Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hello Again, Scholastic Awards, and Meaning

Happy New Year? Dear Readers, I am still here - alive and kicking through this long, hard winter - in WritopiaLand, writing more emails and notes,  delving deeper into the worlds' of emerging young writers than working on my own noveling. (More about that later.)

My biggest project though, has been helping my husband Rob put together our regional Scholastic Writing Award Ceremony, which was held this past Sunday, March 16th in the chapel of Reid Castle at Manhattanville College.

Here I am right before the ceremony with my right hand woman, Anastasia Guadron, so happy and excited to celebrate teen writers, and to make their awards mean something.

And what's that?

Their words matter: they matter.

The ceremony was infused with meaning, and hopefully long-lasting impact. Wendy Corsi Staub blew us away as our keynote speaker with her humility and strength. Her messaging was clear about the hard work it takes to be a writer, but she also inspired us to make bold choices in both our own lives and on the page. She is definitely a kindred spirit, and a workhorse to boot, having written and published 80 novels in the past 20 years. That's more than my grandmother!

Daisy Jopling elevated the event to new heights by playing the violin for us, mixing up her unique blend of rock and classical.

The kids all came up on stage and announced their names and what they had achieved recognition for, claiming their voices, taking their seat at the table. It was hard for some of them, but it meant something.

They inspire me. Now I need to make the bold choice (thank you Wendy!) of jumping back into my own writing. More on that next time - adieu!

PS  Thank you friends and readers who have emailed and asked where I've been! xo


  1. Hello Lena,
    Your Grandmother was more than a household name even though we adored her Wrinkle in Time books, we lived in a small town and lived next door to one of her friends.
    Alva McAllister (her students called her Dr. Mac). We were living in the small town of Greenville, Illinois. My husband was a Foodservice Director for the small Christian College called Greenville College. We had a "book-worm" son and he spent many an afternoon next door at Dr. Mac's. Having already read the Wrinkle in Time books, our son discovered that your grandmother and Dr. Mac were friends as well as published writers. Your grandmother was much more published than Dr. Mac as she settled into teaching at the small college and lived her life out there. She often spoke of times they visited and I believe one time your grandmother actually came to Greenville and spoke (we never heard her, this was what we were told).
    I thought I had read almost everything she wrote but a recent trip to the library lead me to "The Joy's of Love". When I read your intro I had to write. I can see so much of her life in her books and I too love to write although not published, I have been an avid journal writer for 30 years. I haven't read your work but I plan to. Thank you for sharing what life was like with your grandmother, I imagined it would be like that and thank you for publishing this special gift your grandmother gave you & your sister.
    God Bless!
    Judi Edmonds
    Charlotte, NC

    1. Hi Judi - thank you so much for writing! I love hearing about these serendipitous circles of friends! Your reaching out makes me feel her presence even more. xoxo

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