Marsha Elyn Wright is an upcoming author of fiction and nonfiction for children, teens, and adults. Marsha began a teaching career by packing up her VW bug and driving from Detroit, Michigan, across the country and over snow-dumped Rock Mountains to Grand Junction, Colorado. She taught writing at Colorado State University where she earned her M.A. in Communication. After 14 years teaching of public school in Colorado and California, Marsha became an educational editor at Frank Schaffer Publications and Grace Publications (Christian imprint) in California. She was editor of two teacher magazines: Classmate (4-6) and Schooldays (K-3). Marsha has created over 100 educational products for Preschool through sixth grade and wrote “A Teacher’s Prayer.” You might see some of her work in your classroom!
Marsha ended her teaching profession as the English Department Chair at Garden City Community College in Kansas. She also fulfilled her wish to be on Broadway by acting in the college musicals. Marsha’s high point was taking the role of Anna in the “King and I.” Or, as her husband says, “You played the ‘I’.”
Singing, acting, and writing songs and stories play major roles in Marsha’s life. Her writer’s dream job actually began at age eight when she won first place in a Detroit, Michigan, writing contest: “How Much I Love My Dolly.” Her love of teaching, laughing, and connecting continues through her writing and her author visits.
A Talk with Marsha
- Why did you want to be an author?
I LOVE to work with words. I won a contest and a bride doll when I was eight by writing “How Much I Love My Dolly.” My mom was SO PROUD! I like stories that make me laugh or think or cry. I work to write those kinds of stories. I want my books to get wrinkled and crinkled from being read again and again.
- Where do you get your characters?
I look around me. I spend time in Wee Readers at our local library and listen to kids. My memory is packed with my years as a teacher. I walk through our local zoo in the early morning when the animals aren’t afraid to “talk.” Spider monkeys LOVE to chatter! I sit still and study the many creatures in our world. Pictures, artwork, and photos inject me with inspiration. I snapped the photo of “Charlie” the chipmunk while she nibbled end to end a very long dandelion in the Colorado mountains.
- What’s your family like?
My husband writes, too, but he writes music. He’s a vocal music director at Garden City Community College where we live in Kansas. My son is Tyler. He’s a film editor in Los Angeles, California. We’re cat people. We had two 18-year-old brother and sister cats; both recently passed on. Sad times. Max and Tabby liked to follow me around the house like I was their camp counselor. They made the best company, except when rolling pencils off my desk. I’m wishing for another kitten soon.
- What do you like to do for fun?
I LOVE to READ all kinds of books. I snow ski. I do yoga while the sun comes up. I walk in our local zoo—Lee Richardson Zoo. I sing and act on stage, too. My dream role was playing Anna in “The King and I.” I cook and bake and even have my very own chef’s coat with my name on it just for fun. I LOVE to take photos of animals.
I plan and prepare a workshop experience for any grade. I talk about the groans and moans of writing and the magic of finding the “right” word. I present classroom writing activities and demonstrations to engage and motivate kids to read and to write. I want kids to laugh and learn. I will visit schools and libraries throughout the United States. You can contact me about setting up a visit by clicking here: http://firstname.lastname@example.org
My goal is to get kids excited about thinking, reading, and writing. I’m glad to tailor my talks to fit your needs and talk with any size group whether in an auditorium or a classroom. With my 15 years of public school teaching background (grades K, 2-6, and 7-9), I work to combine education and entertainment in my presentations.
Here are different talks I can present at your schools:
For Pre-k and primary grades, I bring puppets and stuffed animals and let them “talk” with students. I get children involved in the storytelling. I talk about why reading is important AND fun! I invite students to ask me questions. Ahead of time, I can send simple-to-do art projects that students can make after the presentation as a follow-up activity.
For grades 4-6, I show how a book is made. I talk about the tools of good writing. I involve students in a “workshop” demonstration to learn the value of rewriting and taking time to find just the “right” word. I talk about the value of being a careful observer, a detective of life. I end with a question-and-answer session.