Sharon Hart Addy
Ideas for picture books, stories, articles, poetry, and crafts have drawn Sharon Hart Addy to writing for nearly 20 years.
Her picture book, Lucky Jake (Houghton Mifflin, 2007), was called “a treasure” by Kirkus Reviews and “an example of innovative storytelling” by School Library Journal.
Right Here on This Spot (Houghton Mifflin, 1999) was the recipient of the Archer/Eckbald Children’s Picture Book Award. Ms. Addy’s sense of humor and interest in the Old West produced the picture book When Wishes Were Horses (Houghton Mifflin, 2002). The Council of Wisconsin Writers honored it with a picture book award. Kidding Around Milwaukee (John Muir, 1997) is the nonfiction addition to Ms. Addy’s book credits.
Her work for children has also appeared in Cricket, Highlights for Children, Ladybug, The Friend, Winner, Hopscotch, Boys’ Quest, Pockets, Shine Brightly, and other magazines.
Combining her writing background with her teaching experience, Ms. Addy leads story-writing workshops for elementary and middle school students. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
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Winner of the 2005 Milkweed Prize for Children’s Fiction, Jessica Lee Anderson’s middle-grade novel, Trudy (Milkweed Editions, 2005), made a splash onto the children’s book scene.
According to a ByLine review, Trudy fulfills Milkweed’s mission to publish literature that “conveys the essential experiences of the human heart and spirit.” Based on Ms. Anderson’s own experience of having a grandmother diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, this touching story offers inspiration for young people everywhere.
Ms. Anderson also has several short stories and articles to her credit, including “Miracle on Stone Street,” featured in Mistletoe Madness, a holiday anthology published by Blooming Tree Press in 2004. Her first nonfiction sale was to Highlights for Children, followed by “Recycle Your Napkin into a Blooming Blossom” in Wee Ones magazine.
Ms. Anderson earned a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature from Hollins University and studied at the Children’s Literature International Summer School held at Roehampton University in London. In 2002, she received the Shirley Henn Memorial Award for Creative Scholarship.
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In 1982, a relative whose book had just been published encouraged Marilyn Anderson to write a book about horses. The result was To Teach a Horse to Dance.
Her manuscript, crafted with the help of Lee Wyndham’s Writing for Children and Teenagers (which she bought at a rummage sale), was not accepted, but the publisher offered her $1,000 to write a manual about the care of horses. The Horse Lover’s Handbook became her first published book.
Ms. Anderson has since published 17 books, including the very successful Hot Fudge Pickles, The Bubble Gum Monster, and The Bridesmaid Wore Track Shoes, all published by Willowisp Press. She also writes nonfiction books and articles, and visits schools to share her love and knowledge of writing with children.
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The American Booksellers Association named Haemi Balgassi’s first picture chapter book, Peacebound Trains (Clarion, 1996), one of the best children’s books of 1996, as did the San Francisco Chronicle and Smithsonian Magazine. The New York Times recommended the book for its “powerful narrative,” and Booklist agreed, calling the story “graceful and poignant.”
Such praise has been rewarding for its author, who based the story on her mother’s and grandmother’s rooftop train ride in the first winter of the Korean War. The United States government presented Peacebound Trains, and a complete curriculum guide based on the book, on its official Korean War 50th Anniversary commemorative website. It was also an International Reading Association Notable Book for a Global Society, a Notable Children’s Book in the Field of Social Studies, and a Society of Illustrators Gold Medal winner.
Her young adult novel, Tae’s Sonata (Clarion, 1997), won the 2000 Lamplighter Classic Award from the National Christian Schools Association. It was also selected as a Notable Children’s Book in the Field of Social Studies.
In addition to books, her short stories have been published by Hopscotch magazine and the Cricket Magazine Group.
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“Captivating . . . outrageous and hilarious” was the verdict of the New York Times in a rave review of Bonny Becker’s picture book, The Christmas Crocodile (Simon & Schuster, 1998), illustrated by Caldecott award-winning artist David Small.
