Division of Interdisciplinary Inquiry: Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Professional Title: M.F.A. Creative Writing Faculty
Areas of Academic Focus and Expertise: Writing For Young People
Representative List of Recent Courses Taught: Distance-Learning Courses:· Creative Writing I-IV · Craft and Reflection I-III· Graduating Seminar Preparation· Creative ThesisResidency Seminars:· Telling Your Story, But How?· Writing Dynamic Nonfiction
Education: M.A., Applied Psychology, Goddard College
Representative List of Recent Publications / Exhibitions: Books:It’s a Dog’s Life: How Man’s Best Friend Sees, Hears, and Smells the World (2012)See How They Run: Campaign Dreams, Election Schemes, and the Race to the White HouseAll in Just One CookieOn This Spot: An Expedition through TimeThe Truth about PoopChoppers!Skyscraper: From the Ground UpThe Great Antler AuctionChopsticks for My Noodle Soup: Eliza’s Life in MalaysiaClaws, Coats, and Camouflage: The Ways Animals Fit into their WorldsSeeds, Stems and Stamens: The Ways Plants Fit into their WorldsLife on the IceChildren’s Series:Ultimate FieldtripRandom House Step Into Reading Transportation SeriesWork Published in: Highlights for Children, Your Big Backyard, Ranger Rick, Outside Kids; National Geographic Traveler, Modern Maturity, Woman’s Day, National Wildlife, Redbook, Family Circle, Child, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Parents, Self, Mademoiselle, Health, Working Woman, Ranger Rick, Outside Kids, Yankee, Horticulture, Science, The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Current Health, The Boston Herald, the LA Times Syndicate, The New York Times Syndication, and others.
Teaching Philosophy: My teaching philosophy? Number one: figure out what my students are really trying to accomplish in their writing, including all the intellectual and emotional undercurrents. Number two: help them find a way to get there - or, closer anyway.
Of course, that simple formula is never quite so simple; it takes time to understand what is getting in their way. The need to improve skills like pacing or narrative distance is obvious. But does this student give herself enough room to think things through? Can another combine his easy wit with depth so his characters have enough dimension to live the story he has imagined for them?
Are they ready to dig deeper? I hope so because the next part of my job is to challenge my students to go past what is easy, congratulate their accomplishments, then continue to push - all the while, standing alongside ready to help.
Awards: Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader's Award 2005; Booklist's Editor's Choice 2004; Book Link's Lasting Connections 2004; The Washington Post's Top Five Picture Books 2004; Junior Library Guild Selection; Reading Magic Award; ABA's Pick of the List; Best Trade Science Books; Children's Book Council/National Science Teacher's Association; Chicago Public Library's Best of the List; Parent's Guild Media Award; Parent's Choice Award; VOYA Nonfiction Honor List; Junior Library Guild Selection.
Current Affilliation: PEN New England (Children’s Book Caucus) Past affiliation: Contributing editor for General Learning Corporation
MFA in Creative Writing
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Writing for Stage and Screen
Writing for Young People
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