From Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul


Kim Aaron is a braille specialist working with blind and partially sighted children. She has been married for seventeen years to a television news reporter and has one son, Adam, who is an honors student. She volunteers in her community, and in her spare time, rides an eleven-year-old mule named Bob. You can reach Kim at #3 Maple Tree Ln., Cross Lanes, WV 25313; 304-776-0403; [email protected]

Denise and Rett Ackart live in California. Denise is currently working on a series of children’s books and enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, Rett and Rhys. Rett is an active twelve-year-old who enjoys soccer, basketball, snowboarding and drumming for the junior high school jazz band. They can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]

Katherine Ackerman is a thirteen-year-old from Florida. She enjoys traveling, writing, painting, drawing and sculpture. Katherine is also involved in many different sports including canoeing and backpacking and is on her school swim team.

Sara Alfano, age twelve, lives in Pennsylvania and has been writing poetry for several years. Her favorite pastimes are reading, basketball, softball, listening to music and hanging out with friends. She loves animals, especially her dog, Sadie, and her cat, Tweety.

Apryl Anderson is a seventeen-year-old from Washington. She loves to sing, dance and play baseball. Apryl dreams of going to college and becoming a kindergarten teacher and a model.

Christine Armstrong is an attorney who lives with her husband Roger and their son Randy in a farmhouse in the Minnesota woods. In addition to writing, her hobbies include reading, making handmade books, jewelry and quilts. Christine has continued to open her heart to a variety of animals over the years including ducks, hamsters, parakeets, dogs, cats, a chinchilla and even a goat. Reach her via e-mail at [email protected]

Brandi Bacon is a sixteen-year-old sophomore in Kentucky. She is a cheerleader and has recently returned from Germany where she was a foreign exchange student. Brandi has been writing since she was in the second grade and hopes that her story will help other kids who are facing difficult situations.

Raegan Baker is a freshman in college majoring in communications. She enjoys reading, writing and spending time with friends and family. Raegan loves children and would like to one day work with children and teenagers who suffer from OCD. You can reach her via e-mail at [email protected]

Whitney M. Baldwin is a thirteen-year-old from New York. She is a dance competitor and loves to read and write poetry. Whitney would like to thank Mr. Sherry for being the first to inspire her to write.

Shirley Barone Craddock is the published author of two children’s books and several magazine stories. She is an artist and has received the People’s Choice Award from the North Valley Art League. Shirley loves to write in such a way that will stimulate a child’s mind and entertain them to silliness and surprise. She can be reached at 1703 Victor Ave., Redding, CA 96003; 530-223-2584; [email protected]

Lisa Beach is an instructor at Indiana University East in Richmond, Indiana. She is the author of a children’s book, Building a Bridge, and a short story, Taking Baby Home. Hard at work on a novel, Lisa lives with her husband David and their children Jon, Traci, Richard, Alaina and Blair. You can reach her at [email protected]

Meghan Beardsley is sixteen years old. She has studied ballet for thirteen years and has toured with a professional ballet company. Meghan is an avid soccer player and has traveled extensively. Her previous writing acknowledgments include the Sperry Award for an essay and a poem published in Celebrate—New York’s Young Poets Speak Out.

Leslie Beck is a high school sophomore in Missouri. She enjoys playing the flute and running track. As a freshman, she was Rookie of the Year on her softball team. Leslie aspires to be a veterinarian and own her own practice. She dedicates her story to her grandmother who was not here to see Leslie’s mother win her fight against cancer.

Lisa-Dawn Bertolla lives in Essex County in the south of England with her dog Harry and Colin the goldfish. She has always had a passion for writing. Her latest project is a book of short stories, poetry and Haiku. Lisa-Dawn feels that writing transcends international boundaries and brings people together. Contact her via e-mail at [email protected]

Donna Beveridge is a primary literacy specialist. She loves early mornings, sing-alongs, children’s books, new journals, her grandchildren and family stories. Her first children’s book, Henry, was published in 1999 for the educational market. She has also published books for teachers. Donna can be reached at P.O. Box 1635, Windham, ME 04062, or via e-mail at [email protected]

Kyle Brown, a high school senior from California, lives with his parents and younger brother, Jack. He enjoys theater and is involved with drama at his school. An avid sports fan, Kyle likes to watch and go to professional sporting events. Writing is a hobby, as well as computer graphics, video games and cars.

