Welcome to our blog, The Wonder of Words. We are a team of writers focused on children’s literature. We are excited to explore various features that encourage readers and writers of all ages to explore more children’s books. Postings will be on the first and third Saturday of every month. Feel free to review our bios and learn more about us and our focus. Thanks for stopping by!
Candice Marley Conner
An avid reader of fairy tales, Candice takes turns with her Mermaid Girl and Dinosaur Boy on who plays the villain. Evil cackles have been mastered by all. She and her family love exploring any sort of watery, magical place, be it beaches, swamps, rivers, and even mud puddles.
Candice is a member of SCBWI and an officer for the Mobile Writers’ Guild. Her debut picture book Sassafras and her Teeny Tiny Tail will be published in 2019 with Maclaren-Cochrane Publishing. You can find her work in collections such as Pieces: A Mobile Writers’ Guild Anthology, Fireflies & Fairy Dust: A Fantasy Anthology, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Babybug Magazine, and online at Mothers Always Write, Mamalode, and The Good Mother Project.
She adores discovering how books go from a wispy spark to something you can hold in your hands, so her posts will focus on finding creativity and interviewing authors on how their books came to be.
When she isn’t conjuring up ways to embarrass her teenager, Gabrielle enjoys travel, exploring, and researching new book ideas. If you need her, try looking in the cornfields where you may find her listening to the wind rustling through the corn or the thunder of horse hooves on the wind as they engage in a battle at Gettysburg over 150 years ago. Her passion for writing is reflected in her weekly newspaper column and her blog, Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes, where she shares her thoughts on life, love, and the pursuit of a writer’s dream. Gabrielle is an active member of SCBWI, Maryland Writers Association, and graduate of Children’s Book Academy.
Gabrielle will blog an A to Z mashup of writing ideas, from alliteration to the zany journey to publication, and everything in between.
Katharine loves reading books until they fall apart. The first book she read like this was a huge volume of folktales, called Once Long Ago. Unfortunately, it was on loan; she hopes that when her mother returned it to the original owners, they understood just how much that book was loved.
Once Long Ago started a life-long search for story. Katharine’s first published work was a fifty-word micro; more recently she has been published in Takahē magazine with her short story ‘The Auburn Trail’. She has had numerous pieces of flash fiction appearing online in Flash Frontier, one of which gained her a Pushcart nomination. She is a key organizer for writing events in Northland, her local district in New Zealand, and teaches applied writing at a local polytechnic. Her current works-in-progress are picture books and a YA novel.
Katharine will be reviewing children’s books from picture books through to young adult novels to find out what makes them spark.
Sandra doesn’t know any dragons, bears, werewolves or yellow-bellied marmots, but she loves to write about them. A wife, mother, and master finder of silver linings, she fuels her creativity with coffee, craft beer, and an extra-helping of vacations.
You’ll find Sandra happily learning more about her craft in online courses, conferences and critique groups. She is also an assistant for the Children’s Book Academy writing and illustration courses. Her debut picture book, The REAL Farmer in the Dell, a humorous, modern retelling of the popular children’s song, released in 2019 with Clear Fork Publishing. A second picture book, Stan’s Frightfully Clumsy Halloween, will release in 2020. To learn more about Sandra, follow her on Twitter or go to www.sdsutter.com.
Look for Sandra’s blog posts under the title “Pitch It to Me”. For each post, she will select one picture book pitch to review and share alongside her alternative pitch for that story and a third, guest contributor’s pitch for readers to vote on a favorite. May the best pitch win! And hey, no matter what, the lucky writer will end up with feedback on three fantastic pitch ideas and a complimentary critique from yours truly on the full manuscript. Submitting your pitch for the next post is easy!
- At least two (2) weeks prior to Sandra’s next post, send your pitch to: firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Write “PITCH IT TO ME” in the subject line and keep the pitch to 70 words or less;
- Place the pitch in the body of the email (attachments will be disqualified);
- Sandra will email the winner with instructions for sending the full picture book manuscript (<700 words fiction; <1000 words non-fiction);
- After the contest, Sandra will send the winner a complimentary critique on the manuscript.
Tina was that child who wrote pages and pages of stories and tied them together with ribbon and yarn. Those paper-tied books opened doors to many babysitting jobs and eventually her teaching career. An award-winning teacher for over 29 years, Tina has shared thousands of books with children. Now she’s a Debut Picture Book Study Group Admin, a Children’s Book Academy graduate and course assistant, and an active member of 12×12 and SCBWI. Find her in Upstate New York with her family, walking their Akitas, teaching, and enjoying the latest snowstorm. Learn more at http://www.tinashepardson.com/.
Look for Tina’s blog posts under the title “Best In Show”. Each post will center on the art of showing versus telling. She will provide strategies and interviews from authors on how they find just the right words to show their story.
Yvona began writing at age ten when she won a $25 bond for her essay, My Favorite American—despite the fact that she was an immigrant and had only been speaking English for a little over a year. In 1993, she contacted the editors of Christian Single magazine with a one-line query. ‘Happenings in Siberia’ was her first published piece.
She’s gone on to publish many more articles, poems, and essays on topics ranging from health and cooking to disabilities and careers. Her weekly column, ‘North Country Kitchen’ has run each week since 2005 in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. Her books include Employment for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome or Non-Verbal Learning Disability: Stories and Strategies (2004), My Nine Lives (2011), Garden Gourmet (2013) and Different (2017).
Yvona has taken numerous writing classes, participates in several critique groups, and is an active member of SCBWI and the Adirondack Center for Writing.