Home

Welcome to Kristen Olsen Writes. 

Writing for children and teaching a child how to read is a passion I can’t live without. I feel pure joy when I write for children. I also love to teach students how to become more proficient readers and writers. The first time I saw joy in a child’s face because she could read, I realized that reading and writing were activities I wanted to devote the rest of my life to. Moreover, becoming a mother has increased my love for the art of reading and writing and my will to set a good foundation for my son’s life long learning.

Kristen Olsen’s Writing

The writing genres I most enjoy, and practice, are poetry and children’s books. My poetry has appeared in the Greyrock Review, and I have written a collection of poems inspired by living in unique places such as Hawaii, Indonesia, Poland and Kosovo.I write my children’s picture books so my readers can find many ways of learning within the story through sight words, phonics, singing and movement, rhythm, call and response and dancing.I create stories that give young readers the pleasure of reading first, so they are motivated to be lifelong readers and learners. 

Tunes & Tales Radio ™

Radio Producer: Kristen Olsen

TUNES & TALES RADIO™ is a radio show featured on 88.9 KRFC as Tunes and Tales every other Sunday at 6PM MST. This show is written and produced for kids by Kristen Olsen. On this show kids hear stories read out-loud by published picture book, middle grade and YA authors. Kids can get their wiggles out to music composed by local musicians, theatre groups, entertainers and from the latest albums of children’s music.  Kids, this show is for you!

2018 EPISODES

Sunday, 8/5/2018 

Ayers, a Greeley resident, taught physical education and health at Thompson Valley High School for 20 years until she retired in May 2016 — but she didn’t exactly retire and now writes and works part-time at UCHealth’s Healthy Kids Club in Fort Collins.

She taught special education, physical education and health for another eight years at schools in Delta and Greeley after earning her bachelor’s degree in physical education and health and master’s degree in special education.

Ayers, who swims and runs for exercise and has competed in a few triathlons, also coached swimming at Greeley Central High School for four years and at Thompson Valley for eight years, followed by serving as an assistant cross country coach for another eight years at the Loveland school.

 

Sunday, 6/3/2018

 Author Melanie Crowder & 4th Grade Tavelli Elementary Students

Sunday , 5/20/2018

Sunday, 5/6/2018  

Authors Brad McLelland and Louis Sylvester 

Book: Legends of The Lost Causes. 

Born and raised in Arkansas, Brad McLelland spent several years working as a crime journalist in the South before earning his MFA in creative writing from Oklahoma State University. A part-time drummer and singer, Brad lives in Oklahoma with his wife, stepdaughter, a mini-Aussie who gives hugs, and a chubby cat who begs for ham.

Dr. Sylvester is an Assiciate Professor of English at Lewis-Clark State College. He teaches Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Screenwriting for the Creative Writing Program. He also focuses on Film, Writing, and Literature and advises for Secondary Education: English.

When he isn’t busy with academia, Dr. Sylvester enjoys playing board games. He currently owns over one thousand games and he attends game conventions around the US. He co-sponsors a gaming club that meets every other week here at LCSC and hopes you’ll drop by to play.

His dogs are named Cake and Muse.

Sunday, 4/29/2018 & 5/6/2018 

Author Patricia Long with Jon & Amy Long Family Band

Growing up with 8 siblings was a true adventure! She earned her B.S. in Elementary Education from St. Bonaventure University and her M.A. in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado. Pat’s career as a learning disabilities resource teacher in the Cherry Creek School District rewarded her with wonderful story ideas. She is a member The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop. Pat’s passion for reading is fed by her two book clubs. Her writing critique group, the Picture Book Junkies (PBJ) is a constant source of support and expert criticism. Pat is blessed with an amazing family and dear friends. She lives in Centennial, Colorado with her fantastic husband, Jim. She enjoys travel, reading, and playing with her four beautiful grandchildren.

Author Patricia Long

Patricia is passionate about children’s literacy. Her story reading skills keep kids fully engaged and entertained. Older students enjoy learning about the writing process.