Megan Brown is a thirteen-year-old who published two books by the third grade. She runs track, takes dance class and plays soccer, basketball and the electric guitar. She lives with her parents, sister, brother and pet dog, Bailey, and enjoys being with her friends and talking on the phone.

Judith Burnett Schneider, a former research organic chemist, is the mother of three. She is the author of Write Well & Sell: Changing Life’s Simple Stories into Sales and is a contributing author for the book Plastics Recycling. Judith is also host of Critique Retreat for Writing Women. She teaches workshops at bookstores, her local community college and through her Internet writing classes. Judith welcomes feedback via e-mail at [email protected]; or mail P.O. Box 207, Ingomar, PA 15127.

Emily Burton, age twelve, loves art and creative writing. She enjoys all sports, especially basketball and soccer. Emily wants to give a big “HEY, I’M IN A BOOK” to her friends Leah, Kate, Clair, Bevan, Sierra, Chelsea, Miranda, Frani, Jeff, Luke, Mike and Meaghan, who is her best friend, and to her mom.

Courtni Calhoun, a thirteen-year-old eighth grader from Texas, is a GATE student who plays alto sax, holds first chair in her school band, won second chair in an all-region competition and has been a majorette for the past two years. Winning fifth place in a state writing competition and being published is proof of the impact that her teacher, Mrs. Barrow, has had on her life. Courtni is a dedicated Christian and is active in her church.

Doris Canner has three grown sons and four grandsons. She resides with her husband in New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee. When she’s not surfing the Internet, Doris enjoys reading and listening to music. Her love for children and for the written word has been the motivating force behind her passion for writing children’s stories. Currently, she’s working on a biography for young readers. Doris can be reached at 9 Campfire Cir., Alton, NH 03809.

Danny Cannizzaro, age sixteen, created the cover artwork for Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul. In addition to regular high school, he attends the Orange County High School of the Arts where he takes classes in drawing, painting and graphic design, all fields in which he hopes to someday have a career. When not in school, he spends time hanging out with friends, playing with his brother, Joey, and his sister, Diana.

Diana Carson is a sixteen-year-old from Pennsylvania who loves to write and with a few poems already published and her story in Preteen Soul, it shows. Diane enjoys playing volleyball and would like to major in journalism and minor in theater in college.

Rachelle P. Castor grew up in a family of twelve children. She is married to her favorite guy, Doug, and they are the parents of three amazing boys. She has taught preschoolers and is now writing children’s literature. Rachelle can be reached at [email protected]

David R. Collins combined two careers, teaching English in Moline, Illinois, for thirty-five years and writing books for young readers. Many of his articles and stories sprang from his classroom experiences, as did “A Silent Voice.” Named “Outstanding Illinois Educator,” Collins has won recognition from the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the PTA and the Junior Literary Guild. A prolific biographical writer, he now writes full-time and makes author visits to schools. He can be reached at 3404 45th St., Moline, IL 61265, by e-mail at [email protected], or by calling 309-762-8985.

Tamera Collins is a busy mother of two, ages six and seven. This is her second published piece; the first, a children’s story, Emily’s Coat, was featured in the literary review, O’ Georgia. Tamara is a former mathematics teacher who enjoys golfing with her husband, tennis, reading and her cat, Cleo. She can be reached at 14290 Morning Mountain Way, Alpharetta, GA 30004.

Krissy Creager is a sophomore from Arizona, where she lives with her parents. She likes playing basketball, soccer, running track, writing stories and poetry and doing normal teen stuff like hanging out with friends. She enjoys listening to and giving advice to friends. Krissy hopes to either become a physical therapist or a counselor, in order to make a difference and help others.

MaryJanice Davidson has written several critically acclaimed novels, but this is the first time that she has been able to write about the fire. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and children, about twenty miles from the site of the fire. “The Best Christmas I Never Had” is her first published short story. For information on her books, visit Mary’s Website at

Justin Day is a sixteen-year-old from Oklahoma who lives his life playing soccer and is interested in playing for a pro club. He enjoys going on dates and playing video games. He also enjoys writing poems and short stories in his spare time. Justin wrote his true story “April Morning” because he wanted to write something that came from the heart.

Leigha Dickens is a thirteen-year-old who lives in South Carolina. She enjoys writing stories and poetry, reading, gardening, and some sports and is also in the “Imaginations” drama group at her school. Leigha hopes to make a career out of writing.

