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Valerie

Bolling

When I was four, my grandmother taught me how to write. I loved the feel of the pencil in my hand as I made marks on the paper. I took special care to write each letter of the alphabet as beautifully as I could. In first grade, I began to write "poetry" in black and white marbled composition books. Applying the most recent phonics lessons I created simple rhymes, like: There is a cat. It sat on a mat. It caught a rat. Is it ironic then that my debut picture book is a series of rhyming stanzas? ​
So how did I become a picture book author? Inspired by a visit from my nieces in December 2016, I wrote two stories in which each of them was the protagonist. Shortly after, I decided to pursue becoming a published author. I contacted people I believed could be helpful resources – and they were – and I wrote and wrote and wrote. And revised even more. In June of 2017, I started writing query letters to agents and editors and began to participate in Twitter pitches. In a June 2018 #PBPitch, Let’s Dance! was “liked" by Jes Negrón, an editor at Boyds Mills & Kane, and less than two weeks later, I received the news that my book had been accepted for publication!

​In addition to writing picture books, I have written a Monthly Memo for teachers that I published on Twitter, and I have been published in The National Writing Project’s Quarterly and NESCBWI News. A poem I wrote was published in Cricket Media’s Babybug Magazine.

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