Connie Spittler’s THE DESERT ETERNAL, WORDS & IMAGES, illustrated with her husband’s Bob’s nature photographs, was one of two books chosen to compete in the environmental category of the 2008 Arizona Book Publisher Awards. Connie and Bob came in second, but didn’t feel too sad, because the winner was a large format coffee table book on the Grand Canyon published by Arizona Highways featuring a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer and internationally known writer, Charles Bowden.
Connie’s creative nonfiction piece “One November Day,” appears in HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR. LINCOLN, an anthology published under the aspices of the Washington D.C. Bicentennial Committee, to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday. When Connie learned that the book was scheduled to be used as a text in the national capitol’s schools, she offered to read her work to students in the Tucson schools. Librarians from White Elementary and Miller Elementary immediately responded, with invitations to read to 4th and 5th graders. Since Connie’s story takes place two days before Lincholn wrote the Gettysburg Address, she asked the librarian if the children needed a brief background on the Civil War and Lincholn’s speech. The librarian told her that, in fact, the kindergarten children were memorizing the address. Connie was particularly pleased to read to 400 students on Lincoln’s birthday and afterward, answered their questions on writing. She gave each student a lucky Lincoln penny at the end of her program. One of the teachers emailed that when the students returned to the clessroom and had extra time to read, they asked if they could write instead. Her favorite thank you messages from the group said, “You rock…”
Taken from THE WRITE WORD, the newsletter of The Society of Southwestern Authors Vol. 38, No. 3 June-July 2009