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Author says books make great Christmas gifts for kids - KOAM TV 7

Author says books make great Christmas gifts for kids - December 12 workshop to be held

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POSTED DECEMBER 11, 2013 ON BEHALF OF PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY

Author says books make great Christmas gifts for kids

Shoppers looking for great Christmas gifts for children and young readers have an array of books by Kansas authors to choose from, according to Casie Hermansson, professor of English at Pittsburg State University. Hermansson will present "How to Write for Children and Youth: A Writer's Guide," at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12, in the Wilkinson Alumni Center.

"For middle grade readers I suggest a new series from a Kansas City writer Claire Caterer, "The Key and the Flame," Hermansson said.

Hermansson described the book as a contemporary novel set in England with time travel to the Middle Ages. It is intended to be a series of five novels and is published by Simon and Schuster.

"It's not too late to enjoy Clare Vanderpool's 2011 Newbery winning novel "Moon Over Manifest," Hermansson said.

For area children, "Moon Over Manifest" has the added attraction of being set in Frontenac, Kan.

Hermansson also recommended one of her favorite books for older middle grade readers and teens, "A Curse Dark as Gold," by Elizabeth Bunce, another award-winning Kansas City novelist.

"It's a fabulous and dimensioned retelling of "Rumplestiltskin," Hermansson said.

And of course there's also Hermansson's own picture book for children 3-8 years old, "Clever Milly," a child-friendly original story based on the Bluebeard fairy tale. In that book, Mr. Fox comes to call on Milly at the henhouse, but she finds his charm suspicious. Clever Milly has a plan to discover the truth and ensure that Mr. Fox visits no more henhouses in future.

Whatever authors or titles shoppers choose, Hermansson said, books make great Christmas gifts for children and young people.

"Books are gifts that can inspire and captivate youngsters in ways nothing else under the tree can," she said.

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POSTED DECEMBER 10, 2013 ON BEHALF OF PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY

Author offers tips on writing for young readers

Author and professor Casie Hermansson will offer guidance and practical advice for aspiring children's writers on Thursday, Dec. 12, in the Wilkinson Alumni Center at Pittsburg State University. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Hermansson, a professor in Pittsburg State University's English Department, will present "How to Write for Children and Youth: A Writer's Guide," at 5:30 p.m. in the lower level of the Alumni Center.

"I decided to do this because there is a lot of general interest in the community in writing for children and youth (pre-K up through 12th grade) and a lot of people who have ideas but don't know what to do next, or have a story but are not sure where to send it," Hermansson said.

The presentation will cover the major genres and markets, including magazines, trade presses, educational presses, and self-publishing.

"I have experience with a variety of these and publications in most major genres," Hermansson said.

One of the challenges of writing for children and young readers is that it is a diverse market.

"There is such a range of readerships from pre-K children, beginning with board books, up through young adult novels, so it's not possible to say what would make a great story or opening sentence," Hermansson said. "But there are some general tips across all genres and consistent editor preferences."

For example, Hermansson said, editors won't tolerate condescending to the child reader, however inadvertent or kindly meant.

Hermansson earned a bachelor of arts degree from Massey University in New Zealand and a master of arts degree and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. She has published numerous books and articles for both adults and young readers. Hermansson's own picture book for children 3-8 years old, "Clever Milly," a child-friendly original story based on the Bluebeard fairy tale, is available on Amazon.

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