I’m baaccckkkk! It’s been a minute. lol. Remember me? I wrote a couple of books, won a couple of awards, fell off the planet? No, I didn’t get abducted by…

Read More Author Event – September


I was reading a review of my book, HOPE IN THE HOLLER, recently. Spoiler alert: Authors shouldn’t read their reviews. LOL. The woman gave my book 4 stars and was…

Read More Best Books On Empathy

Books Reviews

Contest The Bertie


The Bertie is almost here! For those of you who are aren’t aware, I host a short-story writing contest each year for students, 10 – 13 years old. Traditionally, this…

Read More Bertie, Bertie, Bertie!



Yay! The Middle-Grade Mafia has made their decisions and the winning entries are LIVE on their site. Go to www.MiddleGradeMafia.com to see who made this year’s list. And thank you…

Read More The Bertie Winners

The Bertie

Contest The Bertie

We had a lot of wonderful entries in last year’s BERTIE, a writing contest for middle-schoolers. Below is the 1st Place ($100.00) entry in the 12 & 13 year-old category. I hope you enjoy this awesome story!

The Book Whispered, by Skylurr Hall

Chris entered the small shop, clutter in every corner, he took a deep breath dust and his exhalation dancing in the air. He looked around for a moment before an old short woman appeared. She had tangled silver hair, small black eyes, and pale wrinkly skin. Chris recoiled at the sight of her but attempted to look less revolted, faking a sweet smile and standing up straight. The woman began speaking in a grave yet kind voice “Hello, I assume you’re here to look around? Or was there something specific you’re searching for?” she gave a small smile revealing yellowed and chipped teeth. Chris ignored this fact and gave a short reply “Just looking, thanks” he looked away and turned around, eyes scanning the dark shop. After a moment his eye was caught by the smallest amount of light gleaming off a leather bound book. He, unknowingly, began to approach it and all the while the woman watched. Chris picked the book up and it seemed to ripple under his grip; he flipped the pages and made a thoughtful “hmmph” sound. The old woman was behind him in an instant, laying a hand on his shoulder, and she spoke “Beautiful isn’t it” she whispered “I’ll give it to you for…2 pounds” she said in a sly voice. Chris thought for a moment, the book really was beautiful, he bit his lip “fine” he said. Chris was an aspiring author and he wrote short stories, the book would be perfect. Once out of the store,new book in hand, he set off towards his flat in central London. After paying the cabbie and entering his flat he opened the book, grabbed a pen, the got to work writing.

The sun has swept over the entire front room when Chris opened his eyes, looking down at the story he had just barely finished when he fell asleep. He sat up and yawned, bones popping as he stretched. The young man set off to his room to change before heading to his university.

Read More Bertie 1st Place Entry, 2017

The Bertie

THE BERTIE, a writing contest for middle-schoolers will open for entries on September 1, 2018. I thought you might like to see some of the winners from last year. First up is a story by Nathan Musgrove. Nathan won 2nd place last year ($75.00 dollars!) in the 10 and 11-year-old category.  Enjoy!


 Yutren andTagi, by Nathan Musgrove (11)

One windy day, a twig flew up in the air. Its thin stature enabled it to ride on the breeze, but its firmness kept it intact when it came in contact with a tree or solid of some sort. After a moment of drifting freely in the breeze, the twig came down to land in a circle, drawn out of the snow on the ground.

“Ha ha! I knew I could do it!” shouted a voice triumphantly in the distance. Yutren leaped out of the bushes, grabbing the stick and waving it to the older chipmunks. He smiled at them, the stick seeming to share his joy.

“Yutren… you do know that was only the first round, don’t you?” said one.

The stick slowly descended. “Oh,” was the crushed reply.

Yutren trudged over to the starting line, where he got in position to begin the second round. He raised his eyebrow at the others, expecting them to join him, but no one stirred.

“I’m not really in the mood for this anymore, Yutren. You can have the berries.” Said another one of the chipmunks. Yutren threw his hands up in the air and whooped. He rushed over to the stump holding up a plate of berries and snatched up one, tossing it carelessly in the air and catching it in his mouth. He swallowed gratefully, for fresh fruit was scarce in the dead of winter. The area cleared out gradually, and eventually Yutren was the only one left. He munched on the berries thoughtfully, thinking of how he had shown up those older chipmunks at their own game. He smiled to himself.

Read More A winning entry from The Bertie, 2017