Libraries make me giddy—I smile pretty much the whole time I'm in them.
And I devour nonfiction stories like chocolate—can't get enough of 'em.
I also write nonfiction stories—for children—especially about inspiring "solutionaries" who help people, animals & the planet.
For the past few years, I've been sharing nonfiction picture books with kids—about real people who've made a difference (for a chimpanzee, a neighbor, a redwood tree...)—as part of a character/humane education program I created. As I read aloud these true stories, I watch kids' whole beings light up.
"Wow, that's so cool!" they say, almost jumping out of their seats. "I could do something like that!"
"Exactly!" I tell them. (As my eyes get watery...)
And I know we need more of this kind of true story in the world.
My Writing Life
I've been writing nonfiction professionally for over 20 years, though I've loved to write since I learned to read. My first full-time writing job was as a staff writer for a regional newspaper, where my favorite stories to write were profiles of remarkable local people who made a positive difference in their communities. (They were "solutionaries"—though I hadn't learned the term yet!)
As a nonfiction writer and editor, I've had my writing published in books (like Mama PhD and Chicken Soup for the Soul), magazines (like Mothering Magazine), and lots of other places (using my full name Megan Pincus Kajitani—which is pretty long and kind of hard to pronounce). My editing pen has marked drafts from children's history textbooks to (more fun) books like The Daring Book for Girls and The Double-Daring Book for Girls. (You can see my full bio here.)
These days, my writing is fully focused on nonfiction stories specifically for kids, using my children's author pen name, Meeg Pincus ("Meeg" is what my loved ones call me anyway). I draw on my graduate training in cultural studies to write about the people, animals, politics and environments that shape our world. And I draw on my work as a humane educator to understand what inspires kids to act for positive change, so I can use it to fuel my writing and school visits.
I'm an active member of SCBWI (the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators), San Diego chapter, and an attendee of the Highlights Foundation Master Class in Nonfiction in Summer 2017. Also in 2017, I signed with the Jill Corcoran Literary Agency, to have my writing represented by the wonderful agents Jodell Sadler and Jill Corcoran.
MY first children's book (A FUNDRAISER/TEACHING TOOL!)
In 2015, I published this picture book—the true story of my daughter's quest to help the California Sea Lions—as a fundraiser for marine mammals and as a teaching tool for K-5 students:
Bringing this book into classrooms and schools is what really lit up my passion to dive into the craft of kidlit and focus the rest of my career on it!
Coming soon: my first traditionally published picture book biography (about an amazing solutionary)! Stay tuned for details.
More Random Tidbits
Along with being a writer, I'm also lots of other things, such as..
- A mother of two kind, curious children (them being kind is what I'm most proud of—though curious is a close second).
- An educator, and the daughter of educators (these days I mostly "educate" in school visits through my non-profit SolutionaryStories.org and as a homeschool mom).
- A wife of one award-winning, math-rappin' teacher, who travels the country training other teachers and teaching the times tables (and who writes books for teachers that I get to edit).
- An artist (spending my free time doing artsy things like creating figure sculptures out of 50 pounds of clay and singing in a 9-woman musical group).
- A book lover—did I say that already? (I always have a stack of about six I'm reading. And I read biographies to my kids most nights, which we all love.)
- A plant-based chef (well, not really chef—but I do make a mean vegan black bean brownie and berry green smoothie!).
- A parakeet grandma (my 10-year-old daughter is our sweet budgies' mama, so...).
- A perennial student (after grad school, I still wasn't done—I'm always taking some kind of class!).
- A Broadway musical buff (my whole family can bust out lyrics from Hamilton, Wicked, Newsies or Into The Woods — just ask us; really, ask us!).
- A Southern Californian (I love playing with my family at our local beach, and scanning the waves for dolphins and sea lions. I squeal every single time I spot one. Every. single. time.)