The Wright Brothers by David McCullough Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough; Simon & Schuster, 2015. 320 pages; $30.00 (hardcover); reading level: adult. This is McCullough’s tenth work of nonfiction and he has acquired a well-deserved reputation for turning impeccably researched facts into enjoyable narratives. This latest book is not a birth-to-death biography of the Wright brothers (it ends in 1910,… [Read More]

Duck, Duck, Porcupine! by Salina Yoon Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Duck, Duck, Porcupine! by Salina Yoon; illustrated by the author; Bloomsbury, 2016. 64 pages; $9.99 (hardcover); reading level: Grades K-2. The characters in this collection of three (very!) short stories for beginning readers are Big Duck, the self-appointed boss; Porcupine, the passive worrier; and Little Duck, who says not a word but who knows, in… [Read More]

Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker by Jessica Ahlberg Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker by Jessica Ahlberg; illustrated by the author. Candlewick Press, 2016. 28 pages; $15.99 (hardcover); reading level: ages 2-5. When Lucy’s dog, Mr. Barker, loses interest in the story she’s reading to him he leaps out of her bedroom window through a cut-out in the page. Lucy follows him through successive… [Read More]

Connie’s Advice On How to Find a Literary Agent

It’s a question I’m asked repeatedly and one I’ve had a hard time answering: How do I find a reputable agent? I found my agent by first getting six books published and then approaching a top notch agency with my latest manuscript and my publishing history. But I got my first contract in the early… [Read More]

Tiger and Badger by Emily Jenkins Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Tiger and Badger by Emily Jenkins; illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay; Candlewick Press, 2016. 32 pages; $15.99 (hardcover); reading level: ages 3-6. Using soft watercolors and acrylics, Gay has created an outdoor world with everything a child could dream of: phantasmagoric flowers, striped and polka-dotted birds, a stack of empty boxes, chairs out on the grass… [Read More]

Jane Friedman’s Blog is An Outstanding Resource for Writers

Jane Friedman (former publisher of Writer’s Digest) caught my eye with this quote from her online bio: “I have a special interest in how the digital age is affecting and transforming writing careers, publishing, and storytelling.” I had heard glowing things about her before attending the July 2016 Midwest Writer’s Workshop at Ball State University… [Read More]

Big Tractor by Nathan Clement Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Big Tractor by Nathan Clement; illustrated by the author; Boyds Mills Press/Highlights, 2015.  32 pages; $16.95 (hardcover); reading level: ages 3-7. Reminiscent of the human-machine relationship in the 1943 classic Katy and the Big Snow, the farmer in this picture book talks his tractor-friend through the seasons:  he wakes “Ol’ Partner” for spring planting, urges… [Read More]

Work in Progress #27: Waiting To Find A Publisher For My Emily Post Biography (The Sequel!)

A writer’s life is full of surprises. As it turned out, my agent didn’t come back with either of the responses I described in my last Work in Progress blog. Instead, she suggested some revisions. They were pretty major revisions: Re-writing the last chapter, putting in more material that would appeal to the junior high/high… [Read More]

Checkout This Infographic About 18 Famous Writers’ Work Habits…

Mostly, we writers figure out how to write on our own. Sometimes we read books about writing or go to conferences to hear about writing but, in the end, it’s really a matter of trial-and-error. We stumble on something that seems promising, we give it a go and if it works, it becomes part of… [Read More]

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin; HarperCollins, 2012. 426 pages; $15.99 (paperback); reading level: adult. Pairs of relationships drive the plot of this beautifully-written, tightly structured novel (Coplin’s first). In 1865, when William Talmadge is an orphaned 17-year-old living in what will later be the state of Washington, his younger sister goes into the forest to… [Read More]