 

 

Contact her at pat.long@stitchesfairy.com for Author Visits and Story Hours.

Author Claudia Mills 

Author Claudia Mills

Claudia Mills was born in New York City on August 21, 1954. She received her B.A. degree from Wellesley College in 1976, her M.A. degree from Princeton University in 1979, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University in 1991. She also received an M.L.S. degree from the University of Maryland in 1988, with a concentration in children’s literature. She worked as an editorial assistant at Four Winds Press (Scholastic) from 1979-1980 and as an editor at the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at the University of Maryland 1980 to 1989. Since 1991 she has taught philosophy, first as an assistant professor at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, then as an assistant professor and now as an associate professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has two children, Christopher Wahl (born in September 1988) and Gregory Wahl (born in October 1991) and one cat named Snickers.

Email Claudia at claudia.mills@colorado.edu. Or write to her at 47 Benthaven Place, Boulder CO 80305. You can also visit her University of Colorado Philosophy Dept website at www.colorado.edu/philosophy/fac_mills.shtml

Sunday, 4/18/2018

Illustrator and  Artist Tony Ortega & Musician  Jesse G Shephard

Tony Ortega

Tony Ortega holds an MFA in drawing and painting from the University of Colorado and is currently an associate professor for Regis University. He is the recipient of the coveted Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (1999) and the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (1998). He has been a working artist and teacher for the past 30 years and is known for his vibrant, colorful artwork.

Tony Ortega’s lifelong goal is to contribute to a better understanding of cultural diversity by addressing the culture, history and experiences of Latinos through his art. His work can be found in Denver Art Museum, Los Angles County Museum and the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center. Tony’s artwork can be found in Denver, Colorado at the William Havu Gallery. He has exhibited in United States, Latin America and other parts of the world. For more information, please visit his web site at: www.tonyortega.net

Sunday, 3/18/2018

Author Dow Phumiruk & Musician Heidi Mausbach

Tiemdow Phumiruk

Tiemdow Phumiruk is an author and illustrator of children’s books. She is originally from Thailand but grew up in the United States. She now lives in the Lone Tree, Colorado with her husband, girls, and assorted small pets. When she is not creating, Dow teaches medical students and enjoys hiking. She is a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and is represented by East West Literary Agency. Artbydow.blogspot.com

 

Heidi Mausbach

Classical cellist, Heidi Mausbach, a graduate of the Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, has enjoyed a fulfilling and diverse orchestral career throughout the US. She has played with the Naples Philharmonic, the Florida Orchestra, and the Minnesota Opera before moving to Fort Collins in 2000. Currently, she is assistant principal of the Cheyenne Symphony and Fort Collins Symphony.

Heidi is a busy freelance musician and teacher. She is a faculty member of Just Chamber Music, a local summer festival for young aspiring music students. An enthusiast of chamber music, Heidi feels fortunate to list the two Brahms Sextets, Schubert Quintet Op 163, Schumann Fantasy Pieces and an entire cello quartet recital in her recent performances. In her free time, you can find Heidi on the Spring Creek Trail or hiking around Colorado.

Sunday, 2/4/2018

Author Julie Hedlund & Musician Dirk Kraus: Piano & Guitar Institute

 

Julie Hedlund’s Books: A Troop Is A Group of Monkeys & My Love For You Is The Sun

 Julie Hedllund is an Author & Freelance Writer. Her creative work  is intended not only to help you strive, but to thrive as a writer. Her blog is loaded with inspirational posts from fellow writers, her weekly Gratitude Sunday series and much more. She formed the 12 x 12 picture book writing community as a way to motivate others to meet their writing goals. The For Writers section is full of resources on all aspects of writing, including digital publishing.

Dirk Kraus: Piano & Guitar Institute has been offering quality piano & guitar instruction to Fort Collins and surrounding areas since 2001.  There are currently several hundred students with a qualified staff to meet all of their needs. While each student is paired with a single teacher, all teachers provide instruction following the same methodology, beliefs, and terminology.  This allows Piano Institute to have a team approach in providing individualized instruction for each student.

