About Joan

At age six, I wrote my first poem and in fourth grade, I bound my first collection of stories, plays and poems. I consider any conflict, large or small, as a potential story. Because most of my books are based on true incidents, my characters such as in On Viney’s Mountain are gathered from historical records. Other times, family stories inspire a book, like in The Secret of the Red Shoes. I also love to name characters after my friends, as a way to honor them. While I try and write an hour almost every day, working on our organic blueberry farm with my husband, John, tending and preserving a large garden, making goat cheese and other homestead duties absorb much of my time. In the evenings, I play Scottish fiddle tunes on my folk harp, work on quilts and read, preferably with a cat on my lap. For many years, I have tutored or served as a mentor for students in our local elementary school. Read More >

Latest News

Hooray for each of these terrific writers! ... See MoreSee Less

Congratulations, Mary, Carolyn, Kelly, and Rod! Scholarships were named for each of our Artists-in-Residency to honor their contributions to the field of children’s literature. Our 2016 honorees – Meg Medina, Jerry Spinelli, Eileen Spinelli, and Suzanne Bloom – received numerous scholarship applications and personally reviewed each submission on the basis of artistic talent and seriousness of purpose. Recipients of the named scholarships will attend a workshop of their choosing from our 2017 program offerings. Read the announcement here: www.highlightsfoundation.org/7496/announcing-the-recipients-of-the-2017-artist-in-residency-schol...

3 weeks ago  ·  

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Joan’s podcasts have been featured on WMUK and Michigan Public Radio.