Coffee and Conversation with Anna Egan Smucker

Mark your calendars folks – we’ve got another ABC Event coming up! On Saturday, September 26th picture book author Anna Egan Smuckeron will present on the process of her latest book, Brother Giovanni’s Little Reward: How the Pretzel Was Born (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, August 3, 2015). Attendees will read first page from works-in-progress to receive feedback from the group, and network with other attendees during light refreshments. Partnering with West Virginia Writers, Inc. Visit our regional website for more information, or email Jennifer Weingardt. (

51ulQo4ts3L__SY486_BO1,204,203,200_Brother Giovanni is a happy man, content to do what he knows best: baking. But all is not well at his monastery, where the monks are trying to teach the children their prayers in time for a very important visit from the Bishop. Having tried everything, they turn to Giovanni — but he doesn’t know anything about teaching! Eventually, though, Brother Giovanni discovers how to use his gifts to offer the children the perfect motivation.

This vibrant book, which includes a historical note and free recipe, tells the fascinating story behind one of the world’s most popular snacks.

A fanciful and inventive version of how those yummy big soft pretzels came to be. . . . As happy a piece of ecclesiastical cuisine as can be imagined.” -Kirkus

Welcome, Anna! First off, what is your favorite coffeehouse beverage? 

English Breakfast Tea with a little cream (or Bubble Tea!)

And your favorite snack? 

Caramel with a Touch of Sea Salt Chocolate Bars

Nice! Okay, what was your favorite book as a child? 



As a teen? 



And now, as an adult? 

My current favorite ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE.

My current favorite ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE.

What is your favorite writing how-to book, technique, or website that has helped you improve your craft or provided inspiration? 

For truly understanding how to write a picture book, I found this book to be of tremendous help: WRITING WITH PICTURES: HOW TO WRITE AND ILLUSTRATE CHILDREN’S BOOKS  by Uri Shulevitz.


I’ll have to put this on my reading list! Okay, how about your favorite quote? 

“There are no good books which are only for children.” W. H. Auden

If you could sum up your best advice for new writers in only four words, what would they be? 

Read! Read! Write! Write!

So true! Awesome, thanks so much for stopping by, Anna! Best of luck with Brother Giovanni’s Little Reward: How the Pretzel Was Born and your ABC Event on Saturday !

About Susan Mannix

Susan worked as a biomedical research editor for the Department of the Navy for fourteen years and has been a member of SCBWI since 2007. She writes young adult and middle grade novels. When she isn’t writing, she spends her time doing all things horses, including attending her teenaged daughters’ many competitions. Susan lives in Maryland on a small farm with her husband, two children, an adorable black lab, two cats, and three horses.
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1 Response to Coffee and Conversation with Anna Egan Smucker

  1. Janet Smart says:

    Enjoyed the post. Congratulations, Anna, on your new book! It sounds like one kids and adults will like reading.

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