October 2008

The Writer’s Journey is a section of the NJCWG web site that explores the challenges and rewards of endeavoring to be a professional, published writer. This column features thoughts from cofounders John and Sheila Wright as well as interviews with other writers and artists whose personal experiences offer valuable insights to all who aspire to put pen to page.

Children's Author/Illustrator Dar Hosta
Author and Illustrator Dar Hosta

(NJCWG will be hosting a presentation by Ms. Hosta at the Hunterdon County Library on Route 12 on December 6th from 2:00 - 3:30pm with a book signing to follow)


Hello, Dar, and Welcome to the Writer’s Journey!



Australian author and artist Graeme Base, best known for his picture book Animalia, will be greeting visitors this evening at the Clinton Book Shop, located at 33 Mainstreet, Clinton, New Jersey, from 6:30pm - 8:00pm.

Mr. Graeme is often noted for the “incredible depth” of his entertaining animal artwork.

For more information, please visit the Clinton Book Shop web site.

Trying to find the inspiration for a story?  Award winning author and poet Eileen Spinelli has a quick tip for brainstorming new ideas from her Highlights Foundation Writers workshop:

Begin by asking yourself some questions:

Who was my favorite relative when I was a child? Why? What is my first cooking memory? Where did I keep my secret treasures? What did I collect?

Think about the things that haunt you. For me it is the ocean, snow, the moon, dancing. Pay attention to images from your daily life—a bowl of soup, my grandmother’s cut-glass cake stand, the hummingbird in our garden.

When an idea “makes a sound in your heart,” explore it. Fish around. Take risks. Play. Write from your own soul. Your own heart. Learn to trust your own deep self.

Don’t discount the narrative gems of your own life!  The events and experiences that have stuck with you are likely to make an impression on your readers, too.

~ Sheila

Fire Safety is ParamountAre you ready to handle a fire emergency? NJCWG hopes that all of our readers will take the time this month to review fire safety procedures, and especially with little ones, emphasize that fire fighters who arrive at a fire scene are dressed in a way that can sometimes frighten children.

Children who might otherwise have been saved from burning buildings have sometimes hidden from fire fighters who look like “monsters.”  Children’s writer Lyn Sirota has written a wonderful article on this subject entitled “Don’t Run, Don’t Hide,” which you can download from her web site or view online this month at Stories for Children Magazine.

As we move into the holidays, the increased use of candles and electric lights makes accidental fires far more likely.  

Please don’t delay in discussing this important topic with all of the children that you know.

~ Sheila

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
— C. S. Lewis