Jason Dorsey is the founder of the not-for-profit Institute to End School Violence and president of Golden Ladder Productions, LLC. Jason authored Graduate to Your Perfect Job which is now used as a course in over one thousand schools. Utilizing the input of over 100,000 students, Jason authored Can Students End School Violence? Solutions from America’s Youth to provide a student’s perspective to preventing violence. Annually, Jason speaks to over 100,000 educators, students, parents, and administrators across America. He may be reached at 512-259-6877 or at or Jason’s life mission is to help youth shape their world.

Noah Edelson is a director/writer/producer for television and film. His credits include producer/writer for Nickelodeon and NBC, among others. His short film, 78, premiered at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. An award-winning poet for his children’s verse, Noah is also founder of Mighty Oak Press, committed to publishing “books for kids to grow on.” He lives in Sherman Oaks, California, with his wife Valerie, his daughter Hannah and his cat, Mister. Contact Noah at [email protected]

Jillian Eide is a sixteen-year-old junior living in California with her parents, big brother, Jeff, and little sister, Jolene. She is a varsity cheerleader and spends a lot of time with her family and friends. Her poem is dedicated to the loving memory of her cousin Cassie Loraine Sweet, who was killed in a car accident in 1996.

Arlys Endres, thirteen, enjoys synchronized swimming, softball, old music, old movies and hanging with her friends. She also plays violin, clarinet and the piano. Arlys loves animals and has four cats, two dogs and a hamster. She is also a member of the United Neighbors Association, a community watch program that includes painting over graffiti and taking down Christmas lights for the elderly.

David Ferino is a thirteen-year-old living in Illinois. His favorite pastimes include playing the guitar, skateboarding, golf, soccer, basketball, theater and art. He is involved in speech tournaments, where he has received several first-place medals. David has also had his artwork hung in a college art museum but feels that his greatest accomplishment is being published in this book.

Barry Fireman has been married for thirty-five years and has three adult children. His hobbies are woodworking, golf and reading. When he retires, he plans to devote time to writing. He loves telling stories and was encouraged by friends and his children to write Redsy. Barry recently saw Redsy again at their forty-year high school reunion. You may reach Barry at 434 Warick Road, Wynnewood, PA 19096; 610-649-2210; or via e-mail at [email protected] Russell (Rusty) Fischer is a former teacher who now writes for a small publisher in Florida. He is proud to be able to share his story with other children all over the world. Although he still struggles with his weight, he has a new “coach” in his beautiful wife, Martha. You can contact Russell via e-mail at [email protected]

Christine Fishlinger is seventeen and lives in New York with her parents and brother. She enjoys reading, writing, soccer, track, working on school plays and hanging out with friends. She looks forward to being a senior, and to going away to college.

Nicole Fortuna, age eleven, lives in Illinois, with her mom, grandma and little brother. She is in the sixth grade and is involved in the school newspaper, yearbook, gymnastics, softball and band. Her teacher, Lisa Anco, encouraged Nicole to write her story.

Kelli Frusher is seventeen and from California. When not at home singing, dancing or reading you can find her hot-air ballooning, white-water river rafting, dirt biking, snorkeling or horseback riding. She has written mininovels about her experiences, as well as poems. Kelli would love to make it on Broadway or the radio.

Eugene Gagliano is the father of four children, a published author and teacher who shares his love of reading and writing with his second-grade class at Meadowlark School in Buffalo, Wyoming. He lives with his wife, Carol, at the base of the majestic Big Horn Mountains. His fiction book, Falling Stars, will be released this year. You can reach him at 20 Hillside Dr., Buffalo, WY 82834.

Barbara L. Glenn is a writer, horseback riding teacher and 4-H Horse Project leader. She began her freelance writing in 1989 and has published articles in magazines such as Horse Illustrated, Horse Power, Stable Kids and Children’s Playground. She owns three horses, a Great Dane and two cats. Barbara enjoys art, traveling, photography, music and the company of her two girls, Ginny and Amy.

Uncle Greg is Greg Hall, a father, uncle and businessman living in Los Gatos, California. He is the author of numerous stories for kids of all ages. You can visit his Website at, or call 408-366-9812.

