Thank You, Bullock School!

On Monday, February 27, 2012, I had the pleasure of visiting the Dorothy L. Bullock School in  Glassboro, NJ to participate in the Authors as Mentors program. I shared my experiences as a writer with the first, second and third grade students, who are in the developing their own stories and learning the importance of editing and revision.They asked questions about where ideas for stories come from and offered some endings to an unfinished picture book I read to each group.  They were a wonderful audience.  I had a great time.  Thank you Bullock students and staff.

Authors as Mentors workshop at Dorothy Bullock School Media Center.

Students from Ms. Romalino's and Ms. Procopio's second grade class at Dorothy Bullock School


Publisher’s Guidelines for Submissions

The Children’s Book Council has an excellent alphabetical listing of Publishers of Children’s Books and the submission guidelines required for each. Here is the link to copy and paste onto your browser. Then book mark it for easy reference:

Writer’s Tip From Literary Rambles

This post was sent to me via the website Literary Rambles. You can find the link for it on the blog roll.

Posted: 21 Feb 2012 07:21 AM PST

Tip Tuesday features writers’ tips on craft, research, querying, blogging, marketing, inspiration, and more. If you’d like to send in a tip, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

I have another fantastic tip from Ryann Kerekes today. I posted one from her a couple weeks ago (Tip #116) and she also sent in Tip #101. Ryann blogs at Novel Addiction where she last posted on what makes a writer succeed. While poking around her blog, I also noticed she’s now represented. Congrats, Ryann!! After you read her tip below, hop over and check out her latest posts.

How to Plot – free writing course!

Can’t afford to attend a conference? Check out the free video tutorial series, How to Plot a Novel, Screenplay or Memoir by the Plot Whisperer, Martha Alderson.

I watched all 27 videos (they’re short, around 6-8 minutes each) and highly recommend them.

A few things I’m working on this week:

– Defining my characters and their short term and long term goals.

– Giving my character a flaw that’s going to work against them achieving their goals.

~Ryann Kerekes

Literary Agents

Here are some excellent websites for writers looking for Literary Agents. Each one lists specific agents, what they are looking for and how to contact them.

1. Literary Rambles:

2. Mary Kole’s sight for all things in Children’s Literature, including how to edit and rewrite before submitting:

3. Absolute Write Water Cooler: Agents accepting unsolicited YA:

4. Rachel Gardner, Literary Agent:

5. Pub Rants, Kristen Nelson, Literary Agent:

Let me know if you’ve come across any other valuable sites for writers in search of a Literary Agent.





Last week I visited the Art Museum on the Princeton University campus. It was great for three reasons. First of all, it’s free. There aren’t many places of culture and enlightenment nowadays that can boast that. And, the collection has something for everyone.  There are sculptures and pottery over 4,000 years old, paintings done by ANDY WARHOL, and everything in between.

The third reason it was a great visit is because where else but an art museum provides peace, quiet, and contemplation along with some magnificent objects of beauty? Being in such an environment frees the mind and allows all sorts of creative energy to enter. Writers who are struggling with writer’s block might find all sorts of inspiration looking at any painting or sculpture, and stories begin to spring into mind. WHY did the artist choose such a subject? WHAT IF the subject were alive today? WHAT would she/he have to say?  The possibilities for story are endless.

So, if you feel as if you’re in a rut and need some change to jump start the muse, visit the Princeton University Art Museum – or ANY art museum and let your imagination run wild. Take notes, snap photos and just doodle in a notebook. You never know, it may be the start of something wonderful.

Wonderful Books For Middle Grade and Beyond

I have been reading some terrific YA and MG books these last few months and wanted to pass them along. Some are classics, others new. Here goes: 1.THE EVOLUTION OF CALPURNIA TATE by Jacqueline Kelly is an historical MG set at the turn of the 20th century. 2. KIRA KIRA BY Cynthia Kadohata takes place during post WWII when Japanese Americans are still struggling to find acceptance in their own country. 3. LIFE OF PI by Yann Martell. This is an adult book that was written a few years ago, but I think a YA audience would also enjoy it. The humor and voice of it is unlike anything I’ve read recently. If you liked WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, I think you’d like this story. 4. MOON OVER MANIFEST by Clare Vanderpool won the 2010 Newbery Medal and rightly so. It is a wonderful historical novel about a young girl named Abilene sent to live with relatives in 1936 Kansas. 5. THE BOY FROM THE BASEMENT by Susan Shaw tells the story of a 12 year old boy held captive in the basement by his father. It is NOT a depressing tale, rather one of hope, humor and life-affirmation.

I hope you enjoy these treasures.


I’ve recently read some wonderful books for children and adults I’d like to share with you.   Here’s the short list:
1. In the Land of Second Chances – George Sheffner (perfect feel good kind of novel)

2. 8th Grade Super Zero- Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovitch ( this is a Middle Grade novel perfect for your “tween” child.

3. Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? -Audrey Vernick (This picture book will delight young and old as it answers the question of what to expect in Kindergarten)

4. Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand (The true, and inspiring story of 1936 Olympic Runner Louis Zamperini who never got to break the 4 minute mile because of WWII. His war experiences as a gunner and POW survivor are unbelievable reading). http://www.unbroken –

5. The Room  –  Emma Donoghue  (This is told from the POV of a 4 year old boy and is a suspenseful , touching story.)


Welcome to my blog! Here writers will find information and reviews on books written for adults and children, as well as tips and quotes for inspiration, and links to writing- related websites and organizations. If it’s relevant to writing in general and children’s writing in particular, I will post it.

Teachers and parents will find crafts, recipes and activities using a multi-sensory approach for children of all ages. As a Speech Therapist, I used many of the activities in my therapy sessions to stimulate language, creativity and imagination. Most can be completed using everyday materials found around the house. Directions are clear and simple and allow children to complete the activity with some degree of independence. I’ll try to include photos of the finished product as a guide when needed. (When adult supervision is required, I will mention that up front to ensure the safety of all.)

While the crafts and activities are fun for children of all ages, they work very well with students who have special needs. The activities encourage the use of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell and many follow the core curriculum standards for Science, Social Studies, Math and Language Arts. Most importantly, however, They’re fun!

I welcome feedback. Please let me know which activities are most appealing to you and your child. And, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Remember: “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.”