October Fun

HIGHLIGHTS Magazine has some fun October online activities.
Try your skills at Build a Scarecrow. Create the scarecrow of your dreams, then print your creation.

Or there is JACK-O-LANTERN MAKER. You can even make it glow.

While you’re there, read a spooky story. MYSTERY OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE by Ellen Javernick is sure to scare you silly.

And if you want a snack to go with your story, mix a batch of SPIDER SNACKS. They’re frightfully delicious.

Best of Stories For Children Magazine

It’s been a rainy day here today–lots of clouds, lightning, thunder and RAIN! But it finally seems to be stopping and a bit of sun is peeking through. Hopefully, it will dry out  for the weekend. 

My poor dog Holly hates thunderstorms. They scare her something awful. So this seems to be a good time for a happy announcement.
I have been notified by publisher, Virginia Grenier, that my short story, “BF’s & Butterflies,” has been chosen from the 2008 STORIES FOR CHILDREN MAGAZINE to be included in their Best of Stories for Children Magazine Volume 2
Woo-hoo! News like that is sure to make the sun keep shining. I’ll keep you posted when I find out more about the projected publication date. In the meantime, visit their site for the latest in great stories, articles, crafts and more for children. And here’s the link for Volume 1.


The new children’s ezine, LAUNCH PAD, has just announced another issue’s release. The OCEANS issue (the ezine’s third issue) is now up on their website. They’ve collected a series of fun stories and poems–all illustrated and written by children.

But they are still in need of more contributors for upcoming issues such as Summer Fun (hiking, camping, summer sports, vacations, etc.), Mystery, and Variety (any topic). And they especially need illustrators for the ezine.

Send any suggestions or submissions to: Paul Kelsey, Editor and Publisher
Launch Pad: Where Young Authors and Illustrators Take Off!

More Great News!

I received a letter from HIGHLIGHTS for CHILDREN magazine today announcing the publication of my poem, “Reaching for the Stars,” in the November 2008 issue of their magazine.
How exciting!
I started writing this poem while at the Highlight’s Foundation Chautaugua Workshop in July 2005. My writer mentor for the week was David L. Harrison, a poet laureate from Missouri. It was during one of his presentations that the poem took shape.
So I offer a salute today to Mr. Harrison. I’m including some links below to a few online sites with information about him. Of course, he has a large number of books available either through bookstores or libraries. He writes not only poetry and stories for children but also nonfiction books as well.

By David L. Harrison

The article explains some of the rhythmic patterns used in poetry with examples by children. The author also offers suggestions for presenting the topic to students.


Brief highlights of Mr. Harrison’s writing career and education

“Fluency Fun: Kids Love the Sound of Words”

An interview with Mr. Harrison and examples of his poems

BF’s & Butterflies

Exciting news today! My short story for mid-grade readers is now in the April issue of STORIES FOR CHILDREN MAGAZINE: http://storiesforchildren.tripod.com/id491.html
Here’s the scoop on “BF’s & Butterflies
Small town girl, Leya, wants to figure out a way to befriend Kari, the new girl, before Nasty Nona, self-crowned queen of fifth grade, claims her. Leya’s just lost her BF—Best Friend—Lucy, who’s moved all the way to Florida. Now as Leya struggles to find a new BF, as well as her place in her fifth grade class, she discovers that butterflies can lead to friendship.
And here’s the scoop on Stories for Children Magazine: a FREE Ezine for children ages 3 to 12 years old. This monthly online children’s magazine takes children on an adventure into the World of Ink. Each issue is loaded with fun stories, articles, puzzles, children’s book reviews, crafts, poems.
SFC was “voted one of the Top Ten Best E-zines in Fiction, Non Fiction, Poetry, Cover Art, and Bookstores on the web — Preditors and Editors Readers Poll 2007.”
Be sure to stop by http://storiesforchildren.tripod.com/ and enjoy!

New Writer Helps

becoming a children's author

Today I’m offering a couple writer helps:

The first is a new book from children’s author and WEE ONES magazine editor, Jennifer Reed–BECOMING A CHILDREN’S AUTHOR, illustrated by Kevin Scott Collier.

This book provides 200 + pages of information on what it takes to write and sell stories and nonfiction for the children’s book and magazine market.
But that’s not all. It also has online resources for reference: websites on grammar, creating a bibliography, writer support groups, writing websites, and more!
This children’s author and magazine editor has 15 years experience in the industry and has published over 20 children’s books

The next offering is an article written by Jan Fields of THE INSTITUTE OF CHILDREN’S LITERATURE. In this article she offers advice for dealing with publishers.

Balancing Business and Emotion by Jan Fields http://www.institutechildrenslit.com/rx/ws06/business.shtml
Online links are also provided, such as this very helpful site:
Preditors and Editors http://anotherealm.com/prededitors/

So if you want to improve your odds for being a successful children’s author, these two sources would be a good starting point.