Mia Hamm is widely recognized as the world’s best all-around soccer player. In the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, she proved it by leading her team to Team Gold in front of eighty thousand screaming fans in Athens, Georgia. Never in history had so many spectators come out to watch a women’s sporting event. Then in 1999, Mia’s team won the Women’s World Cup while more than 40 million viewers watched in the United States alone. Mia was the youngest player ever to play for the US National Team at age fifteen and has been U.S. Soccer’s Female Athlete of the Year for five consecutive years. Her awards and accomplishments tell only part of the story of this remarkable athlete. Through the Mia Hamm Foundation, she supports two causes: promoting women’s athletics and raising funds for research and awareness of bone marrow diseases. Each year, Mia hosts the “Garrett Game” in honor of her brother, whom she lost to complications from aplastic anemia, a form of bone marrow disease.

Cynthia Marie Hamond, Secular Franciscan Order, has had stories published in nine books. Six of them are Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Her story Goodwill (Kid’s Soul) was seen on the Chicken Soup for the Soul television series. She enjoys speaking to various groups and school visits. You can reach Cynthia at P.O. Box 488, Monticello, MN 55362; or e-mail her at [email protected]

Laurie Hartman is the director of licensing of Chicken Soup for the Soul Enterprises, Inc. She loves writing, reading, horseback riding and her job with the “best people to work for on the planet.” Laurie is also the mother of one incredible son, Connor, who shares her love of writing at the tender age of ten, hoping to be a contributing author to Chicken Soup one day himself. You can reach Laurie via e-mail at [email protected]

Lauren Elizabeth Holden, age thirteen, lives in Georgia with her parents, kitten and dog. She enjoys reading, writing, tennis, boating and hanging out with her best friends, Leslie, Lauren and Salley. A very special teacher, Joi Cox, helped Lauren develop her love for writing. Lauren continues to write and has submitted numerous entries for her school’s writing fairs.

Christa Holder Ocker is a freelance writer with a special interest in rhyming picture-book stories. “This Old Chair” makes her a three-time contributor to the Chicken Soup books. Her story “Merry Christmas, My Friend” (Kid’s Soul) appeared on the Chicken Soup for the Soul television series. Contact Christa at 55 Royal Park Terr., Hillsdale, NJ 07642.

Paige Holland is eleven years old. She loves to read, swim, ski and write poetry. Paige began writing stories in kindergarten and now has three of her books in her school library. Paige lives with her parents, her sister Caitlin, brothers Robby and Patrick, and Gwenith, the dog.

Marieta Irwin is wife to Steve and mother to three daughters. She is the oldest daughter of a Christian minister and has always had lots of creative energy. She is the director of the Ecumenical Youth Program at her church and works at the Sac Community Elementary School. Her writing comes out of personal experience as a kid and now as a mom. You can reach Marieta at 630 S. 10th St., Sac City, IA 50583; 712-662-4084; [email protected]

Tiffany Jacques is a high school sophomore in Montana. She is very close to her family. The things she loves most are children, the color yellow, butterflies, and having fun with her friends and boyfriend. Tiffany plans to go to college and would like to be a physical therapist, get married and have lots of beautiful children.

Megan Jennings is a high school student from Kentucky. She enjoys writing poems and true life stories. Megan is a straight-A student, the secretary of her local FFA chapter and an employee of an auto parts store. Megan loves animals and owns four dogs, two horses and two donkeys. She loves the outdoors, horseback riding and hiking.

Lou Kassem was born in the mountains of East Tennessee and inherited a talent for storytelling. In 1984, she put her talent on paper, publishing the first of eleven novels. Being an author is a career that she loves. Her hobbies are reading, traveling, golfing and mountain hiking with her husband. You can reach her at 715 Burruss Dr. NW, Blacksburg, VA 24060, by phone at 540-552-2241, or e-mail her at [email protected]

Michael Kavalinas, sixteen, swims, does karate, works part time and loves science. He is a lifeguard and has done volunteer hospice work. Michael still misses his dad and thinks about him all the time.

Ryan Kelly, age eleven, lives in New York with his parents, sister and maternal grandparents. When not in school, where he is on the wrestling team, he likes to play Playstation and swim, and he is a huge Pokémon fan. Ryan would like to thank his parents and Miss Finnegan for the inspiration they gave him in writing his story.

