pu-n,ctu?a—t“i”on . . . [p;an/d(e)mon’i:um.]!

{  In celebration of National Punctuation Day  } What a morning! Exclamation Mark barges into my office, red-faced and hyper, and starts stomping everything in sight! I tell it to go back where it came from, that I have little use for hysterics, and to not return, either alone or accompanied (particularly accompanied!!) unless summoned. … More pu-n,ctu?a—t“i”on . . . [p;an/d(e)mon’i:um.]!

Heard of banned books? How about banned words?

‘Bae,’ ‘Foodie’ and ‘Enhanced Interrogation’ on List of ‘Banished’ Words for 2015 Thank you to SUZAN CLARKE –  from the Jan. 1, 2015 broadcast ofGood Morning America   ‘Bae,’ ‘Foodie’ and ‘Enhanced Interrogation’ on List of ‘Banished’ Words for 2015 (ABC News) Do you grimace when you hear some call a significant other “bae,” or … More Heard of banned books? How about banned words?

Happy New Year!

by Hazel Buys   All of us at Richmond Children’s Writers wish you and yours a happy, prosperous and creative 2015! Lana, Hazel, Deb, Marianne, Stephanie, Brian, Troy, Dan and Chris

Bad Writing

by Hazel Buys I came across the following from Ross and Kathryn Petras (Wretched Writing) over the holidays: “She threw her face over her apron.” By Charles Reade, The Cloister And The Hearth(1861). This was actually published, folks. So, here we are at New Year’s resolutions time, and I resolve not to commit bad writing. … More Bad Writing

Deconstructing the 2014 JRW Conference

by Hazel Buys “If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.” Turkish proverb Wow! Another great James River Writers conference! This year, I only participated in a Friday master class and a critique session on Sunday. Those two events were praise-worthy and if they were any indication, the whole conference was a winner. Upbeat energy … More Deconstructing the 2014 JRW Conference


By Hazel Buys There’s a list I check in the fall. It’s a bit like Santa’s run up to his big day. But my list goes like this: Register for James River Writer’s Conference                            check! Register for Pre-conference workshop                                          check! Prepare & pack all workshop materials                                       … More Countdown!

A Brave New World: Comic Books as School Textbook

by Hazel BuysImagine! Comics were all but outlawed in the classroom after World War II, but today, they have clearly gone mainstream. Indeed, comics are explicitly recommended for use in the classroom if the content supports the state and national curriculum standards. Responding to this opportunity, Josh Elder has put together an anthology of comic-book style … More A Brave New World: Comic Books as School Textbook

Looking in on RCW

by Hazel Buys For the past three to four years I have been working on mystery novels for middle grade. Recently our fearless leader at the RCW set out a challenge: write short stories for middle grade. Why do I find that scary? As I said, I write mystery NOVELS for middle grade. Uh, oh. … More Looking in on RCW