online sites for writers

Online Educational Sites for Writers (as of April, 2020)

Agent Query                             

American Library Association 

Build Book Buzz-terms            

Writer’s Digest University       

Writer’s Digest                         

KidLit-voice                                      Reading Your Way to Great Writing Voice



Mentors for Rent                      

The Children’s Book Review   

Only Picture Books                   

Accelerated Reader Book Finder

MS Wish List                            



The Write Life                        

Fiction University                      

Group Blog                               

Writers Helping Writers           

Institute for Writers                   

Blog Zone                                 

Christian Writers Institute        

Good Story Company               


alive and breathing!

I’m tossing a little joy your way today. Mixed with HOPE it makes us unstoppable!

This is one of my favorite Christian songs. And it’s so much fun to interpret for the deaf.(Yes, I did that for many years at my church.) Almost feels like dancing.

ENJOY! while sheltering-in-place. PRAISE THE LORD!

Early Chapter Books

My writing friend, Nancy I. Sanders, challenged me to find a new subject for my picture books. She said it should be something that excites me; something that might excite editors and current market readers; something that can be tied to school curricula in some way.

I think I may have found one.

So, I’m re-reading her informative book Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Beginning Readers and Chapter Books. Quite a mouthful, I know. But it’s loaded with practical advice.

“Whoa! Wait a minute,” you say. “I thought you said picture books.” I did. But it seems the first draft of my manuscript is begging to be divided into ten short chapters. And I can’t imagine leaving any of the details out to squeeze it into picture book size. So, I’m working on it from both angles.

“And what is this amazing topic?” you are thinking.

It is the story passed down through my grandmother and aunt and sister about my grandmother’s immigration from Syria to America around 1900. A few hours of research showed me that there is a gut-wrenching story there. A story that was pretty common in that era. A story that pulls on my heart strings. A story that can be used in schools when studying immigration and America’s family tree.

The research was the fun part. And the first draft came easy because I’ve heard the story a few times. But, that’s only the first draft. About 63 more to go to make it saleable.

And, of course, there is researching publishers or agents who might find the topic as interesting as I do. That’s one area where Nancy’s book is going to prove really helpful. You should get a copy if you have any thoughts of writing for young readers.

And here is where YOU can help. Do you have a family story of how your forebears came to America? Don’t worry if the facts are verifiable or not. I’m looking for inspiration more than information. If you are willing to share it with me PLEASE leave a comment below. OR IM me on Face Book. OR email me at I’ll send you a quick and easy questionnaire.

I’m excited about this project. I can already imagine a series. Whoa, Jean. Hold your immigration horses. I’m praying the Lord uses it to remind kids that America hasn’t always been what they live in today. America was built by self-sacrificing, industrious people looking for freedom and a better life.

Thanks, ya’ll!

Coloring Pages

Read, Dream, and Share With These New Coloring Pages from the Children’s Book Council and Every Child A Reader.

Inspired by this year’s Children’s Book Week theme Read. Dream. Share., these coloring pages can be enjoyed by kids and adults of all ages. Feel free to share far and wide as a fun resource during your time at home.

23 original coloring pages created by some of your favorite book creators. They are beautiful! Great for kids and teens alike.

Online Resources for Kid’s Writers

Today let’s take a look at two great online resources if you are writing for children.  and

Picture Book Builders offers short picture book reviews by eight picture book authors and illustrators. I frequently find titles I want to check out for myself.

The eight contributors to Picture Book Builders are creators you may already be familiar with:

  • Mike Boldt
  • Suzanne Slade
  • Pat Zeitlow Miller
  • Jennifer Black Reinhardt
  • Linda Ashman
  • Kevan Atteberry
  • Jill Esbaum
  • Tammy Sauer

You’ll also find links to these terrific picture book authors’ and illustrators’ website.

Sooooo much to learn! is an informative blog for children’s writers. It is an ongoing project for the passionate community of people who read and write children’s literature. It is owned and written by Mary Kole who was a literary agent for six years with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency and Movable Type Management. is like three blogs in one. Kole responds to questions and offers sound advice in three separate chains for those who write picture books, middle grade books and YA books.

Her “Resources for Writers” includes several books I’ve read and recommend myself.

Useful stuff for those of us who are serious about writing for children of all ages.

Don’t Lose Hope

Here’s a note of encouragement – from The Bible – God’s Word.

Whatever ministry God has given you–LISTEN!




Public service/Military


Medical field


Working in the market place

Missionary — LISTEN!

2 Corinthians 4: 1, 5, 6, 16 HCSB

Therefore, since we have this ministry because we were shown mercy, we do not give up… We are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’s sake. For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ… Therefore we do not give up.

Kid’s activities

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators has created SCBWI CONNECTS for kids, parents, teachers, and caregivers. E-books, games, activities, coloring pages, puzzles, audiobooks, art lessons, and more. All FREE for you! Enjoy.

Over 300 remote learning resources for students, parents and educators
by authors and illustrators.
Take me to the directory.

Parenting God’s Way

“…it’s important for parents to be parents and to take time for training their children. Mutual respect should be enforced at all times.”

“…provide an environment of mutual respect, kindness, and balanced discipline when it is needed.

You see, behavior is learned.”