Kathy Kemmer Pyron is a devoted wife and mother of four children, three dogs and two cats. When time allows, she writes children’s stories for picture books and magazines. Kathy has been published in Highlights for Children and The Flicker Magazine.

Ashley King is an eleven-year-old who plays on her school’s soccer team and participates in band, choir and drama. She likes to express her feelings through writing. She would like to thank her friends and family, and especially, her mom. A special, heartfelt thanks goes to her sixth-grade teacher, Ms. Oderman, who encouraged her to write to her fullest extent. But most of all, she wants to thank God for putting the words in her heart.

Scott Klinger is an eighteen-year-old film student in Laguna Beach, California. He has written several television commercials, comic strips and a screenplay. He is also a published photographer and just launched a film production company called Effusions Films. In his free time he likes to snowboard and travel. You can reach him at 273 Cajon St., Laguna Beach, CA 92651, by phone at 949-376-7150 or via e-mail at [email protected]

Barbara Lage is a library media specialist for an elementary school in Omaha, Nebraska. She has been a media specialist for a middle school in Iowa and worked as a librarian for a Japanese college in Honolulu, Hawaii. She likes kids and books. She has three children, Jo Anne, Mark and Amy, with her husband, Pete. She can be contacted at 759 N. 130th Plaza, Omaha, NE 68154.

Dakota Lane has had her work published in a variety of publications, including Interview Magazine, Village Voice and L.A. Weekly. She is the author of the young adult novel, Johnny Voodoo, for which she won the 2000 American Library Association Popular Paperback of the year award. She has two daughters and lives by a river in Woodstock, New York. You can contact Dakota at [email protected]

Jarod Larson enjoys driving since he just got his driver’s license. He also likes fishing, swimming, basketball and hanging out with friends. He wants to attend Fresno State Collage. He is very close with his mom, Susan, and sisters, Alana and Adena.

J. Styron Madsen writes to make kids laugh, think, feel, and most importantly, to realize that they can make choices. She writes in front of her antique Macintosh surrounded by seven dogs, all adopted from local animal shelters. You can e-mail her at [email protected]

Karl Malone is a ten-time NBA All-Star player and the 1997 Most Valuable Player in the league. He was also the co-MVP in the 1993 All-Star game with teammate John Stockton. Voted one of the fifty greatest players of all time, he has truly earned his famous nickname, “The Mailman,” for Karl Malone never fails to deliver. He was a member of the original “Dream Team” that won the Gold Medal in the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympic Games. Malone lives in Utah with his wife and six children. He enjoys hunting, fishing, camping and riding his Harley in his spare time. A giving man, Malone supports the Special Olympics and many charitable causes through the Karl Malone Foundation. KeriAnne McCaffrey is a sophomore in New York. She is a goalkeeper for the varsity soccer team and a member of Leader’s Club. Keri enjoys music, movies and sharing laughs with her friends and family. Her writing began receiving attention after winning an essay contest in 1996.

Anne McCourtie lives on a farm in Kansas with her husband John, six horses, three cats and a dog. She has written short stories, poems and puppet plays. Her favorite things include writing, dancing, gardening and crossword puzzles. She has enjoyed many occupations, such as teacher, bookkeeper and photographer’s assistant. For the past nine years, she has worked with people with developmental disabilities. You can e-mail her at [email protected] Karli McKinnon is a sixth-grade student living in Ontario, Canada. She loves creative writing and wants to be a journalist when she grows up. She has been swimming competitively for eight years and playing piano since she was five. She likes reading, writing, skating and spending time with her friends and family.

Lori Menning is a preschool teacher, mother of twin boys and author of One Was Not Enough, a children’s picture book published by TWINS Magazine. She lives with her family in Memphis, Tennessee.

Leslie Miller is a fifteen-year-old whose hobbies include fishing, drawing, and writing poetry and short stories. She looks forward to having a career as an author and poet after college. Her writing inspirations are Jewel and her mother, Patti.

Beverley Mitchell was discovered by a talent agent when she was only four years old while throwing a tantrum at a mall. She booked her first job acting in a commercial for AT&T and the rest is history. Aside from working on the hit television show, 7th Heaven, Beverley enjoys hanging out with her friends, shopping, going to the beach, snowboarding, photography and making scrapbooks. She has two dogs, Dakota and Trixie, and two cats. Beverley is the winner of the Young Artist Award for Best Actress in a Television Drama Series (7th Heaven) in both 1996 and 1997.

