, and fellow writer, put the thought into my head that math and poetry are related. It's something that I never thought of, but what she said kind of makes sense.

Math is a science. It gets to the point, or the answer, using the shortest route to get there. When doing a math problem every step counts, or you end up with the wrong answer.
Poetry gets to the heart of things, using the shortest route, with meaningful words, without explanations. In poetry, every word must count.

There is a pattern to math, just as there is in poetry. The pattern of a poem creates its rhythm. (more…)

Kidlitosphere Blog Comment Challenge

January 27, 2010

Tags: kidlitosphere, kidilit, blogging, blogs for children's writers, poetry, poetry books, children's writers, children's writing communities, networking

Almost three weeks ago I discovered Kidlitosphere and the Comment Challenge. Kidlitosphere is a community of people who blog about children's and young adult literature. The challenge was to post comments on 100 blog sites within a 3 week period, which amounts to around 5 comments per day.

It sounded easy enough. (more…)

Student Questions

December 4, 2009

Tags: Kids page, For Writers, poetry, school visits, questions

I love it when kids ask questions when I visit their school. I was at Westville Elementary School and talked about writing to the students in the book clubs there earlier this week. I forgot my camera and couldn't take any pictures, so I thought I'd share some of their great questions with you instead.

How long did it take to write your picture book, TURKEY SURPRISE? It took about one year before I was happy with the final version. I do many, many revisions before I'm satisfied with how it reads. I also read my story out loud to my critique groups, and they offer comments on what is good in the story as well as what they think could be improved. It's wonderful to have writer friends who will give me their honest opinion. It doesn't hurt my feelings if they tell me something could be improved.

Who chooses the illustrator for your books? The publisher decides who will illustrate my books. However I did have the opportunity to say who I thought would be a good choice.

Do you like the illustrations in your books? The illustrations aren't always the way I pictured them in my head when I was writing the book, but I love the illustrations in all of my books! Actually, they are much better than the way I had pictured them!

Have you ever met the illustrators for your books? No I have never met them. I also haven't had any telephone conversations, or e-mails from them. Thor Wickstrom put a little yellow dog in TURKEY SURPRISE, and I was excited about that because I had a little yellow puppy. But he didn't know that.

How many books have you written? My 4th published book, NAME THAT DOG!, will be out on April 1, 2010. But I've written hundreds of books! Some are in my file folders waiting to be finished, or for me to re-write them until they are good enough to send out to publishers.

Do you work on only one book at a time? Usually I work on a book for awhile, then put it down and work on something different, like poetry or non-fiction. Then later I go back to my book with fresh eyes. I can see things in my book more clearly then that should be changed or re-written. And there are times when I'm busy with some non-writing thing, and it might be easier for me to work on a poem, because a poem isn't as long as a whole book. So I'm always working on something.

What kind of books do you like to read? When I was young I liked to read fairy tales and Nancy Drew mysteries. My favorite book was Nurse Nancy. Now I read all kinds of books but I still love to read mystery and suspense books, and I like the Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

Thanks to all of the students and teachers and librarians for their wonderful questions!

Snickers

November 4, 2009

Tags: Snickers, dogs, poetry, stories

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.

The Value of Music in Writing for Children

August 12, 2009

Tags: writing for children, poetry, music, rhythm, pacing, picture books, Colgate Country Showdown, songwriters

I write poetry and stories for children. I do not write music. Our son, Dan, and our daughter, Sarah, write and perform their own songs. Our son Kevin writes music. Maybe someday I'll give it a try. Of course it would be songs for children. My husband played drums and had a band in high school. All of our children play instruments, and some were in choir and musicals. I've learned how to line dance and to think rhythm.

There's a lot to be said for music if you write for young children. Rhythm, pacing, and a musical quality are important in picture books. . (more…)