Friday, July 03, 2009

Karen Cioffi Talks about Story Telling and Conservation

By Karen Cioffi
Author and Freelance Writer

Story telling…what better way to get a child involved in the environment. Including conservation tidbits in stories for children can create a powerhouse of awareness and be an excellent strategy for teaching children the importance of protecting our planet and its resources. Unfortunately, I don’t see many authors of children’s books taking advantage of this easy approach to being a part of the environmental solution by bringing awareness to our children.

Writers have the perfect format for teaching and molding children, and the perfect opportunity. From picture books to young adult novels, conservation and the environment are topics that authors should be thinking of writing about, or at least weave into their stories. It is said that you are what you eat; well, children become what they learn whether through their environment, school, or personal reading.

If young children are afforded reading material that paints a picture of the benefits and consequences of conservation in simple and entertaining stories, what better way to instill that sense of being part of the solution and protecting our environment. If those same children, while growing up, continue to read fiction and nonfiction stories that mention conservation and the environment, how much more will it have an impact on them and become a part of their lives.

While most authors may not want to devote their time to writing books about the environment, just a sentence or scene woven into a story will certainly have an affect. It can be a subtle mention. For example, in a scene with a couple of friends heading off to play baseball, an author could easily include environmental awareness with a simple sentence or two:

Joe aimed carefully and tossed the water bottle right into the trash can. “Nice shot, Joe. But, that goes in the green pail for recycling,” said Tom.

Even with just a word or two, we can make a difference as authors. Another example might be the boys at the baseball game instead:

“Man, I’m thirsty.” Joe grabbed his ecocanteen and took a long swig.

This would be the extent of the comment. It’s short, almost unseen, and yet it becomes a part of the reader’s experience. Isn’t this what writers want to do, leave an imprint in the minds and hearts of their readers? And, it’s all the more gratifying if it’s a child’s mind and heart that you're helping develop and mold.

Why not make our impressionable and lasting words take root. In addition to entertaining through our books and stories, we can make a difference in our future, and our children’s future.

The author who shared these tips is Karen Cioffi-Ventrice who is founder of Writers on the Move. Learn more about her at
And find her blogging about her children's books and more at: She is co-author od Day's End Lullaby and you can find more about her and Robyn at

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books for writers, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. Her FRUGAL book for retailers is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". Some of her other blogs are, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor blog.

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