Kathleen M. Muldoon has written for children’s magazines for many years. She is the author of one picture book entitled, Princess Pooh. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading, taking long walks and playing with her cat, Prissy. She can be reached at [email protected]

Son Truong Nguyen, age seventeen, loves to write. He encourages everyone to pick up a writing instrument and “just write for the sheer enjoyment of it,” and go out there and live your life to the fullest.

Aubrey Nighswander lives in Ohio, on the south shore of Lake Erie. She is active in her junior high Pen program and an editor for the school newspaper. Aubrey enjoys a wide variety of activities and is very competitive in soccer, swimming and sailing.

Brian Normandin is a sophomore in California. In addition to hanging with his friends, he spends his spare time collecting and trading basketball cards and working a part time job.

Mary Normandin began writing four years ago and draws the inspiration for her stories from her family life. Mary resides in Southern California with her husband and four children, where she volunteers at her kids’ school and chauffeurs them to their various activities.

Pier Novelli is twelve years old and the youngest in a family of six. He enjoys talking with friends, listening to music, playing sports and taking care of his three pets. Pier enjoys making people laugh and hopes to continue his writing to reach out to others.

*NSYNC, which includes Lance Bass, J. C. Chasez, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick and Justin Timberlake, have obtained global stardom. Their self-titled 1998 debut album sold more than ten million copies and yielded four number-one singles: “I Want You Back,” “Tearin’ Up My Heart,” “God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You” and “Drive Myself Crazy.” Even while touring nonstop and doing more than three hundred concerts in the last year, they recorded hits with other artists including Gloria Estefan and Alabama and released a Christmas EP, “Home For Christmas.” *NSYNC has won numerous awards including a 1999 American Music Award for “Best New Pop/Rock Group,” embarked on some solo projects and recorded a new album, “No Strings Attached” for Jive Records.

Ashley O’Bryant is a fourteen-year-old honors student. Some things she likes to do for fun are reading, shopping, spending time with family and friends, but especially talking on the phone. She is always willing to lend a helping hand and enjoys serving others. Her career goal is to be a psychologist.

Shannon O’Bryant, age twelve, loves to play soccer. It is her favorite sport because it keeps her active and it’s fun. Her favorite foods are pizza, barbeque ribs, artichokes and corn. She enjoys expressing herself through poetry and making home videos.

D. Marie O’Keefe, a Wisconsin freelance writer and former librarian, now knows that it’s way cooler to give time and energy to family and friends than to becoming what others think is cool. Her passions include dogs, parrots, fly-fishing, protecting endangered plants and animals, and collecting books. She also enjoys photographing wildlife, encountering wild grizzlies and wolves, digging for dinosaur bones and riding in hot-air balloons.

Michael Oknefski is a senior in high school who plays on the school golf, basketball and baseball teams. He is a member of the National Honor Society and has been nominated to “Who’s Who” among high school students for three consecutive years. Mike will major in engineering at Penn State University in fall 2000. You can e-mail him at [email protected]

Daphne M. Orenshein is a full-time kindergarten teacher in Los Angeles, California, and a distributor for DKFL publishing company. Her hobbies are reading, basketball, photography, dance, singing, event planning and keeping her husband on his toes. She has three terrific book-loving, Lego-building, cooking-helping, Marco Polo–playing, in-your-face little boys.

Carol Osman Brown is a freelance writer and photographer whose work has been published in many magazines and newspapers. She speaks at writing conferences and teaches writing at Arizona State University and Rio Salado College in Phoenix, Arizona. You can contact her at [email protected]

Susan Overton was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She resides in Seattle, Washington, and is a manager at Andersen Consulting, where she specializes in the area of international e-commerce. Susan enjoys biking, snowshoeing and running. She continues to be an advocate for child literacy by supporting programs that put books in the hands of children. She credits her parents and siblings for always providing guidance, eternal optimism and patience in her many crazy ideas. You can reach her at [email protected]

Nicole Peters is a sixteen-year-old from Oklahoma. Her goal in life is to continue writing and earn a master’s degree in psychology so that she can help others. She is active in her Christian youth group and enjoys being a teenager.

Jonathan Piccirillo is a junior in Pennsylvania. His hobbies include soccer, drama, music, debate, travel, creative writing and spending time with friends. Jonathan became interested in writing from his creative-writing teacher, Mrs. Aiello. He plans on pursuing an English or arts degree in college.

