Please contact me if you would like me to speak at your school, or autograph books at your Scholastic Book Fair.
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.
January 14, 2014
I personally think the official new year should start a couple of weeks into January. By then you’ve made your new year’s resolutions and know which ones you’re going to keep. You’ve got your Christmas decorations put away, probably, except for the ones you didn’t see. Holiday visits and parties are over, and you’re ready to settle back into a routine.
As for those new year’s resolutions—how about changing it to ‘new month’s’ resolutions? That way we get to start over, fresh each month! So January is only half over. Here are a few of my resolves that relate to writing.
Read a book
, other than a picture book, each month—by making it a resolution I give myself permission to stop everything and read! I read Glen Beck’s THE SNOW ANGEL, and Richard Peck’s A SEASON OF GIFTS. So check that one off for January.
at the very least
three days a week—this means working on a manuscript of some kind, and does not include blogging or other writing related things. Ok, I’m going to blame this one on the holidays. I’m giving myself a chance to make up the work these last two weeks. I think I can do that. ReviMo
is helping me with that, too. (Click on the picture on the right for some great inspiration).
something to a publisher, be it a book manuscript or something to a children’s magazine, once a month—I have two great manuscripts ready to go. I also have quite a few poems polished. So I just have to get them out in the mail. This is a ‘can do.’
: have them ready by the end of February—that’s a tough one, since although I keep my records and receipts all in one place, I neglect to log them on my computer throughout the year. I am one of those people who is organized by having everything in neat piles, or spaces. It takes me a day or two to organize and categorize everything for the past year! I think I’ll add a resolution—
my writing expenses, mileage, etc. monthly—ok, that can work since this is still January!
Attend at least two events for children’s writers
this year—maybe I made this one too easy. I’ve signed up for the Missouri SCBWI program on Learning to Work With the Common Core
in March, and I just signed up for the Indiana SCBWI Spring conference
in April. I know I’ll also attend the Missouri Fall Conference
in September. So this one’s a done-deal.
Work on my website and networking
—this one is harder for me, so I’m just going to leave it up as a general reminder. I also want to visit other websites and blogs by children’s writers more often.
I’m a list person. So making a list of new year’s resolutions helps me to stay on track. For some people, this can take a negative turn if it bothers you when you fail at keeping a resolution. Here’s a more positive way to look at it.
Make your resolutions things that you will likely be able to accomplish. Make some easier, and some a little more difficult. For example, if I say that I’m going to write every
day, I know that won’t happen because there is work to do, and I also like to do things with my family and friends, and I know that sometimes other things will get in the way. So I made it three times a week instead. If I do more, then I really feel good!
Reward yourself when you reach your goal. Ice cream, a day out, or a movie night works for me.
Don’t let yourself feel down if you don’t accomplish your goal. Every day is a new start! Re-evaluate your goals each month and revise them if you need to—we’re familiar with revision, right!?
Instead of looking at how much you didn’t
do, look at how much you did
do. Maybe I didn’t get my three days of writing in one week, but I did write two days, for a long time!
If you reach all of your goals too easily, then you probably need to revise them.
Here are a few quotes to leave you with:
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao Tzu
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
“It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce that counts.” - Zig Ziglar
Happy writing 2014 to all!
January 5, 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!
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.
June 10, 2010
Windows, blogs, websites! Facebook, twitter, e-books and now iPads! Just when I get comfortable with something new, the next thing comes out!
I'm ok with updating my website, when I have plenty of time to do it. That's one of my goals for June (maybe July?). I want to change a few things, and add a few things, like activities for NAME THAT DOG!.
The thing is that when I finally get something down, it changes! I just got Windows 7. I know where to find the help tools I need to click on in XP. Did they really need to change the locations of those in Windows 7?!
I've gotten the blog thing down, sort of. I still sometimes have difficulty adding pictures. Facebook is ok, too. Only I wanted to create an album of pictures there and forgot how. I don't have an iPhone. I have enough trouble figuring out anything more than using my cell phone to send and receive calls. Although I did learn to text recently.
I've not explored twitter yet. E-books and iPads are another thing I haven't tried. Actually the iPad looks great. I got a look at it when Stephen Roxburg was here for our SCBWI conference a few weeks ago. His company namelos publishes ebooks for YA (Young Adult) readers. He thinks that picture books on the iPad will be coming, too, down the road. I've got mixed feelings about that.
