Author & Artist's Corner: Author

Brenda Moore

Brenda Moore, author

We are happy to announce that Brenda Moore has won the 2012 International Reading Association Paul A. Witty Short Story Award for “
Beyond the Call of Duty,” which appeared in the January 2011 issue of Cricket. You can congratulate her by leaving a comment below or ask her questions about how she wrote her newest story for Cricket, “The Bandit Runner,” which is in the May/June issue.


Brenda Moore grew up in the small mining town of Kimberley in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. She loved animals, so it was wonderful to grow up near the woods with all its wildlife. In grade 3, her class went on the best field trip ever—across the playground to collect pond water. Brenda Moore as a childBack in the classroom they looked at drops of water under a microscope. She couldn’t believe all the interesting microbes darting around. It was a whole new world that she found fascinating.

Later, in university, she majored in microbiology so she could learn about those microscopic creatures. She spent summers studying fish parasites in the department of fish science and surveying nematodes (microscopic worms) for Agriculture Canada. After graduating, she worked with an environmental consulting firm. They did government projects, mostly monitoring the effects of various toxins on fish. She wrote some papers then, but they weren’t especially entertaining.

Brenda discovered the joy of writing for entertainment through her children. She loved how a good story could bring life to a dull day and turn a grumpy child into a curious child. She was inspired to take writing courses through the Institute of Children’s Literature, and found writing nonfiction to be a natural fit.

baby sealNowadays, Brenda lives near Vancouver B.C. with her husband and three children and their little dog Clancy. She loves to go for bike rides on the local dikes where there’s lots of birdlife to see. She also enjoys walking Clancy along the beach. All sorts of interesting things can wash up such as whales and beavers. “Last summer, I nearly tripped over a sleeping baby seal. He was orphaned, so we took him to the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre at the port of Vancouver. Following a tour of the facility, the staff invited us to name our seal. The theme was vegetables, and with so many names already taken, all we could think of was Acorn Squash. I hope the little fellow didn’t mind.”

“It is such a privilege to have my stories published in Cricket and I am thrilled to win the Witty award. Such an unexpected honor!  It is very gratifying to know that others enjoyed reading the story of Gander as much as I enjoyed writing it. I hope everyone also enjoys the story of Bobbi Gibb. Her courage and her power to initiate change amazed me.

I am very excited to answer any questions Cricket readers may have about my stories (or anything else), and I am look forward to hearing your comments. So fire away!”

Hi Gigi,

Thanks for your questions,
and I‘m so glad that “Beyond the Call of Duty” was one of your favorite
stories!  That’s great that you enjoy
science and writing.  Even in the sciences, writing is an important
skill to have. Whether you’re writing a research paper or doing a presentation,
being able to present information in a clear and interesting way is a bonus.   

I don’t do anything specifically
with science now, but I still have a lot of interest in science-related topics and
will probably eventually write about something to do with science.  Meanwhile, I’m glad to have a background that
allows me to understand and better appreciate things related to science.  The sciences are great training for problem
solving and logical thinking which can always be applied in everyday life.  And I don’t have to hide when my kids ask for
help with science homework--or math for that matter!

As for genre of books, I can’t
say that I have an overwhelming favorite. 
I like to mix it up and read a variety of genres.  I do like mysteries a lot though, and have
read many, many, Agatha Christie books over the years.  I’m also partial to biographies and autobiographies
and anything historical whether it’s fiction or nonfiction.  The passing of Ray Bradbury last week
reminded me how much I enjoyed his books and science fiction, even though I
haven’t read that genre in quite a while. 
But now I think I’d like to reread some of those books.  Humor is good too—you would probably enjoy
James Herriot’s series about a country vet, if you haven’t already read them.  Anyways, as long as it’s a good story,
fantasy or real, I’ll enjoy it.  

Good luck with your
future plans to go into the sciences and becoming an equine vet.  That sounds like a very rewarding career,
especially if you enjoy horses which of course you must. I don’t ride horses
myself, but I always watch the Triple Crown races. Here in Vancouver, it was
such a letdown this past weekend when the horse, I’ll Have Another, was scratched
from the Belmont Stakes because of tendonitis. The jockey, Mario Gutierrez, is
from Mexico but had been training in Vancouver for the past 6-7 years, so there
was a lot of local excitement. I think the last horse to win the Triple Crown
was Affirmed in 1978, so a win would have been a big deal.  Too bad. 
Maybe one day if you become an equine vet you can figure out ways to
prevent tendonitis!


submitted by Brenda Moore, Vancouver, B.C.
(June 11, 2012 - 11:58 am)

Hi Mrs. Moore!!!

I read the story that won you the award; it was great! I have a few questions for you, because I really want to be an author too.

So, did you just send in your story, and then they picked it, or was it different?

And what made you want to become an author?

What would you recommend that I do to get my stories published?

Thank you very much!!! 

submitted by Artemesia P., age 13, California
(June 20, 2012 - 10:40 am)

Hi Artemesia,

I’m so glad you enjoyed
“Beyond the Call of Duty.” And that’s great that you want to be an author--I
wish I had known that when I was 13!

You’re right-- I sent my
story into Cricket, and they picked
it!  But…..before I sent it in, I read
the submission guidelines and I followed them very, very carefully.  Different publishers have different guidelines.  For example, I wouldn’t submit a 2000 word
story it to a magazine that sets the limit at 500 words, or send a nonfiction
story to a magazine that only publishes fiction.  I also read previous editions of Cricket to get a feel for the type of
stories they publish.  That way I knew
whether my story was a good fit.  Then, I
crossed my fingers and waited--very patiently, because it takes a long time
for magazines to wade through all the submissions they receive.  But as you can figure, it was well worth the wait! 

I always enjoyed writing,
but I think it was reading to my own kids that made me want to start writing
for kids.  I was so impressed by the quality
of kid’s books and the impact that they could have.  Not long ago, my older daughter reminded me of
one story we read.  It was called Shin’s Tricycle and was the true story
of a little boy who was riding his tricycle when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.  The story left a strong impression on my
daughter and many years later she still has a very clear image of the tricycle
that was left behind in the rubble. It was stories like that, that inspired me
to try my own hand at writing. Now, I think it’s so neat that readers like you
are enjoying my stories and that inspires me to keep on writing.  

There is a lot you can do
towards improving your writing and one day getting your stories published. You can
look into writing workshops for young people, perhaps through your local
library or community center. It’s a great way to learn and share ideas with
others who also enjoy writing.  Reading each
other’s stories and giving feedback is fun and motivating.  I’d also suggest entering writing contests that
magazines like Cricket offer.  And read, read, read--especially the sort of
stories you would like to write yourself.  Ultimately, you want to write stories that entertain
and inspire you, because that interest is what will come through in your
writing.  And whether your story is
published or not, it’s rewarding to write something that you enjoy and can be
proud of. 

Thanks for your questions Artemesia (great name!) and good luck with your

submitted by Brenda Moore, Vancouver, B.C.
(June 21, 2012 - 10:24 pm)

Hi! I love your dog. My name is Jeanne Ann. Did you go to high school with a girl named Annie? She is my grandmother. I don't know, she grew up around the same area. I love your pictures.

submitted by Jeanne Ann M., age 9, Washington
(April 8, 2013 - 3:31 pm)

I am a auther too!!! I mostly write fiction but I also write about environmental conservation.

I realy want to get my work in the Cricket mag.

submitted by Lia M
(January 22, 2017 - 12:33 pm)