Today, you’re in for a treat–
an interview with author, Shari Lyle-Soffe. Below you can read some of her insights into writing…and make sure to click on the links to find out more about her lovable racoon brothers, ROOTER & SNUFFLE. They’ve been colorfully brought to life by master illustrator, Kevin Scott Collier.

The MISADVENTURES of Rooter & Snuffle
Author: Shari Lyle-Soffe http://www.sharilyle-soffe.com/
Illustrator: Kevin Scott Collier http://www.kevinscottcollier.com/
E-books ISBN-10: 1-933090-43-X ISBN-13: 978-1-933090-43-6Print ISBN-10: 193309088X ISBN-13: 978-1933090887

On the Go with Rooter & Snuffle
Author: Shari Lyle Soffe http://www.sharilyle-soffe.com/
Illustrator: Kevin Scott Collier http://www.kevinscottcollier.com/
E-books ISBN 10: 1-933090-51-0 ISBN 13: 978-1-933090-51-1

Tell us about your children’s books.

I have a picture/storybook series with Guardian Angel Publishing. Each book is made up of three separate stories about brother raccoons and their friends on their romps in Cathedral Woods. They deal with the same problems as real children do . The first book, THE MISADVENTURES OF ROOTER AND SNUFFLE, is available in a number of electronic formats and has just been released in paperback. The second book in the series, ON THE GO WITH ROOTER AND SNUFFLE, is available in electronic formats and will be available soon in paperback. The third book in this series, TROUBLE FINDS ROOTER AND SNUFFLE, has not been released yet but will be out this Spring! My books are available at http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/rooter&snuffle.htm and at online and brick & mortar booksellers.

What do you do for inspiration and unleashing your creativity?

Winter is a struggle because I get inspired when I am out in nature, and as much as I love snow, I don’t like the cold. In warm weather I love to walk or just sit outside. I live in the woods of Southern Oregon with lots of wildlife, trees and fresh air. Occasionally I sit outside and journal. I enjoy doing that but I’m not very good about keeping it up on a regular basis. I have a new laptop, and I am anxious for the weather to warm up so that I can sit out under a tree and write.

Describe your working environment.

I have an office in my home. Unfortunately it is small and I share it with a treadmill. I also share with a cat, Amber. It is pretty cluttered in here and in need of paint, but the walls are covered with my published works to remind me I am a “real” writer. The room is full of files, books, my computer desk, a phone, a small television for when I actually use the treadmill. I am blessed with both a desktop computer and a laptop.

What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

Never, ever give up! Read everything you can find about writing for children. Read every book in your genre that you can beg, borrow or buy. Network with other writers online or in person. If you can afford it, take a writing class. I learned a lot in the beginning in the ICL chatroom, and I was not an ICL student. Write! Write! Write!

Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

Don’t allow the negative opinions of others to hold you back. Don’t be a snob. There are a lot of small publishers that would like to look at your work. Not everyone is published by Random House. Writing for magazines is still writing. Books are not the only writing format. Write what you love. Write what inspires you. Don’t let family and friends tear you down. Don’t quit because of rejections. If you can’t take rejection, you have chosen the wrong field. Share what you have learned with others.

Do you have a website or blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?

Yes, you can learn more about me and my work at http://www.sharilyle-soffe.com/ . Click on the links in my site directory.

Congratulations to STORIES FOR CHILDREN

Congratulations to Virginia S. Grenier and her staff at the amazing children’s eZine, STORIES FOR CHILDREN (http://storiesforchildren.tripod.com/). They just won a top 10 spot in PREDITORS & EDITORS 2007 Readers Poll!!!(http://anotherealm.com/prededitors/votefictzine07.htm)

STORIES FOR CHILDREN ranked among the very best in 3 categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry. “I can’t believe it,” said Ms. Grenier. “This is our first year out and we actually placed in the Top Ten in many different categories. A dream come true for all of here at SFC.”
Look for my short story, “BF’s & Butterflies,” to be appearing in STORIES FOR CHILDREN’s April 2008 issue. Here’s a synopsis of my upcoming story:
Small town girl, Leya, wants to figure out a way to befriend Kari, the new girl, before Nasty Nona–self-crowned queen of fifth grade–claims her. Leya’s just lost her BF—Best Friend—Lucy, who’s moved all the way to Florida. Now as Leya struggles to find a new BF, as well as her place in her fifth grade class, she discovers that butterflies can lead to friendship.

So if you haven’t visited STORIES FOR CHILDREN yet, be sure and give yourself a treat and stop by soon. And remember to check back at SFC for my April story–which is only about a month away. Don’t worry…I’ll be sure and remind you again when it’s published.