Sunday, 2/4/2108 & 2/18/2018

Author Natasha Wing

Natasha Wing is the best-selling author of The Night Before series. Her new book, Bagel In Love, is a filled with bakery puns and is about a dancing bagel who doesn’t give up in the face of naysayers.

 

 

 

 

Joy MyersPianist, Accompanist, Teaching Artist, Actor/Voice Over, Multi-instrumentalist

Heather Wilberger & Joy Myers

Joy Myers has always believed that Music makes one’s heart sing and feet dance while the brain is having a party!  She has been a performer/teaching artist for 50 years teaching and coaching all ages on most instruments and voice. She has a degree in piano performance and music education from Jacksonville University- BM piano performance and BME summa cum laude.  She taught band, orchestra, show choir, general music for over 10 years in Florida schools before moving to Boulder.  Performances include the Jacksonville Symphony, Altoona Symphony, NW Fl Symphony, SFlorida Symphony, Amadeus Trio, Continental Strings, Artz Out Loud!  She currently performs throughout the East Coast with Artz Out Loud/Donna Wissinger, flutist.  “My dream of performing and sharing my love of music with my family has come true…I perform with my daughter, Beth, and my two young grandsons, Tristan and Reed throughout Colorado at libraries, schools, and music festivals as Kid’s House of Joy.” Joy Myers performs at weddings, corporate functions, restaurants, and many Senior Living Centers as House of Joy.  “Being active outdoors brings balance to my life in this beautiful state of Colorado.”-Joy Myers 

Beth Wilberger-Violin/Fiddle/Viola/Guitar/Ukulele/Vocals

I’m a teacher, coach, performer, wife & mother to 2 boys.  In the summer of 2011, Kaleidoscope Music began while pregnant with my second child bringing together both the Kid Music Classes and private music lessons.  I wanted to create an experience with music classes where kids at a young age along with family members could Sing, Shake & Shimmy to touch their hearts and expand their mind.  I started playing both the piano and violin at age 4 studying the Suzuki Method until high school, performing with various string quartets and orchestras in the North Florida area.  I studied with Eliot Chapo at Florida State University and began guitar lessons my freshman year.  Transitioning from classical violin to fiddle brought new life into my playing while living in Nashville, TN.  I graduated with a BBA, emphasis in Music Business from Belmont University.  Toured with my brother, Kort McCumber all over the country from 2001-2008 and teaching privately while off the road.  Moved to Boulder, CO in 2004 and worked for the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and the Colorado Music Festival as Box Office Manager and Education Coordinator while continuing to perform and teach.  I perform nationally with Kort McCumber, Moors & McCumber, House of Joy/Kid’s House of Joy and Ali Grayson.

For Sale: Kaleidoscope Music Sing, Shake & Shimmy Vol. 1 CD

Family Friendly tunes that we love to sing and share with families attending my music classes & concerts.  Featuring Favorites, World, Bluegrass and Classic Kid Songs.  

SUNDAY, 1/21/2018 

Author: Katie Kirwan  Illustrator: Sean Martines  

Musician: Jesse G Shephard 

Book: The 9 lives of Charlie the Chicken Mushroom

Author: Katie Kirwan

“I eat, therefore I cook!” After graduating from culinary school Katie spent the last 14 years in all different facets of the restaurant industry. Over the past year she has been instructing and developing a culinary course at Emily Griffith Technical College designed to get passionate people into Denver’s best kitchens. She has always loved to write and during her time as a nanny she put all her passions into motion to create her picture book: The 9 lives of Charlie the Chicken Mushroom. 

Katie Kirwan baking with fan

The story is  based on true events that have happened to her; “I wanted to emphasize friendship and letting your freak flag fly. I also wanted a way to introduce kids to more obscure vegetables and encourage them to get cooking.”-Kirwan.  Katie Kirwan partnered with Share Our Strength, a charity that educates families on the importance of healthy cooking and affordable options. Their goal is to end childhood hunger in America and $1 from each book sold is donated to their cause.

