Since this week Emma Walton Hamilton is “In The Spotlight” on my blog, she is the subject of my Wednesday Worthy post today. I first became aware of Emma through the books she has co-written with her mother (I had delighted in her mother’s books for years prior to that). Then Emma started writing a blog, which I followed, and learned from, and commented on. Emma’s blog focuses on writing, and I have learned a great deal simply from reading her blog. When I learned that Emma had an online/home study course on how to write a picture book, I was intrigued, but it took a couple of rejection letters on the first manuscript I’d been brave enough to send to publishers for me to realize that perhaps it would be a good idea to try Emma’s course. It was more than a good idea. It was an excellent idea.

But this post isn’t about me, although I could go on at length about the benefits I gained from Emma’s course Just Write for Kids.

Emma is an award-winning author, of picture books and middle grade novels, as well as the guide to getting your kids to read, Raising Bookworms. She is an educator, teaching in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton University on Long Island (she’s currently teaching a class on writing for children — how I wish I could take that class!). Emma also works with middle grade and high school students in a Stony Brook Southampton program called Young American Writers Project (YAWP). She is in charge of the Stony Brook Southampton Children’s Literature Conference each summer (I so hope to be there this July!) Emma’s a freelance editor, and I can personally vouch for her skill in manuscript evaluations and line-edits that keep a writer feeling encouraged while still being honest and direct with feedback on needed improvements to the manuscript.

She is a passionate advocate for children’s literacy (as her book Raising Bookworms clearly shows) as well as being an advocate for the arts.  She is the founder of the Children’s Book Hub, which grew out of her online/homestudy course Just Write for Kids. Together, Emma and I administer the Facebook Group of the Children’s Book Hub, which is a recent offshoot of the Hub itself, with a wider-ranging membership.

Emma does speaking engagements, book signings, is always working on book projects with her mother and on her own, and somehow manages to spend time with her family!

Emma is my teacher, my editor, my mentor, I’ll even dare to say my friend. She encourages me in so many ways,  inspires me and keeps me striving to do my best.

Definitely a Wednesday Worthy, wouldn’t you say?

EDITED TO ADD: Is this perfect timing or what? Hear Emma interviewed on Katie Davis’ Brain Burps about Books TODAY! (Thanks Joanna, for the heads-up!)  CLICK HERE for the podcast.


Don’t forget the giveaway!

I have TWO copies of Raising Bookworms available to give away, and there are two things you can do to make yourself eligible to be part of the draw I’ll hold next Monday, January 30, 2012.

Each time you do one of these, your name will be added to the entrants’ list, and on Monday, will help me select two winners. So the more times you participate, the more chances you have to win.

  1. Leave a comment, mentioning something that particularly resonated with you in the post, on any (or all!) of my blog posts from today up to and including Friday of this week.
  2. Write a post about literacy on your own blog, and link back to this post. Be sure to let me know, so that I can read your post, and so that I put your name on the entrants’ list.

Either of these will enter you in the draw for one of the two available copies of Raising Bookworms. Doing more will enter you more times (for instance, if you read and comment on all four posts this week, you’ll be entered four times). (Note: you’ll only be able to win one copy — once your name is drawn, it will be removed from the second draw, to give others a chance.) Through it all, we’re all supporting the cause of getting kids reading, and getting books into kids’ hands.

If you want to do something concrete to get books into kids’ hands (although this won’t affect your entries into the giveaway) I’d urge you to go to We Give Books (, sign up (it’s FREE), and read one of their ebook picture books. Simply by doing that, you will have enabled them to donate a book to a child who wouldn’t otherwise have access to books.

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