Lindsey Rawson, age thirteen, enjoys writing poetry and short stories. She spends much of her time dancing, acting in plays, helping people and hanging out with friends. Lindsey hopes to make the cheerleading squad next school year.

Michelle Richard is a sixth-grader in Louisiana, where she lives with her parents and three younger brothers. Her interests include reading, visual arts, acting and composing songs. She is also an active member of the Girl Scouts. Michelle would like to thank all of her friends for their support, especially Amber and Brittany.

Nicole Ritchie is a ninth-grader from Texas. She belongs to two dance groups and has been jazz dancing for nine years. She plans on attending college after high school.

Nadine Rogers has been writing picture books, magazine articles, educational material and chapter books for eight- to twelve-year-old children for ten years. Current educational titles coauthored include a set of three books called Directives (Humanics Publishing Group) and a book of Constitution puzzles (Royal Fireworks Press). She writes a monthly column in a local newsletter called Grammargram. Nadine enjoys playing duplicate bridge and tennis in her free time. She can be reached at 2403 Greenhorn Rd., Yreka, CA 96097-9467.

Cynthia Ross Cravit is a freelance writer who has written primarily for children’s magazines. Recently, she completed several chapter books and is working on a middle-grade novel. She resides in Northern Michigan with her husband and three children, all of whom have enormous influence on her writing.

Shane Ruwe is a fifteen-year-old from Missouri. He is a black belt in the martial arts and enjoys bow hunting, football, baseball and golf. He likes writing mostly nonfiction stories and also writes some fiction. Writing “Kelsey” helped him express his feelings about his family’s tragedies.

Mary Ellyn Sandford is a happily married mother of seven. She has been published in several magazines, Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul and is currently working on a middle-grade novel. She is the head director of Ministering Metacarpals, a traveling puppet performance team. When teachers didn’t encourage her desire to write, she spent lots of time with heroines like Anne Shirley, Jo March and Laura Ingalls. You can contact Mary Ellyn at 4507 Chelsea Ave., Lisle, IL 60532 or via e-mail at [email protected]

Mary Saracino lives in Denver, Colorado. She is the author of two novels, No Matter What (Spinsters Ink, 1993) and Finding Grace (Spinsters Ink, 1999). Her memoir, Autobiography of a Voice, will be published by Spinsters Ink in spring 2001. In 1991, Mary won a Loft Mentor Series Award for fiction writing. Her work has appeared in a variety of literary magazines and anthologies including Hey Paesan!, Writers Who Cook, Sinister Wisdom, Voices in Italian Americana and Italian Americana.

Hope Saxton lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband and two sons. She began writing stories and poetry as a child, and her love of writing has carried her into the present. Her work has appeared in many magazines, as well as A 6th Bowl of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Hope is currently working on her fourth novel. She can be e-mailed at [email protected]

Elizabeth J. Schmeidler is happily married to her husband, Gary, and feels blessed to have her three sons, Jerome, Paul and Roy. She started writing three years ago and since has written a Christian romance mystery entitled Forget Me Not, as well as a collection of poetry and three children’s books. Her second novel is in the works. She also enjoys singing at church and at weddings and funerals. Elizabeth can be reached at 508 W. 32nd St., Hays, KS 67601.

Bunny Schulle has more than fifty published stories, articles and plays for children and young adults and has received several writing awards. She taught English as a Second Language through adult education and has volunteered in the Listen to the Children program. Currently, she is writing a preteen mystery novel and enjoys spending time with her granddaughters. She can be contacted at 106 N. Dory Rd., North Palm Beach, FL 33408.

Mark Schulle is a classical guitar instructor in Florida. He is the owner of the Gainesville Guitar Academy where he shares his love of music with children and adults. Mark also enjoys boating, reading and hiking.

Amy Severns, age fifteen, has enjoyed writing for many years. Her poetry can be found in the International Library of Poetry’s Anthology entitled Seasons of Happiness. She is also an active softball player, musician (playing the bass guitar and the clarinet), and Website designer. More of Amy’s writing is available on her personal Website located at

Jamie Lauren Shapiro is fourteen years old and lives in Virginia with her large family and dog named Max. She loves writing poetry and often uses it as a way of expressing herself and communicating with others.

