Archive for the ‘Podcasts’ Category

Podcast: Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen Interview and Giveaway
Today we welcome one of the most prolific writers of children’s fantasy and poetry, Jane Yolen!

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When I began my freelance writing career, I chose the picture book genre. After all, my kids were small and I read dozens of them aloud per week. It didn’t take long to discover the writing of Jane Yolen. Jane’s books embody the best of the picture book genre. She uses language artfully, poetically. She gives the reader an immersive experience any time you come into contact with her words. She’s also in tune with a child’s sense of humor and wonder.

I also found a bird-watching companion in Jane! Her husband brought to their family a naturalist’s passion for the natural world. Jane took that passion and translated it into wonderful prose and poetry.

When Jane agreed to be interviewed for our humble podcast, I felt like a fan girl at a rock concert. It has been 20 years of admiration on my part that led to this wonderful conversation. Heidi Semple, Jane’s adult daughter, joins us as well. She and Jane have co-authored several books that feature birds, in fact!

Enjoy this rich exploration of poetry, writing, nature, and the celebration of family culture! I introduce to you: Jane Yolen.

Show notes are available as a free download! Sign up for them HERE.

Show Notes for Jane Yolen Podcast


Check out Jane’s written interview on the Poetry Teatime blog.

PLUS we have a FUN GIVEAWAY featuring Jane Yolen’s brand new book, Grumbles from the Forest, and two others! We also discovered one last Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz tea cozy and are including that too.


Stacie Canales!

Congrats, Stacie! You will receive:

Grumbles from the Town
Grumbles from the Forest (NEW!)
You Nest Here with Me

…plus the LAST Poetry Teatime Tea Cozy called the Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz (sold out pattern).

BONUS Surprise: Two bookmarks from Jane!


Jane Yolen Book Giveaway

With The Homeschool Sisters this Week

Brave Writer with The Homeschool Sisters

Fun week with The Homeschool Sisters! Cait and Kara:

Meet Kara and Caitlin, The Homeschool Sisters!

The Homeschool Sisters Kara

The Homeschool Sisters Cait

These two spunky, creative homeschooling moms have teamed up to provide companionship on the journey of home education. I would have obsessed over their podcast had it been around when I was homeschooling.

This week, I’m on their show! We had a great time talking about the following topics:

  • What it means to raise awesome adults
  • How to be one yourself
  • Reframing how we understand video gaming
  • The one best piece of advice I would give young homeschoolers
  • And each of us shared one current joy in our lives

Join us for a great conversation!

Podcast: Janet Wong & Sylvia Vardell

Podcast with Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell

Today we’d like to welcome two amazing women who are on the cutting edge of children’s poetry.

Janet Wong is a prolific writer of poetry and short stories for young people. Her work has received wide recognition from shows like Oprah Winfrey to awards such as the Asian Pacific American Award for Literature. She is the first generation daughter of Korean and Chinese immigrant parents, and many of her works deal with multicultural experiences.

Dr. Sylvia Vardell is professor of children’s literature at Texas Woman’s University and is the author or contributor of over 24 books. She received the 2014 Scholastic Library Publishing Award for her work in the field of children’s literature. She blogs regularly at Poetry for Children.

Together, these two authors have collaborated on the Poetry Friday Anthology series, a collection of poems by some of the best children’s poets from around the world. Even better, each poem comes with lesson plans and classroom resources for teaching these poems. Whether in a traditional classroom or at home, these books offer a wonderful means of widening your family’s consumption of poetry.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting these two powerful women! We all agreed that too often poetry is perceived as boring or difficult. Yet those who love poetry say otherwise. Janet and Sylvia make poetry so accessible and delightful through their work, I found myself wanting to run right to my poetry anthologies after our conversation to spend time again with my poet friends.

Enjoy our conversation and do yourself a favor: take the plunge into exploring and experiencing poetry for yourself and with your children.


Here is the link to Sylvia Vardell’s blog Poetry for Children and Janet Wong’s website. Be sure to check out their books below or at your local library!

By Janet Wong

A Suitcase of Seaweed: And Other Poems. Celebrates diversity. Winner of the Claremont Stone Center Recognition of Merit Award.
The Trip Back Home
Night Garden: Poems from the World of Dreams. NY Times Best Illustrated Books of 2000.
The Rainbow Hand
Knock on Wood: Poems about Superstitions
Twist: Yoga Poems
Behind the Wheel: Poems about Driving

By Sylvia Vardell

Poetry Aloud Here!

Poetry Friday Anthologies

You Just Wait: A Poetry Friday Power Book for Tweens & Teens (Soon to be available!)
The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations
The Poetry Friday Anthology
The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School
The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science for Kids

Check out Janet and Sylvia’s written interview
on the Poetry Teatime blog!

Interview with Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell

Homeschooling & Marriage Podcast

Podcast with Leslie Gustafson

I’m excited to introduce you to my good friend (and sorority sister, ha!)

Leslie Gustafson!

Leslie’s worked as a marriage and family therapist for over 25 years and is a homeschooling mother of a teenage son. She regularly appears on the Fox Morning show in Denver Colorado sharing relationship advice for couples.

Because so many have asked me for help with how to keep your marriage thriving while dedicated to homeschooling your kids, I thought I’d bring in an expert! Leslie is a wonderful communicator, has fantastic advice, and has eagerly participated in our Brave Writer Community as a member of our Facebook pages and on Periscope.

Leslie regularly scopes about marriage with her husband (The Amazing Intimacy Show), and also hosts a regular scope series called “Ask the Therapist” where she takes questions from the audience that help you heal brokenness and grow as a person.

Have you wondered about any of these?

  • How do you share a homeschool vision without conflict?
  • What should you do when you and your spouse don’t see eye-to-eye?
  • What about romance? Is it even possible while homeschooling?
  • How can the non-homeschool parent get involved?
  • What does it mean to be partners (rather than adversaries)?
  • When is school-worry legit and when is it unhelpful control?

In the following podcast, you’ll learn strategies for how to address these kinds of issues and more. And yes: I share about my experiences as well. As you’ve come to expect, I tell you the truth—the good, the bad, and the dysfunctional!

Thanks for listening to our podcast despite the poor audio. We had to scramble the day of the event due to some technological fails. This is the best we could do, but consider the conversation a gold mine of amazing insight and advice. Hope you’ll hang in there, listen, and enjoy!

Follow Leslie in these places
Snapchat: @ldgustafson
Instagram: LeslieGustafson1

A Conversation with Jean Hall

Brave Writer's SAT/ACT Online Essay class
by Nancy Graham, Brave Writer Minister of Magic

Hi everybody!

Our summer online writing classes are filling up but there are spots left in a choice few (classes start July 5th!)—

Jean and I hooked up for an online conversation about the SAT/ACT Essay class and what students get out of taking it.

Jean is a former newspaper reporter and literary magazine editor who homeschooled three children from birth—now they’re grown up, but Jean still has a house full of animals. We chatted via Zoom (which is like Skype), and I got to hear her dog, Dobby (who had a lot to say), and meet her lovely yellow cat, Fireball (the name Snowball had already been taken by her white cat).

After talking to Jean, I was convinced that no one should walk into a timed-essay test without the benefit of her experience. The SAT and ACT tests recently changed, and Jean redesigned the class to reflect those changes.

Find out more by listening to the podcast below. Summer is a great time to take this class—but I’ll let Jean tell you why.


Sign Up for the SAT/ACT Essay Class!