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RPLA Showcase: Susan Woods Golder

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2016 Published Early Reader/Picture Book

Once Around the Lake by Susan Woods Golder

In Once Around the Lake, Odie and his frisky friend Max explore the shores of their quiet lake. Soon they discover the wonders of nature, the joy of friendship, and a motley crew of neighbors.

At the 2016 Royal Palm Literary Award Banquet, author Susan Woods Golder won First Place in the Published Early Reader/Picture Book category. Each year at the RPLA Banquet, authors experience the joy of earning accolades for all the hard work that is often done in the privacy of the home with little to no recognition. We’re showcasing the best of the best with our First Place winners spotlight. Not only does RPLA recognize extraordinary talent, but we’re giving readers an opportunity to sample excerpts from the winning stories.

Click the link to read a sample:

Excerpt from Once Around the Lake

Ready to read the rest of the book?

Click the link to purchase Once Around the Lake from Amazon Smile and support the Florida Writers Foundation.*

Q & A with Susan Woods Golder

Q: Where do you get your story ideas?

A: I’m very passionate about the value of the “outdoor classroom” in children’s lives. In Once Around the Lake, the adventures of boat-loving Odie and his skipper Max encourage kids to get out and play and to discover the lessons that nature provides. Nature itself or our connection to it is often a focus for my children’s writing, To develop “wonderment” about nature, I believe it’s important to slow down and take time to observe – like the turtles do in the story! When I go on aimless walks in the woods or quiet paddles on the water, I am filled with wonder and driven to write.

Q: Anything in particular about your award-winning RPLA entry that you’d like to share?

A: Yes! I wrote Once Around the Lake in rhyme. Since the book takes place mostly on the water where the main characters paddle in a canoe, I wanted to suggest the peaceful and rhythmic cadence of a lake with the meter and the beat of each line. As an educator, I appreciate the value of rhyme in nurturing early readers’ literacy skills.

Q: Whom do you credit with inspiring your writing?

A: Teachers have a powerful influence on their students. I vividly remember my third grade teacher’s accolades when I happened to use onomatopoeia in a story about rain. Later that year, the same teacher asked me to write a poem as a retirement tribute from our class to our principal. I guess I’ve kind of felt like a writer ever since! I studied literature in college, so I could go on and on about the writers who inspired me the most. Frost, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Mary Oliver and John Muir are surely among them.

Q: Any tips for new writers?

A: Seek continuous feedback. Writers’ groups and workshops can be invaluable learning experiences. Invite a child to read your drafts aloud. Listen and learn from them. Set a deadline for completing your book and then double it!

Thank you for sharing, Susan, and congratulations! Visit her website: www.susanwoodsgolder.com

*When you purchase this book from the Amazon Smile link provided, you are promoting literacy throughout Florida. You pay no extra cost for the book. The Amazon Smile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to Florida Writers Foundation.

For more details about FWF, visit www.floridawritersfoundation.com

For more details about Amazon Smile, visit https://smile.amazon.com/gp/aw/ch/about

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Follow Bria Burton:

Blogger at St. Pete Running Company

Award-winning author Bria Burton lives in St. Petersburg with her wonderful husband and two wild pets. They will soon welcome a baby boy (their first) in November 2017. Her fiction has appeared in over twenty anthologies and magazines. Her novelette, The Running Girls, is a 2017 Royal Palm Literary Award Finalist. Her novella, Little Angel Helper, won a 2016 RPLA. She has earned two First Place RPLAs for unpublished manuscripts. While she writes, her dog and cat do their best to distract her, which is why they star in her family-friendly short story collection, Lance & Ringo Tails. She's a blogger and customer service manager at St. Pete Running Company. As a member of the Florida Writers Association, she leads the St. Pete chapter and serves on the statewide FWA Board. She's also a member of the Alvarium Experiment, a by-invitation-only consortium of outstanding authors who created The Prometheus Saga, Return to Earth, and The Masters Reimagined anthologies. Website www.briaburton.com

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