Illustrator: Sean Martines

Hello, I am well over three feet tall and I have bachelor of arts degree that is printed on incredibly fancy paper. I have been painting and drawing since I was five and I haven’t gotten any better. It was a pleasure working on Charlie the Chicken Mushroom with my long time friend (15 years) Katie Kirwan. Charlie is absolutely the embodiment of Katie and I tried hard to show her love and everlasting innocence with the loose watercolor style and silly bold black lines. Katie is a unique and beautiful monster that has an unbridled affection for her friends and life itself.

I was honored to help bring Charlie and the gang to life and I hope the journey of his 9 lives reaches as many kids as possible. I believe in Charlie, I believe in the freedom of his folly and the value of his outlook. We should all be so lucky, to let ourselves embrace friendship the way that Charlie does; he knows that true happiness comes not only from helping our friends but from letting them help us. Katie makes her life’s work to teach that lesson as often as possible and I hope Charlie can teach it to the world. Sometimes I tell people I have nine toes but it’s a lie.

2017 EPISODES

Sunday, 12/31/17, 6pm MST Episode 9  on 88.9 KRFC  

Featured Local Author & Singer: Nina Adams

Book: Silly Sally Squirrel and the Sneaky Cat

Author Nina Adams

Born in the midst of Iowa farm country during the great depression, Nina Adams reaped all the benefits of a loving family and the infinite wonders of nature. Retirement now provides opportunity to pursue her long standing desire to “play with words.”  A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, she has attended numerous classes and workshops, as well as taking part in local writing and critique groups. While authoring her collection of children’s books and stories, she is published in the article, editorial and poetry fields.

Sunday, 12/17/17, 6pm MST Episode 9  on 88.9 KRFC  

Featured Author: Jean Hanson

 Book: The 5,000 Friends of Veronica Veetch 

Author Jean Hanson

Jean Hanson is the author of The 5,000 Friends of Veronica Veetch.Her short stories and essays for adults have been published in numerous magazines, including North American Review, Zoetrope, Indiana Review, Nimrod, New Letters, and Alaska Quarterly Review.

A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, she has received a Pushcart Prize nomination, an artist fellowship in fiction from the Colorado Council on the Arts, the Hackney Prize, the Writers Repertory Award, the Literal Latte Essay Prize, and a Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers. Jean lives in Colorado with thousands of “friends” and two clever cockatoos.

Launie Parry: Illustrator of The 5,000 Friends of Veronica Veetch. She is an award-winning graphic designer whose work has brought many books to life. Launie and her husband, George, have two daughters, one cat, and a golden retriever named Maisie who is known around the office for her sweet disposition and very bad manners.

Launie also has her own design company and is available for branding projects and book design at red-letter-creative.com.

“The 5,000 Friends of Veronica Veetch manages to warn against the perils of snap judgment and extol the wonders of friendly books in such beguiling rhyme that it doesn’t seem like a lesson at all. In fact, what it seems like is pure joy. Hooray for Jean Hanson and Launie Parry for giving us this wonderful book.” — Ann Patchett, beloved novelist and indie bookstore owner

Voice-Over Artists:

Pictured: Jean Hanson,Wilder Gribble,Kiera Geiger, Forest Gribble  Juliet Tremblay, Back Jasper Gribble and Jesse G Shephard,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Juliet Tremblay just performed her musical theater debut performance as Michael Banks in Mary Poppins, directed and produced by Fort Collins Children’s Theater.  She has loved theater ever since her first summer taking part in the CSU Kids Do It All Theater Camp.  Juliet also practices dance with Canyon Concert Ballet.  She is a 5th grader at Laurel Elementary.  When Juliet is not in school or dancing, she can be found in the kitchen singing all 47 songs from Hamilton with her sister, Ella, at full volume. When asked about her favorite book she said Divergent with Wonder at a close second.

