About Anita

Anita’s Short Bio:

Anita earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) and is the Co-Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She’s created picture-book workshops for kids of all ages, ranging from second graders to high school students. She’s presented lectures for SCBWI, VCFA, and The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP). She continues to volunteer her time to several non-profit organizations dedicated to making the world a better, cleaner, kinder place for us all. Anita spends her free time training a rascally dog, named Finn, and playing in the dirt. 

Anita’s Long Bio:

I live in Michigan near woods, lots of lakes, and a swimming pool. I’m a terrible swimmer and only swim in the deep end wearing a snorkeling mask. Rascally Finn loves to swim. He doesn’t need a snorkeling mask. He’s a bit of a showoff, even for a Portuguese water dog.

I love to learn, and once got a Master Gardening degree from Michigan State University, so I could write a gardening column for a local newspaper way before I had kids. Kids take up a lot of time and energy. I have four. None of them like to garden. They do like the woods. The swaying trees, mossy smells, and oxygen rich air feed our souls. Good things happen there, too. I met my husband and some of my closest friends in the woods. None of them are imaginary, as far as I can tell.

I was born in another country. There were woods there, too.

The thing I hate most in the world is punctuation, especially commas. I use them too often, not enough, and often in the wrong places. 

I’m obsessed with composting, conservation, and recycling. My favorite non-writing activities include bike riding and playing tennis, but not at the same time. I once rode a bike down the Haleakala Mountain in Maui, at dawn, from an elevation of 6,700 feet. I screamed most of the way. The most noteworthy thing I’ve done in the last few years is held an eagle on my arm. Oh, and I once dressed up as Johnny Depp’s character, Captain Jack Sparrow. We have the same bone structure. Needless to say, my relationship with birds is complicated. When I travel, I often stay in castles because I’ve always wanted to be a princess (a queen, actually) who has someone to properly place her commas.