Ms. Becker’s first picture book, The Quiet Way Home (Henry Holt, 1996), was chosen for inclusion in a literature-based study program featuring top-quality children’s books. Tickly Prickly (HarperCollins, 1999) was selected for the Children’s Book of the Month Club. Her first middle-grade novel, My Brother the Robot (Dutton, 2001), was a Junior Library Guild selection. Other recent titles include Holbrook: A Lizard’s Tale (Clarion, 2006); Just A Minute (Simon & Schuster, 2003); and An Ant’s Day Off (Simon & Schuster, 2003), which won a 2004 Storytelling World Honor Award.
Ms. Becker was selected to receive a Barbara Karlin Grant for a work in progress from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Other honors for Ms. Becker include First Place, Short Story Category, Pacific Northwest Writers Conference; and the Joseph Jackson Award (literary award), San Francisco Foundation.
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“My instructor’s comments are precise and given with encouragement; her criticism is given where needed, and is never harsh or demeaning; and she always answers my questions carefully. Inspiration came when she told me my assignment was good enough (with simple revisions) to try for publication.”
—Susan J. Garman, Peru, IN
Pamela Holtz Beres graduated from the Institute’s course, Writing for Children and Teenagers, in 1989.
Her first sale to Pockets magazine, “Joey’s Almost Good-For-Nothing Day,” was published in August 1990. That story was originally written as a course assignment, as was her second sale, “Telescape,” published by Guide in September 1990.
Since then, her work has appeared in My Friend, Children’s Digest, Jack And Jill, On the Line, Partners, Junior Trails, and Wee Wisdom.
In 1999, Ms. Beres won the Pockets fiction-writing contest. Several of her stories were named top-ten finalists in Pockets contests of previous years.
In addition to her work for children, Ms. Beres writes feature articles for Lutheran Parent magazine. She has also written short scripts for radio, and articles for a variety of other publications.
“Writing has brought joy to my life,” says Eileen Dunn Bertanzetti. “It’s also brought its share of hard work; but there’s little else—besides my family and my students—that I find as rewarding as the entire process of writing and rewriting.”
Ms. Bertanzetti’s more than 150 articles and stories have appeared in such publications as My Friend, Our Little Friend, Our Sunday Visitor, Family Digest, Children’s Writer, and On the Line.
“The process of writing articles can be therapeutic for you, the writer,” she says. “If you’ve been through some life event that’s challenged you, or if you know a family member, neighbor, friend, or local ‘celebrity’ who’s had an out-of-the-ordinary and/or intriguing experience, you’ll find good material there to draw on for an article. And keep in mind that photographs, sidebars, quotes, and anecdotes can help sell your articles.”
In addition to her articles, Ms. Bertanzetti has sold five books to publishers. Her credits include Rich in Love: The Story of Padre Pio Pietrelcina (Pauline Books & Media, 1999), a biography for young adults; and Poor Pio (Hard Shell, 2006), a biography aimed at three- to eight-year-olds.
Her biography for middle-graders, Molly Pitcher: Heroine, a Revolutionary War book, was published by Chelsea House.
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With more than thirty books to her credit, scientist-turned-children’s author Vijaya Khisty Bodach has a special talent for bringing clarity and enjoyment to her writing on the natural sciences.
Her recent credits include How Do Toys Work? (Macmillan McGraw-Hill, 2008), part of Macmillan’s Science: A Closer Look program; a four-book series called Making Graphs (2007) for Capstone Press, which includes Pie Graphs, Tally Charts, Pictographs, and Bar Graphs; and the six-book Plant Parts series (Capstone Press, 2006).
Ms. Bodach has also written numerous titles for Perfection Learning, such as Movement (2006), Soft to the Touch (2006), Larger Than Life (2006), Matter Matters (2005), and Simple Machines (2005).
In addition to book-length nonfiction, Ms. Bodach has published more than fifty articles, short stories, and poems in children’s magazines such as Ladybug, Odyssey, Highlights for Children, and many others.
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“My instructor has been supportive and helpful throughout our relationship. Her criticism has always been constructive and tempered with encouraging comments. She is truly interested in my work and success as a writer.”