Stephen showed us a Dr. Seuss book on the iPad, and all of the interactive things you can do with it. You can sit next to your child and read together, just like holding a book. At first thought it seemed great. But I've seen my 2, 3, and 4 year old grandchildren watching a TV program. With their eyes glued to the screen, so mesmerized by what's going on, it's difficult to break their concentration. Their TV time is very limited, and I can see why. Will reading via an electronic book do the same thing? On the other hand, they're 'reading' a book, so can it be all bad? Progress--or just change--is sometimes hard to accept.
I've been told that it's the reading that's important, not the means they use to read. So I'll keep on writing for children, with pencil on paper, before finishing up on my computer. And hope that I'll have another book, made of paper and board, to hold in my hands some day.
March 25, 2010
Ten Twisted Tongue Twisters
Do you have a problem overcoming overuse of alliteration in your children’s stories? Do character names trip off your tongue like “Tiny Tommy Turtle?” Do your titles rock to the rhythm of “Rita Raccoon and the Rattletrap Rattlesnake”? Well, here’s your chance to change all that! Take some time out and try these ten twisted tongue twisters and see how fast you reform.
One weary writer whiting out his writing.
Two choosy teachers choose children’s chapter books.
Three free critiques.
Four cool quick facts.
Five fine poets refuse to pursue prose.
Six short stories on a short shelf.
Seven spell checkers check spelling errors.
Eight easy-reader writers writing easy-readers.
Nine nice novelists notice no mistakes.
Ten tongue-tied typists typing in italics.
by Peggy Archer, oringinally published in OUAT magazine
February 9, 2010
Instead of the word 'lonely,' let's substitute 'solitary.'
You certainly can say that 'writing' is a solitary job. The story is yours alone. The characters, the setting, the voice. No one can write it just the way that you can. So you sit with your pen and paper, or at your computer, alone. And you write the story that's in you head, and in your heart.
Once your story is down on paper, however, there are many ways that you as a writer can connect with others to help you along (more…)
February 4, 2010
Writing is a lonely job! Or is it? Maybe. If you have no kids. And no one knows that you write for children.
I started writing (to be published, that is) when my children were little. It's a bit uncanny how you can write surrounded by six small bodies in constant motion. But I did. In between the "I'm hungry" and "I hafta go potty" and "He/She took that away from me!" I'd sit and write (well, sometimes I would do laundry, or other things).
Occassionally I might hear something like this:
What are you doing, Mommy?
I'm writing a story.
Is it about a pig?
No. But it's about a farmer.
Does he have a pig?
December 30, 2009
It's that time again for making New Year's Resolutons! My resoluions always seem to be similar to the ones I made the previous year. But if I really think about it, they're a step up, and I've at least learned from my good intentions. Or maybe I'm just making excuses!
In 2010 I will-- or at least I intend to do-- the following:
Read one children's book and one grown-up book a month.
Submit a manuscript to a magazine or book publisher each month.
Finish the picture book manuscripts in my (more…)
September 30, 2009
After weeks of spending too much time on the couch because of a broken foot or a broken ankle this summer, I finally started putting away the accumulation of papers and books that had surrounded me as I sat with one foot or the other propped up on pillows. Magazines, books, old mail--all got sorted and put away, or thrown away. But I also found bits of new writing, and revisions of old manuscripts there. Those still sit in the corner of the couch where (more…)
September 23, 2009
This past Saturday Indiana SCBWI hosted an event for children's writers on Ghostwriting with Sara Grant, Editor at Working Partners in London. Sara talked about their projects and gave tips on sending an application, but she also offered a wealth of knowledge on writing the novel and (more…)
September 16, 2009
Last week I had the opportunity to meet April Pulley Sayre when she gave a talk about writing and her picture books in South Bend. I love the simplicity of her picture books, and the way that she presents facts in such an interesting & fun way. She makes it seem so easy, but (more…)
September 9, 2009
One of the perks of being a children's author is talking to children and adults about books and writing. I've learned so much along the way! The process of creating a picture book, the time it takes, and the people involved in making it come alive is amazing. (more…)