Storymagician Newsletter. ☂️ Marsha Diane Arnold’s Book Giveaways, News, Tips



If you’d like to win an autographed copy of my newest book May I Come In?, either contact me via my website ( or private messageme on Facebook. Just write “May I Come In? drawing” in your message. I’ll toss everyone’s name into my Story Magician hat, pull out a name, and contact the winner. The story is about a stormy night, fear, kindness, and inclusion. I’ll be doing the drawing on Marcb 27th.


(Check the Discount)

What fun I had sharing May I Come In? and other writing and book matters with K-3 Trafalgar Elementary students.
10% off my school visit honorarium if you book before June 1st, 2018. I’m currently booking school visits for 2018 and 2019. Besides my older books and new “baby,” May I Come In?, Galápagos Girl arrives in the fall. I’m very excited about this bilingual story (English & Spanish) set in the Galápagos Islands. Two more books, Badger’s Seeds and Mine.Yours. arrive by next March and April. Click here to see what I talk about when I visit.


MacIntosh Books on beautiful Sanibel Island, Florida, hosted me for a May I Come In? signing on March 16th.  The above photo shows a surprise visit from my dear friend’s family, all the way from Kansas City, along with Willa, one of my hostesses at the delightful MacIntosh Books.


Valentina Cruz, who was born and raised on the Galápagos Islands, was the inspiration for my upcoming book Galápagos Girl. Her company Remote Islands Expeditions and I donated money for a much-needed projector for Amazonas, the school on Floreana Island, which was Valentina’s first school. There was much excitement the day Valentina and the projector arrived.
I recently added four interviews with editors and agent, as well as notes about two other editors and more writing tips to my Children’s Book Academy course, Writing Wonderful Character-Driven Picture Books.

Below I share words from executive editor Kate O’Sullivan of Houghton-Mifflin. Here’s what she wrote in the e-mail that accompanied her offer:

Why did the well-known, respected Kate O’Sullivan take on Waiting for Snow? 

“I just love how it goes about its business, especially that it’s a story as much about friendship and togetherness as it is about cultivating patience (love how it’s a child-centered illumination of that old proverb, Nature does not rush, yet all is accomplished). Marsha beautifully captures the eternal longing for the first flakes of winter – what child hasn’t yearned for the year’s inaugural snow (and then, later in the season, snow that means snow days etc.)? Parents have been there as kids, too! The gentle build of tension gives way to a satisfying conclusion; text is spare, beautifully composed, and fun to read aloud. So yes, it has all the ingredients that I look for when considering a manuscript. And it just happens that I think Renata Liwska would make the perfect illustrator for this as she’s able to communicate complex emotion and humor so effortlessly with her animal characters.”

The important points here are spare text, fun to read out loud, and good pacing with a build of tension. So many writers fail to read their writing out loud. By reading aloud you catch many things you might otherwise miss – a rhythm that’s not working, overuse of a particular word, or an excess of words…which keeps your story from being spare.

That’s my tip for this newsletter.
Write on, writers.
Read on, readers. 
And may every door you knock on open and a friend reply,
“Come Right In.”  ☂️

About Marsha Diane Arnold

Children's books are where I play. My passions are children's literature and the amazing animals and plants that inhabit our planet.
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