Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


Ten Facts About the First Author I (Edie Hemingway) Ever Met

1. She was my fourth grade teacher at Sunset Elementary School in Coral Gables, Florida.

2. I knew her only as Mrs. Ormsby, a favorite teacher, but in my recent research I've found that her full name was Virginia H. Ormsby.

3. Virginia Ormsby wrote (and illustrated most of) at least a dozen books for children throughout the 1950s, 60s, and into the 70s.

4. Some of her titles are: The Little Country Schoolhouse, Long Lonesome Train Whistle, Cunning Is Better Than Strong, Twenty-One Children Plus Ten, The Big Banyan Tree, and Mountain Magic for Rosy.

5. After lunch each day, she set aside quiet writing time for her students.

6. Mrs. Ormsby must have sensed a spark of writing talent in me because whenever I finished an assignment early, she sent me to different corners of the school for extra time to write about everything I observed.

7. She sponsored a writing contest, which I won!

8. My prize was a handmade book written and illustrated by her teenage son, Alan Ormsby, titled Edith Morris Meets Charlie the Mouse. I was one of the main characters. The book is tattered and fragile now, but I take it with me on all my school visits to show the students what made me decide to become an author.

9. Mrs. Ormsby must have inspired creative talent in her son, too, because Alan Ormsby went on to be a successful director, screenwriter, make-up artist, actor, and author.

10. Mrs. Ormsby proved to me that people can write while doing many other important jobs, such as teaching. She instilled in me a love of writing, the discipline to write on a regular basis, and the will to persevere.

Thank you, Mrs. Ormsby!


Lois Szymanski said...

What a cool way to be introduced to the world of writing, and it must have worked magic. Your books are fantastic. Every one I have read has kept me intrigued from start to finish. Now, I can't wait to read your next book!

Lois Szymanski

Mary Bowman-Kruhm said...

Wonderful and inspiring for both writers and teachers, Edie. Regardless of which hat we wear (or both), we hope to touch someone as your 4th grade teacher touched you.


Gottawrite Girl said...

EDIE! This is awesome! I'm linking to and following this blog asap. Right now. Love it. And thanks for the heads up! If I can ever help with anything, cover anything DC, please let me know... this is a really wonderful spot, here. Talk soon!

Edie said...

Thank you all for your comments and interest in our new blog of "potatoes!"

Stephanie said...

Wow, what a great daily inspiration to have as a kid.

betsy woods said...


You were seen, at such a young age, as a writer. How lovely!

Betsy ...

Lauren said...

I love hearing about such inspired and inspiring teachers. what a wonderful story!

Author Amok said...

Hi, Edie.
It's a testament to the power of teachers. Great post and congrats on the blog.


Heather Aldrich said...

Thank you for bringing my attention to this blog. All of the contributors have such a rich fountain of information. I wonder if I could sugesst a topic? I have another paper on changing trends or new trends in the world of writing. I as a freshmen in college have no idea what to write as my research paper. What would each of you think is an important change in writing that you have seen?

Thank you again. I look foward to keeping up with this blog!