I’m thrilled to have been invited to join the SCBWI-IL Oak Park and Near West Suburban Network as Co-Representative, alongside Sallie Wolf and Karen Walker Ward. As a newcomer to Chicago, it’s wonderful to feel part of a vibrant writing community again. I used to live in Bath, England, a place hopping with writers and creative ideas and all things bookish — I’m lucky to have landed on my feet again. We meet at 7pm on the second Thursday of the month in either the Main Library or Dole Library in Oak Park for lots of story shenanigans. You can find out more about the Illinois Network plans here.
Interested in helping to build a library for Lepholisa Primary School in Lesotho?
This idea started when I gave my stepdaughter, Maggie Shiflett, the picture book WHEREVER YOU GO by Pat Zietlow Miller as a graduation gift. The little book has joined Maggie on her travels as a Peace Corps volunteer to teach English in an African school. It found a fascinated audience in Lesotho (a landlocked country in South Africa). A boy visited Maggie (see photo above) and asked her some questions about it :
“Madam, what is these?” (pointing to the boats, trains, and oceans in the illustrations);
“Madam, how do the animals know how to drive?” (pointing to the animals driving the cars in the book).
Maggie suggested that a book drive would offer her students the opportunity to foster creative thinking. One of her goals is to give the children a space to explore artistic expression. A story is a wonderful thing.
If you are interested in making a contribution, please consider:
Donating a picture book. The pupils (Grade 1 – 7) are learning English as a foreign language.
Donating towards the cost of posting the books to Africa. Even $1 helps.
Dropping me a line and I can provide further details: firstname.lastname@example.org/