Books, Encouragement, Teaching, Hope

That’s basically what BETH is all about, and what this site, By Word of Beth, is all about.

I’m Beth Stilborn. I write mainly middle-grade fiction, with the occasional foray into picture books, fiction for grownups, and what I like to call poetry. I’m still on the journey toward publication for my fiction, but I’m a published writer of hymn texts.

Once, a little girl came up to me and asked, “Are you playful?” I can truthfully say that I am. Playful, thoughtful, silly, serious: a myriad of things make up Beth.

Some of the things I’m particularly fond of, shared in no particular order, not even alphabetical: (Note: There are links in some of these. Hope you’ll follow them. Hope you’ll come back!) These often show up in my writing.

Cats. I’m currently very interested in feral cats, and in the development of kittens. I feed that interest by following the Feral Cat Rescue TinyKittens, which has a 24/7 YouTube feed. 

Wordplay. I enjoy wordplay and puns – some would say I enjoy them far too much.

Music. My mother used to sing to me in her warm, rich, mezzo-soprano voice, and that richness still runs through my veins.

Figuring things out. Whether it’s a conundrum with my website, a crossword puzzle, or some other bafflement, I like to try to untie the knots and figure the thing out.

Books. I read a lot of

  • middle grade novels
  • picture books
  • mysteries – cozy and not-so cozy. Some of my favorite authors are Dorothy L. Sayers, Elizabeth George, and Gail Bowen.
  • self-help books on a wide range of subjects
  • etc., etc., and so forth

Encouraging people. My dad used to live by the motto “Any good or kind thing I can do, let me not defer nor neglect to do it now, for I shall not pass this way again.” I’m trying to follow his example. I don’t always succeed, but it’s one of my touchstones in life.

Teaching. My mother contended that “we are all teachers,” and I agree with her. Although I have no formal training in teaching, I do a lot of it, and love it.

Hope. That’s a thread that runs through everything. I have a tendency to be anxious about things, and so I need to bring myself hope as well as bringing it to others. We all need to know there’s hope, despite how dark things become.

And much, much more. As Tennyson says in Ulysses, “I am a part of all I have met,” and I would contend that everything I have met is a part of me, for good or for bad. 

I hope you’ll look around my website, read some of my blog, and I hope we’ll be friends. A person can never have too many friends.

I’m a member of SCBWI (The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). I spend a lot of time in the KidLit411 Facebook Group, as well. 

With Emma Walton Hamilton, I co-host the Children’s Book Hub Facebook Group. Membership is open to writers and illustrators of children’s books — aspiring, emerging, and published. We focus on posts that will help us hone our craft and learn more about the art of writing and illustrating for kids.

My Facebook Pages:

Beth Stilborn Writes —

Flubs2Fixes Copy Editing and Proofreading —

My Twitter:

@BethStilborn —

I want to give credit to my friend, Christy, who came up with the title of my website/blog: By Word of Beth. Thanks, Christy!

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