Established in 2009, Richmond Children’s Writers is a group of authors from Richmond, Virginia and surrounding areas. We believe in the indispensable value of good literature in the lives of children. Our mission is to foster the professional development of the creators of children’s literature, promote connections between children’s authors and other members of the literary community, and nurture an environment in which children’s literature can be appreciated by the widest possible audience.
Lana Krumwiede is the founder of Richmond Children’s Writers. In third grade, she wrote in her autobiography that she wanted to be a mother, a writer, and the church organist. While the church organist thing didn’t turn out so well, the other two dreams are going strong! Her science fiction series for middle-grade readers, The Psi Chronicles (Candlewick Press) includes FREAKLING, ARCHON, and TRUE SON. Her first picture book, JUST ITZY, was also published by Candlewick. Lana’s short stories and poems have appeared in Highlights, High Five, Spider, Babybug, The Friend, and Chicken Soup for the Child’s Soul. Learn more about Lana and her books at lanakrumwiede.com.
Hazel Buys grew up living the gypsy life, circling the globe as her family accompanied her father on his military assignments to Asia, Europe and the United States. During this time she absorbed the stories and fables from many different cultures. Her love of literature is rooted deeply in these early travels. Hazel began writing in her early teens and is currently writing middle grade mystery novels. Hazel regularly publishes reviews of children’s books with Children’s Literature. Her picture book, OLAF’S DOOR, was published by the multi-media publisher, zuuka, Inc. You can see Hazel’s art work at her website.
Stephanie McPherson wrote her first children’s story in college. She enjoyed the process so much that she’s never stopped writing. A former teacher and freelance newspaper writer, she has written nearly 30 books and numerous magazine stories. She especially enjoys writing about science and the human interest stories behind major discoveries. Her most recent book, all about the Titanic, came out in November 2011.
Brian Rock has been writing stories and poems since he was old enough to hold a #2 pencil. Although he was once kicked out of his fourth grade class for writing too many stories, he went on to earn a master’s degree in Children’s Writing from Hollins University. His short stories appeared regularly in the regional magazine, Kid’s World. His poems have appeared in Highlights and Poetry Train. He has four published picture books: DON’T PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD!, PIGGIES, WITH ALL MY HEART, and THE DEDUCTIVE DETECTIVE (which was a CBC featured title for 2013). Click over to Brian’s website to find out more.
Marianne McKee enjoys the picture book format for both fiction and non-fiction. After studying with the Institute for Children’s Writers, she has written stories about animals and is now beginning to use her background in history, archives and maps to write non-fiction. Work in film and wet darkroom photography, seven trips to the Scottish Hebrides and two semesters of geology have also expanded her horizons. Marianne can be reached at email@example.com.
After enjoying over 14 years as a successful marketing specialist in the hospitality industry, Deb Dudley decided to embark on a new career in the world of Kid-Lit. Armed with a passion for writing, a love for literature and bundle of book ideas, she is eager to shape one of her polished manuscripts into the next best picture book for young children. For more about Deb’s journey from storyboard ads to storybook smile-maker, visit her website.
Dan Elasky has been writing since he was seven. Back then, it was mostly adventure stories with dinosaurs. Some of it still is, but without the dinosaurs. Mainly, he specializes in picture books and teen novels. Dan is fortunate to have as his critique partners the members of Richmond Children’s Writers, a perceptive, illuminating, and supportive group. He looks forward to reading to children at schools, libraries, and hospitals with the help of his puppet, Irene. Dan is now writing a middle grade novel whose narrator speaks in a voice that, he says, “is unlike any other in English literature.”
Troy Howell is the author of the American Booksellers Association’s “New Voices” pick, THE DRAGON OF CRIPPLE CREEK (Abrams/Amulet), and is working on another children’s novel. His picture book, LIZBETH LOU GOT A ROCK IN HER SHOE (Ripple Grove Press), will be available Spring 2016. He has also illustrated many notable children’s books and book jackets, among which is the Brian Jacques Redwall series. Learn more about Troy at his website and his blog.
Steven K. Smith is the author of The Virginia Mysteries series, middle grade adventures with a twist of history. His books include SUMMER OF THE WOODS, MYSTERY ON CHURCH HILL, GHOSTS OF BELLE ISLE, and the standalone short story, PITCH BLACK DARK. Steven grew up in rural northwestern New Jersey, but has quickly come to love Richmond and its deep history since moving here in 2011. He lives with his wife and three young sons and works in e-healthcare during his non-writing hours. You can learn more about Steven and his books at his website, VirginiaMysteries.com.