What is Wordsworth and the Dragon?

Be sure to check the blog each week on Wordsworth Wednesday
for new posts, sketches, chapters, etc.!

Links to the most recent posts are on the right.

Wordsworth and the Dragon is a story that anyone can enjoy -- but I wrote it mostly for children in grades 3-5.

Before Wordsworth and the Dragon becomes a book, it's going to be a blog -- a blog that will show you how words and pictures come together to make a book.

Over the next few weeks (or months -- who knows?) we'll be sharing sketches and excerpts from the book. And when we're all done, you'll be able to buy a copy of Wordsworth and the Dragon as an eBook or maybe even a printed book. 

It's an adventure! Maybe not as exciting as Wordsworth's adventures with the princess and the dragon and the muddletongues (Did I mention the muddletongues? A nasty sort, they are. You'll want to stay clear of them!) -- but it will be an adventure all the same.

Stay tuned!
Scotti Cohn and Christina Wald


The idea for Wordsworth and the Dragon came to me as a question:

"What would happen if a letter suddenly disappeared from the alphabet?"

It wasn't the first time that question had occurred to me. Many, many years ago I wrote an adult science fiction story in which letters began to vanish from the alphabet, one at a time. The missing letters were replaced with an asterisk (*) in print. The title of the short story was "M is for Monst*r" (E was the first letter to go, you see, because it is the most commonly used letter in the English language).

Anyhow, I submitted the story to a few sci fi magazines, but it was rejected by all.

Flash forward to a day in 2006 (I'm not sure of the date). By that time, I was in a children's writers critique group, so the "missing letter" idea naturally became the premise for a children's book. The first chapter came very quickly to me, and I just kept on going.

I revised the chapter book manuscript based on the critique group's feedback, and began sending it to publishers. It was rejected by several, although some of the editors did request a "full" based on the first three chapters. One editor hung onto the whole manuscript for almost two years (as I continued to submit it elsewhere, to no avail). She loved Wordsworth, but her publishing company was in the process of "changing direction" and she was eventually laid off.

An agent I contacted also loved Wordsworth -- until she found out I had already sent it around to a bunch of publishers. She immediately lost interest.

I posted much of the manuscript on Authonomy and got a lot of positive feedback from other writers, plus a few suggestions.

This year, after celebrating the launch of my 10th published book -- a picture book called Big Cat, Little Kitty (Sylvan Dell Publishing) -- I decided that it might not be a bad idea to self-publish my chapter book, Wordsworth and the Dragon.

I have done a lot of homework on this, and have more to do. My enthusiasm for the project increased tenfold a few months ago when illustrator Christina Wald offered to do some illustrations for the book. There will be a cover illustration and probably one illustration per chapter.

Now that you know the background, feel free to head on over to Chapter One! And be sure to take a look at Christina's preliminary sketches and cover concepts, too! They are way awesome!!!!!

Scotti Cohn

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