Friday, April 15, 2016

Meet Your Neighbors: SCBWI-MI Member Blogs by Charlie Barshaw

Recently at the Lansing Area Shop Talk, Ann Finkelstein and I hosted a meeting about blogs, our favorites, and something we took away from a post.

Many of the blogs we brought up were aimed at writing in general, like Writer Unboxed.

Some offered Kid’s literature, but focused mainly on book reviews: Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast and The Jean Little Library are two of the finest examples.

So, I googled “Kid’s Book Blogs,” thinking I’d be lucky to find a few. Second entry (the first was an advertisement) yielded this website, KidLitoSphere Central with hundreds of choices. Who, really, knew?

Easily you could spend your whole day investigating other people’s words instead of writing your own. However, in that massive list, I failed to find some local favorites from some of our own SCBWI-MI members.

So, check out a few of our homegrown talents:

Frog on a Dime by Vicky Lorencen. This blog covers the pitfalls and potential of kid’s book writing.

Jumping the Candlestick by Debbie Diesen. Best-selling author of “The Pout-Pout Fish” series, Debbie interviews Michigan authors.

Janice Broyles recently interviewed Regional Advisors Leslie Helakoski and Carrie Pearson. Be sure to check out her Monday Meet-ups.

ReaderKidz by Debbie Gonzalez. Debbie reviews children’s picture books and sometimes interviews their authors.

Words and Pixels by Ann Finkelstein. Ann’s a brilliant photographer and a master of craft, and her blog reflects her passions.

Literary Rambles by Natalie Aguirre and Casey McCormick. This is the blog to read to investigate agents in the Kid Lit world.

Shutta Crum. This venerable author’s blog has “Best of” lists and interviews with authors.

Nancy Shaw. Her blog tends to have Baaab the Sheep in the photos.

Sensibility and Sense by Patti Richards uncovers the nuances of writing children’s literature.

Sandy Carlson’s blog explores her Michigan historical roots.

The Blob Blog by Amy Nielander uses shapes to inspire characters in your head.

Erin Brown Conroy's blog is for entrepreneurs and creatives.

Buffy’s Blog by Buffy Silverman offers nature photos and poetry.

And finally Kristen Remenar’s blog evaluates early childhood literacy and the early stages of authorhood.

These are only a few that came to mind between Ann Finkelstein and myself. If I’ve failed to mention your favorite blog, please add it in the comments section. Check out some of your Michigan neighbors in the blogosphere.

Charlie Barshaw has entered pieces in the upcoming Wild Wild Mid-West manuscript contest, the annual SCBWI WIP grant, and the Karen Cushman Late Bloomer Award. He's also co-chairing the novel track for the SCBWI-MI Fall Retreat with David Stricklen. So I guess it's okay that he hasn't completed revising his MG or finished the first draft of his YA.

Thanks for the round-up, Charlie! Coming up on the Mitten blog: an Illustrator Interview, a Writer Spotlight, and Charlie will be back to share his take-aways from the SCBWI Wild, Wild Midwest Conference!

Have a great weekend!
Kristin Lenz


  1. Thanks for sharing the list of all the talented bloggers in Michigan, Charlie. We're such a talented, supportive group of writers. Have fun at the conference!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thanks, Charlie. What a great way to bring our community together.

  4. Nice roundup of blogs from Michiganders. Thanks!

  5. So sorry to have missed the blog meeting/discussion: such an important topic for writers today! But thanks for sharing the highlights!

  6. Wonderful! My blog is this: Works in Progress

  7. Thanks, Charlie. Some member blogs that I enjoy are Angie Kidd's Artwork and Musings
    and Ken Rahmoeller's My Hogwarts Sabbatical

  8. Thanks, Charlie, for putting the links to all these Michigan blogs in one place. If anyone's interested in following Poetry Friday blogs, you can find each week's links here:

  9. Thank you, Charlie, for this list of blogs of SCBWI-MI members. My blog on my website covers a wide range of topics, including reviews of books for children, essays about writing issues, sports, spelling bees, educational issues, etc. My website is

    Best wishes for the spring!

    Janet Ruth Heller
    Author of the award-winning book for children about bullying, How the Moon Regained Her Shape (Arbordale, 2006), and the middle-grade book for kids The Passover Surprise (Fictive Press, 2015).