I'm a professional editor/developmental editor of children's magazines and books, as well as an author. I've taught writing at the university and community college level as well as in workshops across the USA. I've also been a writing coach on projects that have found publishers through the coaching process. I eat, drink, and sleep children's publishing and read widely in the field, devouring as many as five novels a week. If you want to be a great writer, you'd better be reading in your chosen genre.
Developed high-interest illustrated nonfiction books for children. Specialized in jaw-dropping information in areas such as history, science, wordplay, the arts, and entertainment.
As the coordinating editor of Highlights for Children I was the last eye on all parts of the magazine, both fiction and nonfiction. Moving on from there I worked as a senior editor and a managing editor shepherding books through the editorial and production process for Boyds Mills Press, the trade book arm of Highlights, Inc. I taught many writing workshops for Highlights and also worked with the Highlights Foundation to help coordinate faculty and workshops at the Chautauqua Institute and at Boyds Mills.
Over the past 20 years I have had the privilege of teaching workshops across the country for the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators), the Highlights Foundation, and a number of other entities. I've taught the hero's journey, character development, the importance of place (setting), finding your voice, and editing your own writing. In addition, I have coached a number of writers from manuscript to publication. Writers I have taught, workshopped manuscripts for, or coached include Kathryn Erskine (Mockingbird), Jody Casella (Thin Space), Lori Ries (Super Sam), Kathleen Doherty (Don't Feed the Bear), and Tina Athaide (Orange for the Sunsets). Writers I have edited over the years include Eric Luper, Valeri Gorbachev, John O'Brien, Rich Wallace, Sandra Neil Wallace, Kelly Milner Halls, and Eileen Spinelli among many others.
All Rufus Leroy Williams III wants is to go to school so he can learn to read his favorite book. But there's one problem: he's a pig and Principal Lipid says: “NO PIGS IN SCHOOL!” Rufus even gets a backpack, a lunchbox, and a blanket to prove he's ready. But Mr. Lipid won't budge. Is there ANYTHING Rufus can do to change his mind? Kim Griswell and illustrator Valeri Gorbachev have created a lo... read more
Ahoy—Pirate Pig on board! What does a book-loving pig like Rufus do when school's out for summer? He turns to his favorite stories for inspiration, of course! And before long, he's dreaming of days filled with adventure and nights under blankets of stars. It's the pirate life for him, matey. But Captain Wibblyshins says NO PIGS ON PIRATE SHIPS! After all, pigs get tangled in the rat lines, the... read more
“Perfect for fans of Where the Wild Things Are, as it too features a voyage by a kid who doesn’t play by the rules. A great storytime choice for young book lovers and adventurers.” —School Library Journal“My name is Rufus Leroy Williams III. And I am ready to blast off.""NO PIGS IN SPACE." Rufus the Pig has already sailed the seven seas on a pirate ship. Now he dreams of the Moon, the stars, a... read more
It’s Bear vs. Ranger in the funniest food fight ever. Mac and cheese, Carrot cake, Meatball stew: Bear loves when campers leave him grub. The park ranger does not. Smackity smack, Ranger pounds a sign into the ground: DON’T FEED THE BEAR! Upset—no more chewy cookies? No more juicy burgers?—Bear quickly crosses out the “don’t.” Now, it’s war in the park! But when both Bear and Ranger end up los... read more
From debut author Tina Athaide comes a soaring tale of empathy, hope, and resilience, as two best friends living under Ugandan President Amin’s divisive rule must examine where—and who—they call home.Perfect for fans of Half from the East and Inside Out and Back Again.Asha and her best friend, Yesofu, never cared about the differences between them: Indian. African. Girl. Boy. Short. Tall.But w... read more
Quacky facts for curious kids from the master of weird trivia, Uncle John!It’s wacky and fun! It’s illustrated and easy to read! It’s a whole new twist on learning! And it’s FOR (curious) KIDS ONLY--boys, girls, kids who like to read, kids who don’t…even grown up kids. Go ahead, be curious! Inside Uncle John’s Totally Quacked Bathroom Reader you’ll find 288 pages packed with strange science, w... read more
Follow Uncle John into an enchanted world so packed with wonders it could only come from the Bathroom Readers' Institute.2012 ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards, Finalist in Juvenile Nonfiction Category This legendary addition to the wildly successful For Kids Only! series is chock full of the fun facts and eye-popping illustrations that kids have come to love, but this time we’ve added ... read more
Horror, history, science, mystery . . . and eerily twisted tales. Follow Uncle John into a world so frighteningly funny it could only come from the Bathroom Readers Institute.What do you get when you cross a classic scary story such as “The Tell-tale Heart” with Uncle John’s trademark sense of humor? You get “The Tell-tale Fart” (Pee-uw!). And that’s just one of many twisted classic and origin... read more
Do you have a compulsive desire to know something about everything? Then you have infomania, and Uncle John has the cure!Infomania is the compulsive desire to gobble up information, and kids growing up in the information age have it bad. Young infomaniacs are hungry, hungry, hungry for information. Who knows information better than Uncle John? No one! And now he’s figured out how to deliver in... read more
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An experienced developmental editor specializing in physics and astronomy, but comfortable with chemistry, Earth sciences, and biology too.
I've worked in children's/YA trade and school publishing for 30 years, run The Purple Crayon website, and offer editing and consulting.