Today's guest at Books and Authors is a woman with a great deal of talent and drive. VS Grenier, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of SFC, was voted one of the Top Ten Editors in the Preditors and Editors Reader Poll 2007 & 2008. She started writing for children’s magazines a year after the birth of her daughter when she quit working to stay home and raise a family. She loves writing books, articles, and short stories for children and teens, finding that it keeps her young. Grenier even dresses up for Halloween and still believes in Santa Claus. Grenier is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature and is a member of SCBWI and Musing Our Children. A California girl at heart, VS Grenier currently lives in Utah with her husband, their two kids, and the family’s big fat cat, Speed Bump.
Her works include the Best of Stories for Children Magazine Volume 1 anthology and over 30 short stories, articles, and crafts for children along with newsletter articles for writers. She also won second place for her article, “Yes, Virginia, There IS a Santa Claus” in the Preditors and Editors Reader Poll 2007 for Best Nonfiction of 2007 and won 7th place for her article, “Dinosaurs Tracks in My Backyard” in the Preditors and Editors Reader Poll 2008 for Best Nonfiction of 2008.
When asked how she became a children's writer, Virgina's answer was:
"I started writing for children at the end of 2005 when I decided to apply to The Institute of Children’s Literature. I never dreamed about becoming a children’s writer, or an editor for that matter, I just kinda fell into it. My daughter was just barely under a year old and I was looking for something to do. I thought I would write here and there for children’s magazines in my spare time while I stayed home and raised my two kids. I was so use to working full time as a buyer I just didn’t know what to do staying home all day long. I wasn’t use to it. I found as I continued through the course at the ICL how much I really enjoyed writing for children. I wasn’t a straight A student by any means in English class, so my family thought it was quite funny when they heard what I was doing with my spare time. However, I stuck to it and my instructor really encouraged me. It wasn’t until after I published my very first short story at Fandangle Magazine in 2006 while I was only on the third assignment with the ICL that I realized I could really do this. Since then I have published over 30 short stories or articles, crafts, and started Stories for Children Magazine. The rest as they say is history. "
While, Virginia writes on her own, her biggest passion at the moment is Stories for Children magazine, from which the anthology pictured at the right was eventually born. You can feel her passion in the following:
Come take an adventure in the World of Ink with Stories for Children Magazine, a monthly Ezine for children ages 3 to 12 years old.
Did you know that the love of reading is often times triggered by an adult reading good children’s stories to very young children? Some expectant parents read to their babies while they're still in the womb and continue every day after they're born. Stories for Children Magazine was designed to unlock your children’s imagination and take them on an exciting adventure into the World of Ink with Stanley Bookman from Storyville as their guide on the magical monthly trips.
Each monthly issue is loaded with fun stories and articles based on age-appropriate reading levels. There are also puzzles, games, children’s book reviews, crafts, and poems to inspire the imagination. Children's authors or illustrators are also known to stop by, hoping to make new friends along their journey into the World of Ink.
Stories for Children Magazine is not just for adult writers. One thing that sets Stories for Children Magazine apart is that we also publish stories written and illustrated by children and teens. While submitting stories to children’s magazines, editor VS Grenier was shocked to discover that few magazines allowed underage writers. She vowed to change this and has done so with Stories for Children Magazine. SFC magazine encourages readers who are our future writers and illustrators to submit to all areas of the magazine so that our readers can become a real part of the adventure that’s found in the World of Ink. There has always been an enchantment about reading a good children’s story. Children take pleasure in having a story read to them anytime or anywhere – whether it be around a campfire, under a starry night, in their beds wrapped up tight in snuggly blankets, beneath a shady tree on a hot summer’s day, or in front of a roaring fireplace on a cold winter’s day. Children love to listen to a story being read and this can go as far as adolescence. So sit back and let the authors and illustrators at Stories for Children Magazine take you and your child along with Stanley on a magical journey into the World of Ink!
When asked what she found to be the hardest part of compiling this anthology, Ms. Grenier replied, "Getting all the paperwork, contracts, and illustrations in by the deadline so we could start editing and formatting. There is so much that goes into printing a book it isn’t funny. I spent many days with a very stiff neck making sure everything was in the margin, illustrations were in the right place, we had enough white areas in the right places, etc. I think between me, my copyediting staff, and art director we passed the anthology between at least have a dozen times before we even started the pre-publishing process. After that, I looked at least four mock-up copies before I sent copies to our copyeditor and art director. When they gave me the thumbs up . . . it was off to the presses. That was the easy part. LOL."
So what's in the future for VS Grenier and Stories for Children? Ms. Grenier says, " I just opened Stories for Children Publishing, LLC which is now the parent company to Stories for Children Magazine and SFC Newsletter for Writers. That was a very big step and I’m working on getting the Stories for Children Publishing website completely up and running. Reader can visit http://StoriesForChildrenPublishing.com to see what we have up so far and what plans we have for the future. Make sure to come back often because we’re updating all the time.
We also just launched our blog SFC: Families Matter at http://FamiliesMatter2Us.blogspot.com this month. Sandie Lee is our blog editor and one of our Stories for Children Magazine editors as well. This is a great site for families not just for cool tips on helping their children, but to also find out about vacations to fit their budget to interviews with those who work with and around children like doctors, authors, teachers, etc. Every week we touch a different theme.
We are also working on getting the next volume of our anthology together. We are currently contacting the SFC Contributors who made it in. So be on the look out for the ‘Best of’ Stories for Children Magazine Volume 2 due out in Fall 2009.
Many may not know, but we just announced our 2008 SFC Granny Award Winners at http://StoriesForChildrenMagazine.org. This yearly award is an editors pick of our favorite titles and artwork from the pervious year. All SFC Granny Award Winners received an engraved trophy. It’s our way of saying “Thank You” for being a part of SFC.
As for myself, I’m working on two picture books and a YA novel. One of my picture books is under contract with Halo Publishing. I’m currently working on some revision and then it’ll be off Kevin Scott Collier who is the illustrator. The planned release date is Fall of 2009."
With Virginia's writing and Kevin's illustration, I can't help but think this book will be a success! Thank you for being our guest today Virginia! Folks, how about leaving a quick comment for Virginia?