—Laurie Teachout, Sunnyvale, CA
“This lady knows how to get and keep a reader’s attention,” proclaimed the Marietta (GA) Daily Journal in its praise of Idella Bodie’s first book, The Secret of Telfair Inn (1971).
“Her characters are as real and believable as the kids next door—and just as prone to get into unusual situations. . .. If you’re weary of books that have no more substance than chewing gum and your children are leery of ‘educational’ books that preach and drag drearily to a predictable conclusion, sample one of Ms. Bodie’s books,” the Journal wrote.
Five other books that followed were also a blend of history and fiction: Mystery of the Pirate’s Treasure (1973); Ghost in the Capitol (1976); Stranded! (1984); Trouble at Star Fort (1992); and Mystery of Edisto Island (1994), all published by Sandlapper Publishing, Inc.
Ms. Bodie’s biographies include South Carolina Women (Sandlapper, 1978, rev.1991) and A Hunt for Life’s Extras, The Story of Archibald Rutledge, South Carolina’s First Poet Laureate (Sandlapper,1980; iuniverse.com, 2000).
Carolina Girl (Sandlapper, 1998) is a memoir of growing up during the Depression and World War II. Ghost Tales for Retelling (Sandlapper, 1994) includes 27 scary stories and hints for effective storytelling.
The winner of the Guideposts Writer’s Workshop in 1980, Ms. Bodie is a frequent contributor to that magazine and to Mature Living. She is listed in Gale’s Something About the Author (volumes 12 and 89), which can be found in the research section of public libraries.
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School Library Journal called Fred Bortz’s book, Catastrophe! Great Engineering Failure—and Success (W. H. Freeman & Co. Scientific American Books for Young Readers, 1995), a “fascinating, thought-provoking book . . . [that] reads like an adventure story from the first to the last page.” A joint committee of the National Science Teachers Association and the Children’s Book Council designated Catastrophe! a Selector’s Choice on the list of Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children for 1996.
Dr. Bortz’s first book, Superstuff! (1990), was followed two years later by Mind Tools (1992). Then came Catastrophe!, To the Young Scientist (1997), Martian Fossils on Earth? (1997), Dr. Fred’s Weather Watch (2000), Collision Course! (2001), and Techno-Matter (2001), for which he was awarded the prestigious American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award.
Dr. Bortz’s first series, the six-volume Library of Subatomic Particles, appeared in 2004. Since then, he has moved to scientific biographies and histories for middle-grade and young adult readers.
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“My instructor is a wonderful blend of professionalism and patience. She corrects my mistakes in a compassionate manner. Her warm, caring nature is revealed in her letters. She questions everything to test my knowledge and skills along the way. She also gives loads of helpful hints based on her experience. She’s great!”
—Mary Lou Baute, Edgewood, KY
“This is a good picture book . . . with instructions for the child to find all sorts of things and count them,” said the Philadelphia Inquirer about One Carton of Oops!, the first book in the Christopher Counts series written by Judy Bradbury and published by McGraw-Hill/Learning Triangle Press.
These full-color, humorous books for ages 4–7 feature endearing, hapless Christopher and teach basic math concepts both through the story and through “minds on” activities embedded in the illustrations. Titles in the Christopher Counts series are: One Carton of Oops! (1997), Double Bubble Trouble! (1998), A High-Fiving Gift for Mom (1998), and Doggone Lemonade Stand! (1998).
Ms. Bradbury is also the author of a four-book series entitled Children’s Book Corner: A Read-Aloud Resource with Tips, Techniques, and Plans for Teachers, Librarians, and Parents published by Libraries Unlimited.
Ms. Bradbury has also published articles in professional publications for teachers, parent magazines, and local newspapers, including Baby Talk, Lollipops, Western New York Family, and the Buffalo News. She was previously a children’s book review columnist for Mother Connection.
Judy Bradbury maintains active membership in the International Reading Association, the Niagara Frontier Reading Council, and the Western New York Whole Language Consortium. She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Association of Professional Women Writers.
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Linda Crotta Brennan gained insight into children’s imaginations through her own rich childhood and later training. She earned her degrees in college and graduate school in child development and early childhood education.