Keira Geiger

Kiera Geiger is eleven years old and an only child. She is a 6th grader at Cache La Poudre Middle School. She really enjoys school, and her favorite subject is math. She lives in Fort Collins with her mom, dad, her dog, Riggs, five chickens and two guinea pigs.  She enjoys running, swimming, acro-parkour and trying new sports. Her favorite thing to do at home to let it all go is dance crazy around the family living room. She loves traveling with her parents, and seeing new places is one of her favorite things. They always have so much fun together. She loves spending time with her friends and her absolute dream is to visit Paris.

Jasper Gribble

Jasper Gribble is an eleven year old who is in the 6th grade at CLPMS. He loves learning about technology and is well versed in videography, newly released technologies from Apple and Google, and many photography apps. He plays guitar, piano, and cello, and is on the yearbook committee at school. His favorite book series are the Hunger Games series and the Divergent series.  He is also an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys biking, paddle boarding, and rock climbing.

 

Wilder Gribble is a nine year old who is in the 4th grade at Tavelli Elementary School. He plays both soccer and basketball, and enjoys being active in a multitude of other ways as well, such as long boarding and kayaking. He is an avid painter and watches Bob Ross on you tube to pick new skills. Wilder plays the piano, drums, and guitar and is in the modern rock band through his elementary school. His favorite book series include the Hatchet series, as well as Harry Potter.

 

 

Forest Gribble is a seven year old who is in the second grade at Tavelli Elementary School. He is a talented artist who enjoys sketching pencil drawings of animals. He has always preferred nonfiction and had read books on wildlife since he could hold a book. Forest enjoys gardening, and he picks all the ripe produce for his family. He also enjoys tree climbing, and playing the piano. His favorite book of all time is The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.

 

JESSE G SHEPHERD

Jesse G Shepherd has been writing and playing his songs for 50 years and hasn’t stopped. He taught himself guitar from listening to early Simon and Garfunkel, Beatles and Rolling Stones music and in 1984 studied songwriting in Hollywood, California, with the National Academy of Songwriters. Later he studied piedmont finger picking style with Elizabeth Cotton. 

And so, stylistically, Jesse is an accomplished finger picker on his vintage Guild D50, with a good strong folk style and a piedmont bluesy influence. His voice has a rich, warm soulful presence and calls his style “Americana,” for he can be spiritual, social political, loving and story telling with his lyrics and is a master at his craft. 

Nowadays Jesse lives in Loveland, Colorado, writes songs, stories, makes videos and also volunteers at KRFC 88.9 FM, in Fort Collins, and enjoys getting together with other creative writers and musicians.

Jesse received three songwriting awards in 2017 in two different contests; Hollywood Songwriting Contest, for an instrumental and the American Songwriting Awards, for an instrumental and a lyric song. 

Albums can be purchased through the internet at, CDbaby.com, please refer to the discography below for the exact address.

Jesse can also be seen on youtube.com. Just enter his name in the search bar then watch, listen and enjoy! 

New Dove Recordings Discography:

1,000 Years Of Peace Vol: 1, JG Shepherd, 2009; Meditative soundscape, available @ https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/shepherdjg

Perspectives; Jesse Gordon Shepherd, 1995; americana – available @ https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/jessegordonshepherd

Reclaim My Brain; Jesse G, 1984; bluesy pop rock and fun – available @ https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/jesseg

Unpolished Perfection; Jesse G Shepherd, 2008; americana, song sampler,
un-available

Open Our Eyes; Shepherd Soundcraft, 1980; on vinyl – un-available

Sunday, 12/3/17, 6pm MST Episode 8  on 88.9 KRFC 

Featured Author: Chris Van Allsburg  Audio Recording: THE POLAR EXPRESS 

The recording played on Tunes & Tales was published by Houghton Mifflin Company in 2000. The Music is by  Michael Moss. Recorded at Soundscape, Boston, MA.  This is a Charlesberry production/Susan Dudnick Boer, Producer.

