Wednesday Worthy — Emma Walton Hamilton

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.

14 thoughts on “Wednesday Worthy — Emma Walton Hamilton”

  1. DEFINITELY a Wednesday worthy, I have to agree, Beth. In very many of the ways you have outlined here, Emma has also had a significant influence on my beginnings as an author. I am so very thankful that I came across her blog and writing course in 2010. Emma’s contribution to kilt and literacy is wonderful.

    Don’t miss her being interviewed today on Katie Davis’ podcast!

    1. I am thankful you came across Emma’s blog and writing course — and joined the Children’s Book Hub — or I might not have met you, and I’m so glad I did!

      Thanks for the heads-up about the podcast, I hadn’t caught that it had been scheduled. I have added a note to my post.

    1. I have wondered about that sleep thing, myself! She makes an amazing contribution to the world of children’s literature. i am so grateful to be associated with her.

  2. Very worthy post, Beth. Studying with Emma helped me transition from journalist to author. I was clueless of the style. She’s been an outstanding teacher and editor. She’s certainly establishing herself in the world of children’s literature and is so respected by her peers. You only need to talk to Lin Oliver. I’ve often wondered how she has time to do all she does. Joanna, thanks for the reminder of the podcast.

    1. Thanks for this affirmation of Emma, Pat! The podcast is excellent. I’ve just finished listening to it, and I know I’ll listen again — it is wonderful to hear Emma being interviewed instead of being the interviewer, as we usually hear her on the Hub. Thanks also for mentioning Lin Oliver of SCBWI. Emma’s reach does indeed extend far into the children’s book world.

  3. She has certainly helped me since I took her course early 2010, and I remember you asking me about it. So glad you that you also completed it. She comes across as a warm, caring teacher and mentor. Hopefully will be able to tune into the podcast later.

    1. Yes, thank you for recommending (make that urging!) me to take Emma’s class. Now I can’t imagine what my writing life would be like without Emma, as she has taught me and encouraged me so very much. Do make every effort to listen to the podcast — you’ll be delighted with it.

  4. Thanks, Beth, for this nice post about Emma. I’ve checked out her web site before and listened to her at WriteOnCon. She helped me with a pitch. I didn’t realize all the things she was involved in though. I’ll have to check her blog. Thanks again!

    1. Thanks, Tina! You’ll find a wealth of information on Emma’s blog. And the podcast with Katie Davis is great, too. Thanks for stopping by, hope you’ll visit again!

    1. Isn’t the Hub amazing? And Emma puts 100% of herself into whatever she does, and it shows. I honestly don’t know where I’d be in my writing progress without all that I’ve gained from association with Emma. I wouldn’t be very far along, that’s for sure.

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