Researching for a Story

I’m doing some research for a story. My story involves baking. I’ve had some delicious success with pizzelles.

I’ve had some terrible failure with bagels.


burnt bagels

It’s ok. I’m not that upset about the bagels. Because sometimes things in our stories work, and sometimes they don’t. But we learn every time!

ONLINE – Summer Story Camp – Pictures and Words

Summer Story Camp 

Pictures and Words


  • Summer Story Camp – Pictures and Words is for creative kids grades 3 and up
  • Each camp is limited to 10 campers. 
  • All meetings will happen over Zoom.
  • Each day we will learn about a different kind of picture book.
  • Campers will create their own book (or “dummy”) each day.
Date: June 22 – June 26, 2020
Times: 9:30 – 10:30 am 
Cost: $75


After your registration is confirmed, you’ll receive an email with the supplies list, mentor book list, and Zoom links.
Summer Story Camp – Pictures and Words is different from RossWriting Club. If you or your child has questions about Summer Story Camp, please contact me anytime!

ONLINE – Summer Story Camp – Big Ideas

Summer Story Camp 

Big Ideas


  • Summer Story Camp – Big Ideas is best for creative kids grades entering 5-8. (Younger campers can check out Summer Story Camp – Pictures and Words
  • Each camp is limited to 10 campers.
  • All meetings will happen on Zoom.
  • We will brainstorm and create new elements of stories each day. Activities might include:
    • Brainstorming with Story Cubes
    • Heroes v. Villains (backstories and conflict)
    • World Building (maps, languages, flags, more)
    • Game Design (using characters and goals)
    • Sharing our creations, giving critique
Date: June 15 – June 19, 2020
Times: 10:00 – 11:00 am 
Cost: $75


After your registration is confirmed, you’ll receive an email with supplies list and Zoom links.
Summer Story Camp – Big Ideas is different from Ross Writing Club. If you or your child has questions about Summer Story Camp, please contact me anytime!



Now Is the Time to Write

We’re at home and it’s hard. You may not be inspired to write the greatest new story the world has ever read. That’s completely OK. But if you can find some time to write to write to your friends, it will be be worth it.

Ross Writing Club Story Collection 2 Now Available!

Every winter, I work with students at a local elementary school in an after school writing club. For six weeks we meet, discuss writing, share ideas, learn how to critique, and work towards a finished version of a two page short story. Then I gather up the stories and publish them in a book.

(“It’s not hardcover?” asked one third grader last year. No, sorry.)

This activity is a great way for me to share my love of writing and provide a way for young creatives to gain a sense of accomplishment. Parents always thank me for offering the club. But really, I get so much out of it, I owe them my gratitude.


Online Resources for Children’s Writers and Illustrators

We are stuck at home. There are a lot of resources being shared for children. But there are many online resources for children’s writers and illustrators.

SCBWI is offering many webinars. Some are members-only benefits, some are available to all. Make sure you check out the webinars being offered by regions around the globe.

Highlights Foundation is also offering many free online events. There are meditations, discussions, and prompts.

Highlights Foundation

I get a weekly email from the Institute for Children’s Writers. It’s always been free and full of good advice. They have online courses and there is a discount right now.

Institute for Children’s Writers


What other online resources are you using right now?


But For Now…

But For Now

Not so long ago, things were one way. For now, they are different. 

Before, we pumped our swings as high as the clouds. Soon, we’ll slide so fast our hair stands up. 

But for now we’ll play in other ways. (On couch cushion obstacle courses.)

We used to sprint and shout “Tag, you’re it!” Soon, we’ll hold hands on walks. 

For now, we can still make each other laugh. (Video chat anyone?)

Last month, we sat in rows at school. Soon, we’ll be back in lunch lines and libraries. 

For now, we can do math, science, and art at home (I suggest cookies).

Back then, people left for work. Soon they’ll be back driving cars, on buses, in trains. 

For now, work looks a little different. (Wear your fancy pjs on conference calls.)

We used to cheer for our favorite team. Soon we’ll be back on the field. 

For now, we can invent new games to win. (Try sock-hockey.)

Back then we went to the movies on rainy days. Soon, we’ll be back watching the curtain rise. 

For now, we can tell our own stories. (And jokes and riddles.)

We used to rush from place to place. Soon we’ll have lots to do. 

For now, we can go a little slower. (Sleeping in is surprisingly fun.)

We gathered to feast with friends. Soon we’ll be back to sharing snacks and hugs. 

For now, we can send our love. (Time for an old-fashioned note.) 

Some things have changed, but some things haven’t. Like you and me. 

For now and for always, one way or another, we’re here for each other.