Ms. Brennan has been published in Highlights for Children, Cricket, Ladybug, Turtle, Humpty Dumpty’s Magazine, My Friend, and Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company’s On My Own anthology. A story Ms. Brennan sold to Highlights, “The Dream Violin,” became the title story in a paperback anthology put out by Boyds Mills Press.
Her first picture book manuscript, Flannel Kisses, was followed by a sequel, Marshmallow Kisses (Houghton Mifflin, 2000), which won the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award.
Her other titles include The Black Regiment of the American Revolution (Moon Mountain Publishing, 2004) and North Carolina (Scholastic, 2003).
Ms. Brennan was a recipient of the Highlights for Children Foundation’s Eve Bunting Scholarship to the Chautauqua Workshop, and she has served as a Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
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The author of more than 100 magazine/newspaper articles and 7 books, Jan Burns loves the challenge of a new subject. She’s written about everything from crop circles and parent-teacher conferences to butterfly gardens and Jack London, and is a skilled and passionate researcher.
Ms. Burns’ published books for children include three titles in KidHaven’s Mysterious Encounters series, UFOs (2008), Crop Circles (2008), and Fairies (2007); John Roberts (Lucent Books, 2008), part of the People in the News series; Crime Scene Investigations: Kidnapping (Lucent Books, 2007); and Shigeru Miyamoto (Kidhaven, 2006).
She has also sold more than 100 articles and stories to such markets as Highlights for Children, Boys’ Quest, On the Line, Faces, Christian Science Monitor, Children’s Writer, Dallas Morning News, Grit, Highways, Ladies’ Home Journal, San Francisco Examiner, Trailer Life, Houston Chronicle, Plain Truth, The Writer, and Writers Forum.
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“My instructor has fine teaching skills. She’s been supportive, critical, patient, and encouraging, instilling confidence in me. She has kept my dream of being a successful writer alive!”
—Diane Arth, Cleveland, OH
“The suspense builds to a surprising climax that leaves you wondering: if time can stop, can it also go backward?” That’s what Booklist wrote about Nancy Butts’s science fiction novel, The Door in the Lake (Front Street, 1998; Puffin, 2000).
Nancy Butts’s novel appeals to young readers not just because of its gripping plot, but also because it touches them on a personal level as well. This dual appeal has resulted in much recognition.
The American Library Association recommended The Door in the Lake as a Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. The University of Wisconsin School of Education included it in its prestigious Choices book list in 1998. The book has also been nominated for three state awards.
Ms. Butts found a publisher for her first young adult novel, Cheshire Moon (Front Street, 1996), just four months after completing it. But her success was the result of years of hard work.
She learned the basics of writing as a reporter and editor for a small town newspaper, in the process earning three awards from the Georgia Press Association and one from the Georgia School Board Association.
Ms. Butts graduated magna cum laude from Duke University, and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
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Patricia Calvert’s first novel, The Snowbird (Scribner, 1980), was a success by any measure.
The book won three awards: Best Book award from the American Library Association; the juvenile fiction award from the Society of Midland Authors; and the juvenile award from the Friends of American Writers. The YWCA selected The Snowbird for its Outstanding Achievement in the Arts award.
Yesterday’s Daughter (Scribner, 1986) was a Junior Literary Guild selection, and Stranger, You and I (Scribner, 1987) was a special selection for reluctant readers by YASD. Bigger (Atheneum, 1994) was a nominee for the Mark Twain Award and Glennis, Before and After (Atheneum, 1996) won the Christopher Award.
Ms. Calvert later turned her attention to nonfiction, with the publication of The American Frontier (Atheneum, 1997). She has published more than 100 short stories and articles in Highlights for Children, Jack And Jill, Junior Life, The Friend, and more.
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A former student of the Institute, Lorri Cardwell-Casey has more than 450 works of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry to her credit.
Her writing career began with an impressive first sale to Highlights for Children. Since then, her nonfiction works have appeared in Guideposts for Kids, Family Circle, ParentLife, Woman’s Day, Writer’s Digest, ByLine, Freelance Writer’s Report, and more.
