Now Available for Manuscript Critiques and Reviews

It’s no exaggeration to say that I’ve devoted my life to children’s literature. Some of my earliest and fondest memories are of sitting beside my grandmother on the couch while she read me picture books for hours. Since receiving a masters degree in 1992 from the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College, I’ve immersed myself in the field in a variety of roles:

  • I’ve reviewed thousands of children’s and young adult titles—both fiction and nonfiction—for major publications such as The Horn Book Magazine, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the Chicago Tribune.
  • I worked as a bookseller and backlist buyer at Wild Rumpus, an award-winning children’s bookstore in Minneapolis.
  • For the past ten years, I’ve advised writers and facilitated critique groups at the Highlights Foundation’s popular “Writing the Unreal: The Whole Novel Workshop in Fantasy and Science Fiction.”
  • When I decided it was time to get serious about writing books of my own, I enrolled in Hamline University’s prestigious MFA program in writing for children and young adults, and not long after graduating I was offered a contract from Houghton Mifflin for a manuscript I worked on at Hamline. City Chickens, a nonfiction picture book about a unique inner-city animal shelter, came out in 2012.
  • I’ve published two acclaimed books for teens, Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty and the novel-in-verse Ask Me How I Got Here; and, with my friend Ron Koertge, the “Backyard Witch” series of chapter books for young readers (all with Greenwillow/HarperCollins). My novel-in-verse What Goes Up is forthcoming from Greenwillow in 2020.

How does my wealth of experience help you?

I understand how much your stories mean to you. I know what it’s like to work for years on a manuscript, doing all you can think of to get it “right.” It’s true writing can be a lonely business, but the reassuring part is, you aren’t alone! I’m here to give your project—be it fiction or nonfiction, for teens or emerging readers—the personalized attention it needs to advance along the road toward publication. I will work with you to create a comprehensive revision plan that allows you to bring your book to its full potential.

If you would like to discuss a project, please email me at