Anna who?

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Picture Book Writer
Dragon Slayer
Dreamer

Anna Marras is what you get when your name is Marlys and your grandson can’t say Nanna Marlys.

I believe that the only thing better than a curious child is a curious child who likes to read. Children’s literature is the optimum way to bring truth, beauty, and goodness into the world because the language of imagination is universal.

Reading and writing runs in my family’s blood. My grandparents wrote exquisite letters. My mother and brothers wrote poetry and daily journals.  My granddaughter writes several picture books a day. Her writing and artwork is featured on my HOME page banner and background. Books are important to us. I’m no poet, I can’t draw a decent stickman, and sometimes I babble incoherently. But I can pour my heart out on paper. As a small town reporter, my stories and photographs won Newspaper Association awards, my humor columns served as guest editorials in The Bismarck Tribune, and I wrote feature stories for regional magazines. I thrive through my LOFT and SCBWI critique groups; writer’s conferences; and workshops. I was awarded the 2014-2015 SCBWI Writer’s Mentorship with MN author, Trisha Speed Shaskan. I’m eternally grateful for these life-giving opportunities and can’t wait to see what else is in store.

Writing advice:

  • Don’t destroy your journals of youth, no matter how silly or incriminating. You’ll wish you had them for fodder someday.
  • Trust your heart.
  • Don’t bring celery to the library.

Words to live by:

  • A writer in motion stays in motion.

My ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen most-cherished children’s books, in no particular order of genre or likeability:

1. ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET by Judy Blume

2. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee

3. THE GIVER by Lois Lowry

4. ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY by Judith Viorst (Ditto)

5. CHRYSANTHEMUM by Kevin Henkes

6. CLICK, CLACK, MOO: COWS THAT TYPE by Doreen Cronin, Illustrated by Betsy Lewin

7. IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond

8. THE GIVING TREE by Shel Silverstein

9. GOODNIGHT MOON by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd

10. NEW KID ON THE BLOCK by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by James Stevenson

11. INTERRUPTING CHICKEN by David Ezra Stein

12. IF YOU EVER WANT TO BRING AN ALLIGATOR TO SCHOOL, DON’T! by Elise Parsley

13. MOTHER BRUCE by Ryan T. Higgins

14. SOLD by Patricia McCormick

15. THE MOST MAGNIFICENT THING by Ashley Spires

Go forth! Write! Slay a dragon! And dream!

12 thoughts on “Anna who?

    • Thanks, MaryAnn. Sometimes happy dancers/grumps come in the same package. Yippee! Darn it. Come to think of it — I read about this in my Abnormal Psych textbook. Hmmm…

    • Aw, Janie, you’re such a sweetheart. The thought of anyone possessing a whole page of my hormone-induced teenage ramblings scares me just a little. How much do you want for them? 🙂

  1. Marlys,, I just love your story about how your writing career progressed! I would love to read some of your stories that you wrote over the years!

  2. Nice blog! I don’t come here as often as I’d like to. Love that song from the Mamas and Papas. I’m thinking about going to the SCBWI conf in Iowa, so my first thought was to google your name. Looks like the SCBWI website’s still down, but I’ll keep trying. See you at the Oct conf in MN!

    • Thanks Ann! Unfortunately, I didn’t register for the Iowa SCBWI conference this year, but I can vouch for their great hospitality, if you attend. I’ll definitely see you at the MN SCBWI Conference. How fun for you to have THREE books to promote! Woo hoo!

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