Sunday, 11/19/17, 6pm MST Episode Seven on 88.9 KRFC 

Featured Author: Heather Preusser & Featured Musician: Saja Butler 

Author Heather Preusser

Heather Preusser earned a BA in English and art history from Williams College, an MA in education from the University of Colorado, and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine. She is currently working on several picture books and novels for young readers. When not writing, Heather teaches high school English, bikes the European countryside, and attempts to learn ridiculously long German words. She and her husband reside in Colorado.

Saja Butler’s a musical muse calling you over for a righteous jam.

Musician Saja Butler

Since 2007, Saja has taught thousands of people to play guitar, banjo, ukulele and how to sing beautifully. No matter where you’re at in skill, Saja can teach you how to play well,write your own tunes, and perform your favorite songs with soul and power.When it comes to music, Saja loves it all. You can hear her Southern roots as she picks a ballad on the banjo.

You can feel the beauty of blues, pop, R&B and rock when she’s hammering on the guitar. Her voice is a calling to heal you through and through. Saja gives familiar tunes newfound soul. She’s been jamming out on instruments of every kind for over 30 years, and she uses her mastery of guitar, banjo, and voice to entertain, inspire and put students on center stage.Saja graduated from the Colorado Contemporary Music College with a degree in Music Theory and Instruction. She hauled her passion for music to her Rocky Mountain Studio in 2007, and the place has been singing ever since. She welcomes you to come and tap into the groove.

Saja is also proud to be in Lois and the Lantern.
​Check them out at:www.loisandthelantern.com

Sunday, 10/29/17, 6pm MST Episode Six on 88.9 KRFC

Featured Author: Stan Yan & Theatre Group: Playground Theatre

Playground Theatre: Jeff Haycook & Mia Sole

As a writer/director, Mia Sole is incredibly creative, inventive, and high powered, and a member of that handful of comedians that loves to ad lib. Her mind is a bonafide comedy computer working at lightning speed to generate giggles, dedicated to bring the joy. On stage, Mia takes you to a make-believe place of supreme goodness and then makes you laugh uncontrollably. A master of physical comedy and a crafty puppeteer behind the curtain. She can deliver Shakespeare trippingly off her tongue, twist Red Riding-hood into a rap sensation or tangle with a chair as a cunning cowgirl, all with hilarious consequences.

Continue reading “Tunes & Tales Radio ™”

Welcome to Kristen Olsen Writes. 

Writing for children and teaching a child how to read is a passion I can’t live without. I feel pure joy when I write for children. I also love to teach students how to become more proficient readers and writers. The first time I saw joy in a child’s face because she could read, I realized that reading and writing were activities I wanted to devote the rest of my life to. Moreover, becoming a mother has increased my love for the art of reading and writing and my will to set a good foundation for my son’s life long learning.

Blog

Writing: Getting Down At Eye Level

 Getting down at my child’s eye level allows me to see things from his perspective. This is a useful strategy for helping me to create stories from a child’s point of view. For example, one spring day when my son was a toddler, he and I visited the Lee Martinez Farm in Fort Collins, Colo. We bought a paper bag of grains to feed the animals. To our delight, a litter of goats had recently been born. My son stood captivated as the fearless goats licked his small palms clean of the food. We watched the happy goats as they leaped for fun. However, goats, like children, are naturally curious, and one sneaky Billy grabbed our bag of food and swallowed the whole thing! My son broke into tears, and we ran to tell the manager that the goat had eaten our bag. The manager assured us the goat would digest the bag.

This experience inspired my research on goats. When I found that they climb Argan trees in Morocco, I realized that this interesting fact was a fun, cultural story waiting to be told.

Learning this very interesting and entertaining fact led me to conduct further research that was equally as fascinating and that inspired me to write a manuscript for a children’s picture book.

If you are an agent or editor and would like to see my work. Please contact me!