(From page 169, Parenting Your Powerful Child, Dr. Kevin Leman)

“Psychologists sometimes categorize parents as being AUTHORATIIVE, AUTHORITARIAN, INDULGENT, or NEGLECTFUL. AUTHORITARIAN PARENTS tend toward the ‘Because I said so!’ response to any questioning of their authority. They’re not necessarily consistent, and they don’t teach their children good behavior by example; they just dictate. INDULGENT PARENTS want their kids to have as much of what they want as possible, so they may not set very firm rules and may be viewed as overly permissive. NEGLECTFUL PARENTS take permissiveness one step further; they just don’t pay attention. AUTHORITATIVE PARENTS are consistent, fair, predictable and firm… Kids of AUTHORITATIVE PARENTS, who tend to reason and negotiate with their TEENS, tend to be the most well adjusted of all. It seems that AUTHORITATIVE PARENTS can accept the fact that their rules may be questioned and even broken but know how to respond in ways that don’t lead to their TEENAGERS becoming defiant or hostile as they grow into adulthood.” (All caps mine)

(From page 80, Your Defiant Teen-10 Steps to Resolve Conflict and Rebuild Your Relationship, Russell A. Barkley, PhD and Arthur L. Robin, PhD)

In Isaiah 1 God calls the people of Israel His CHILDREN. In verse 18 God says to them, “Come, let us reason together” (KJV). In the HCSB He says, “Come let us discuss this”. In the NIV God says, “Come, let us settle this.”

If God is willing to discuss, to reason with, His children, then we parents should be willing to do that also WHEN OUR CHILDREN ARE OLD ENOUGH TO REASON.

(From me and the Bible)

Father Holding Daughter's Hand

“So, you’re the adult here; act like one. Be the parent you need to be. If you don’t understand that basic principle, then life will not go well for you as a parent or for your child, either now or in the future.

When you’re an AUTHORITATIVE PARENT, (caps mine) you realize your role is to be in proper authority over your children….

First John 5:19 says we’re children of God. And though God is the supreme authority he’s not an AUTHORITARIAN (caps mine) who gives out edicts and tells us what we have to do. He gives free choice (which gets us in trouble sometimes). But God also isn’t a PERMISSIVE PARENT (caps mine) who says, “Oh that’s okay. Anything goes.”

(From page 176-177, Parenting Your Powerful Child, Dr. Kevin Leman)

“When your [young] child has done something wrong you need to communicate that fact with the Voice of Authority:”

“Positive reinforcement is an essential part of discipline. You try to steer your child in the direction of the behavior you would like by praise and encouragement, and steer her away from the behavior you don’t like.

The Voice of Authority is low, firm and controlled. The Voice of Approval is the opposite. Many parents instinctively talk to their babies in a high voice. That’s the same tone you should use for praise. A high-pitched, even excitable, tone communicates your pleasure. You can clap, whoop or cheer as well.”

[added by me for clarification]

(From pages 68-69, Supernanny, Jo Frost)

Authoritative Character, or values, are caught, not taught. (Old adage)

My Writing Area

You might remember my rather old and clunky writing area from last year. My desk was a makeshift and I had boxes stacked around me.


My wonderful family surprised me last Christmas with an elegant new desk. While I was out of town they rearranged my space with an additional bookshelf. (I can always use one more!).

It’s a truly pleasant environment for working now.

It’s uncluttered.

It’s making me more creative, I believe.

Thanks to my AMAZING family! XOXOXOXOXOX

Praying for Writers & Authors

prayhandsIf you don’t see your name on the list below please forgive me; I’ve accidentally left your name off, or we’ve never met. Please DO add your name in the comments below, leave it on my Face Book Page or email it to me at

I’d love to add you to this list.


I Prayed Especially For You

I prayed especially for you today

Not just one of those “lay me down to sleep” prayers

But a heart-felt, yearning prayer.

My heart stretched up toward heaven.

It strained to touch the Throne of Grace,

To see a wisp of God’s answer in your life.


I prayed especially for you today

Not a quick “Lord, bless them” kind of prayer

But a hope-filled, pleading prayer.

My heart cried for your future

Then softly laid it at the Feet of Grace

To trust God’s heaped up answer in your life.  AMEN.

Donna Earnhardt
Tameka Brown
Rene Aube   
Michael Mooney
Cherrilynn Bisbano
Johnnie Alexander
Kelly Duncan
Blondie Crabtree
Bill Watkins
Edie Melson
Robin Luftig
Bob Hostetler
Jean Wise
Annette Griffin
Nancy Ruegg
Terry Whalin
Meaghan Burnett   
Twila Belk
Mary Gaskins
Hallee Bridgeman
Betty Owens
Connie Camden
Nicki Bishop
Hannah Conway
Kristy Horine
Carlton Hughes
Gregg Bridgeman
Dee Oliver
Pam Harlow
Joyce Cordell
Constance Darnell
Lisa Greer
Carol Baldwin
Jan Prahl
Jan Parys
Debbie DeCiantis
Crystal Bowman
Jill Roman Lord
Linda Gilden
Deanna Klingel
Lea Ann Johnson
Crystal Caudill
Ralene Burke
Lydia Walker
Shelley Roark
Jean Petersen
Jason Joyner
Janice D. Green
Crystal Bowman
Samantha Bell
Nancy I. Sanders
Laura Sassi
Glyness Nellist
Donna Earnhardt
Amberly Kristen Clowe
Amy Leskowski
Rachel Pellegrino
Lindsay Schlegel

Melissa Henderson & Joyce McCullough

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