Ms. Cardwell-Casey also enjoys writing humorous fiction and poetry. Her children’s fiction has been published in Humpty Dumpty, Turtle Magazine for Preschoolers, and Young Equestrian; poetry credits include Capper’s and the Christian Science Monitor. She is a recipient of the Arkansas Poetry Award, and her poetry was published in an anthology called Sisters (Anderie Poetry Press, 1994).
A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Ms. Cardwell-Casey coordinated the Northwest Arkansas SCBWI critique group for ten years, and later established a similar group in southeastern Michigan. She is also a member of the Authors Guild and the Missouri Authors Guild.
“My instructor is the perfect role model. She responds to me on a personal level, not just about my writing, but also about the business of writing and my goals. I wouldn’t want any other instructor.”
—Katherine T. Mohan, Haymarket, VA
“My daughter was intrigued by the Mommi Watta character, because she was not entirely good or entirely bad. This kind of subtlety is refreshing in a children’s book,” says Parenting Magazine of Virginia Castleman’s book Mommi Watta—Spirit of the River (Flatland Tales Publishing, 1996).
Ms. Castleman’s other books, A Pile of Pups and Sky High (Hearth-Song, 2000), have also received high praise. The nonfiction addition to her book credits is Erosion (Perfection Learning, 2005).
Virginia Castleman’s writing career began with articles for various newspapers and newsletters and “grew” into books and magazine stories. Her retold tale, “Rabbit and Tiger,” appeared in Highlights for Children (May, 1999). Reprints of her story have been sold to Instructivision, Inc., and Harcourt School Publishers. Her novel, Strays, was a finalist for the Nevada Arts Council Fellowship Award, and winner of the Floyd Salas Fiction Writer’s Award.
Currently, Ms. Castleman is an Associate Editor and freelance writer for Northern Nevada Family Magazine, a parenting publication. She also teaches writing through the University of Nevada (Reno).
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A veteran writer, Mary Blount Christian has more than 35 years’ experience and 100 books to her credit, including picture books, beginning readers, middle-grade, and young adult novels. Her work spans many genres, from mysteries and folktales to history and humor.
Ms. Christian’s writing credits include several mystery series, such as Sebastian, Super Sleuth (Macmillan); The Undercover Kids (Albert Whitman); and Determined Detectives (Dutton); as well as two beginning reader series, Penrod and Griswold (Aladdin) and Swamp Monsters (Dutton).
Her picture book, The Doggone Mystery (Whitman), received an Edgar Allan Poe Scroll Award; and Nothing Much Happened Today (Addison Wesley) received the Silver Burdett & Ginn World of Reading Readers’ Choice Award. She has also written several titles for adults.
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“This fine historical novel, set in the late 1880s, dramatizes the hardship among the laboring Irish . . . What is moving here is Nellie’s rebellion, her yearning for independence,” wrote Booklist of Clara Gillow Clark’s young adult novel, Nellie Bishop (Boyds Mills Press, 1996).
Nellie Bishop was selected as an ABA Pick of the Lists, and chosen as an Honor Book by the Society of School Librarians International. The journals, drafts, and original manuscript for the book are now part of the Kerlan Collection (Children’s Literature Research Collection) at the University of Minnesota.
Willie and the Rattlesnake King (Boyds Mills Press, 1997) was selected for the Young Adult Choice Award in 1999 by the International Reading Association.
Ms. Clark was honored by Highlights for Children (March 2000) for a story written about her own childhood. She also received an award from Childfirst Services, Inc. for her novels Nellie Bishop and Willie and the Rattlesnake King.
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Author/illustrator Nancy Coffelt has a distinctive writing style that has been described as “lively” and “touching.” Her titles, which include eight picture books, have appeared on numerous best book lists, including School Library Journal’s (SLJ) Best of 2007, Kirkus Best of 2007, Miami Herald’s Best Children’s Books of 2007, ALA Notable Books, Bank Street College of Education’s Children’s Book Committee Books of Particular Distinction/Best Children’s Books list, and the Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s 2008 Best Books list. Her books have also earned starred reviews in Kirkus, Horn Book, and SLJ.
