About Sandy Asher

Sandy AsherI’m honored to introduce Sandy Asher, author of 25 books for young people, including the award-winning TOO MANY FROGS! and its companion books WHAT A PARTY! and HERE COMES GOSLING! She’s also the editor of five anthologies of fiction. As Sandra Fenichel Asher, she’s also a playwright, honored with the American Alliance of Theatre and Education’s Charlotte Chorpenning Award for a distinguished body of work for young audiences.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’ve been writing and publishing for over 40 years now: books, plays, poems, short stories, articles. Almost everything has been for young readers or related to childhood in some way, including my latest book, WRITING IT RIGHT! HOW SUCCESSFUL CHILDREN’S AUTHORS REVISE AND SELL THEIR STORIES. It’s aimed at adults interested in writing for children, but in my heart of hearts, I picture young readers enjoying the glimpse “behind the scenes” at their favorite authors struggling with draft after draft to get a story good enough for them to read in a book or magazine. I lead a second life as Sandra Fenichel (that’s FENN eh shell) Asher, with more than three dozen plays that have been performed all over the country and the world, from New York to Alberta to the Czech Republic to Australia. Best known is A WOMAN CALLED TRUTH, which has been honored with the American Alliance for Theatre and Education’s Distinguished Play Award, among others. A new anthology by John Dilworth Newman and Judy Matetzsch-Campbell, TELL YOUR STORY: THE PLAYS AND PLAYWRITING OF SANDRA FENICHEL ASHER, will be released this year by Dramatic Publishing Company.

What’s your passion? What makes you tick?
Children, obviously. Their joys, needs, sorrows, fears, hugs, and giggles. The world they live in and the world we need to make for them. When I was in college and writing what I considered to be serious, adult poetry, a friend read a batch of my poems all at once and said, “Do you realize there’s a child or a reference to childhood in every one of these poems?” I’d never noticed, and hadn’t even considered writing for children, but I was certainly focused on them. Words also fascinate me, words alone and words arranged into poems, plays, and stories. Beautiful as bouquets of flowers, and they last longer, too.

What’s your wildest dream for Project OpenBook?
A couple of years ago I worked with the Youtheatre group at Lancaster’s Fulton Theatre on a play called “Chain Reaction,” about modern slavery. The group and I did a lot of research into the harrowing tales that abound, and learned that there are more slaves now than at any other time in history. The play raised awareness of the issue and donations to an organization called “Free the Slaves Foundation.” The need is enormous and I wish you great success in the ongoing challenge to raise awareness and money to rescue young people from these dire situations.

Where can people find out more about you?
I have two pages on the America Writes for Kids Web site, one for my books and one for my plays.

Sandy’s OpenBook Poems
Spring!