Elijah Shoesmith is a freshman in high school who enjoys writing adventure stories, reading action books and playing computer games. He aspires to write adventure books for teens. He would like to thank God, his family, the Oraras, the Boyds, Jason, Josh and Rachel for their support.

Makenzie Snyder is a nine-year-old from Maryland who enjoys gymnastics, ballet, drawing and making things. She has been twirling baton since she was four years old and won first place in Dance Twirl competition at the national championships. She has two older brothers, a dog and two cats. She can be reached at Children to Children, 3262 Superior Ln., PMB# 288, Bowie, MD 20715, or at the Website,

Beverly Spooner wanted to be a writer since the age of seven. Throughout her preteen and teen years, she was an avid journal writer and poet. In her late twenties, she became a contributing writer for The Topanga Messenger, a local newspaper. She is now a freelance writer living in Illinois with her artist/ husband Michael, son Philip, and dogs, Snowy and Rembrandt.

Monte Stewart is a journalist living in Calgary, Canada who became a Calgary Herald staff writer in 1987 and has covered sports (including the National Hockey League and the 1998 Winter Olympics). He serves as president of Falcon Press, the publishing company that produced his critically acclaimed book, Carry On: Reaching Beyond 100, the inspirational autobiography of centenarian Tom Spear. His freelance articles have appeared in such publications as the Toronto Star, Profit Magazine, The Hockey News and San Jose Mercury News. He enjoys hockey, golf, reading and traveling. You can reach him at [email protected], or phone him at 403-284-4292.

Angelia Lee Swift is a freshman at Tennessee Technological University who enjoys creative writing, reading and hanging out with her friends. She looks forward to contributing to society by becoming a published author. You can contact her at P.O. Box 2490, Cookerville, TN 38502, or via e-mail at [email protected]

Lew Talmadge, a retired Chief Warrant Officer, U.S. Army Intelligence, has been writing for thirty years. He is a polylinguist (German, Albanian and Romanian) who enjoys photography, volunteer reading at a local elementary school and playing Santa Claus. He lives with his wife, Vivian, and cocker spaniel, Caycie. He can be contacted at 1714 View St., Athens, TN 37303, by calling 423-744-7227, or via e-mail at [email protected]

Stephanie Taylor, age eleven, enjoys skating, shopping and talking on the phone with her friends. She owns a dog named Ginger and two cats named Tiger and Mittens. Her favorite subjects in school are history and science. Her Website is

Lauren Thorbjornsen is a freshman at her high school where she serves on student government. She is a member of the swim and soccer teams and enjoys traveling, shopping, music and being with her friends.

April Townsend is thirteen years old and likes reading and writing. She wants to be a middle-school English teacher or a psychologist because she enjoys listening to people and helping them with their problems.

Casey L. Veronie is a sophomore who plays the trombone in his high school band. He is active in his church high school youth group and has achieved an Eagle Scout ranking in Boy Scouts.

Julia Wasson Render is a former elementary teacher who now works for a company that helps very young children build literacy skills. In her spare time, she contributes to Partners for Schools and Partners for Parents, two newsletters just for parents of preteen kids. Her inspirations are her daughter, Lindsay, and sons, Aaron and Jake. Julia can be reached at 1916 Grantwood Dr., Iowa City, IA 52440.

Megan Weaver is a thirteen-year-old from Georgia who has been writing and illustrating short stories since she was eight. She is active in her church and loves art, sports, tap and jazz, and playing the piano. Megan plans to write a book someday and maybe become a doctor or veterinarian.

Lauren Wheeler is twelve years old and enjoys going to camp, hanging out with her friends and playing tennis. She loves making new friends online with people from diverse backgrounds. She is on a swim team that has been undefeated for two years.

Nikki Yargar, age fourteen, plays lacrosse, softball and basketball and loves swimming in the summer. Music and her friends are important to her. In her free time, she likes to write in her diary and work on her scrapbook. She is very close to her parents, three brothers and two sisters.

Megan Youpa, fourteen, enjoys playing softball and hanging out with her friends. She started writing poetry to express her feelings to the world and to show others how she feels. Megan would like to thank her English teacher, Mrs. Always, for introducing her to poetry.

Xiao Xi Zhang, age eighteen, moved to the United States from China at the age of twelve. His experiences of sadness, loss and success in this country led him to write his story for Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul. He can be reached at [email protected]

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