Ms. Coffelt’s recent title, Fred Stays With Me (Little, Brown, 2007), was described by Kirkus as a “fresh, villain-free look at a split family—and at a girl who finds strength, love, and reassuring consistency in the dear pooch who is all her own—a gem.” School Library Journal praised Fred as a “charming book that meshes text and illustrations seamlessly.” Another title, What’s Cookin’? A Happy Birthday Counting Book (Chronicle Books, 2003), “makes both counting and cooking fun,” said Kirkus.
Her other titles include Pug in a Truck (Houghton Mifflin, 2006); The Dog Who Cried Woof (Harcourt, 1995); Tom’s Fish (Harcourt, 1994); Dogs in Space (Harcourt, 1993); and Goodnight Sigmund (Harcourt, 1992). She has also illustrated many books for the educational market and several editions of Highlights for Children.
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“My instructor is very positive in his evaluations. He offers ideas and constructive criticism, which often make me see things in a completely different light. His interest in my personal success is genuine, which makes me that much more eager to do my best. A caring instructor and definitely a keeper!”
—Deborah Burt, Fond du Lac, WI
Described as a “talented and able historian” by the Washington Post, Michael L. Cooper is the award-winning author of 14 nonfiction books for young people. His most recent books are Hero of the High Seas: John Paul Jones and the American Revolution (National Geographic Children’s Books, 2006) and Jamestown, 1607 (Holiday House Books, 2007).
Mr. Cooper’s other books cover a variety of American history topics ranging from the history of slave spirituals to Japanese-Americans during World War II to the mass migration of African Americans from the South to the North in the early twentieth century.
His honors include a Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for Dirt to Eat: Drought and Depression in 1930s America (Clarion), named best nonfiction book of 2004.
Mr. Cooper’s books have been included on several prestigious lists, including the American Library Association’s list of ALA Notables; the ALA’s Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) Nonfiction Honor list; the National Council for the Social Studies/Children’s Book Council’s list of Notable Children’s Books in the Field of Social Studies; the International Reading Association’s 25 Notable Books for a Global Society; and the New York Public Library’s 100 Best Books for the Teen Age.
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Kim Delmar Cory
Kim Delmar Cory’s children’s books, Lilly’s Way (1998), Charlie Boy (1999), and Home to Mackinac (2006), are meticulously researched historical novels and are frequently used in fourth-grade curriculums for the study of Michigan history.
Ms. Cory’s freelance writing experience includes feature articles for Big Beautiful Woman Magazine, Home Spotlight, the Detroit Free Press, and for local publications such as Lansing Metropolitan Woman and Lansing City Limits. She has also created marketing copy for a nationwide travel project and for websites of nationally distributed products, such as Perrier water.
In addition to her freelance writing for magazines, newspapers, and other publications, Ms. Cory has taught college classes in writing, children’s literature, and writing for publication.
Ms. Cory is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, where she is on the Speaker’s List; she also holds a membership card to the Michigan Council for Teachers of English.
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Jan Czech’s young adult novel, Grace Happens (Viking, 2005), “[fits] comfortably into the chick-lit genre,” according to Booklist, while School Library Journal predicted that “teens will be drawn into this novel.”
In addition to this YA novel, Ms. Czech is also the author of three picture books and two books for the education market.
The Coffee Can Kid (Child Welfare League of America, CWLA, 2002) received a starred review from School Library Journal and was praised for being “reassuring” and “well written.” Booklist called An American Face (CWLA, 2000) “noteworthy.” Her third picture book, The Garden Angel (Centering Books, 2000), is a tribute to her late father.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Ms. Czech spent 16 years as a middle-school English teacher. Her teaching experience helped prepare her to write for the education market, which began with a nonfiction book, Vermont (Children’s Press, 2001). The Rhino (Enslow, 2005) followed as part of Enslow’s My Report Link.com series on endangered animals.
Ms. Czech also has numerous magazine articles to her credit, which have appeared in publications such as Roots and Wings and Western New York Family Magazine. She has also written more than 300 articles for her local newspaper, the Buffalo News.
Ms. Czech is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Association of Professional Women Writers.
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