A Writer’s Delight!

    Serendipity is a beautiful thing!

An unexpected email led to a delightful afternoon.

Hometown grandmother Nancy knew I grew up in Michigan and wondered if I’d autograph a book for her granddaughter visiting from Washington state. Then she realized I now lived in Florida. She expressed how much her daughter loved her new book, President of the Whole Sixth Grade—Girl Code.

Well, just so happened I was in Michigan for the wonderful author-illustrator experience, Nerd Camp, in Parma, Michigan. I reached out to Nancy, set a date, and it was on.

Meeting Nancy and Sarah was a true highlight to my week. Sarah, 10, was adorable and very smart. We sat around chatting like ladies who lunch.


And if that wasn’t enough of the serendipity sauce, Nancy brought along a friend—my middle school civics teacher whose habit of teaching us to read newspapers in her classroom directly led to the plot of the third book in the President series—Mrs. Western. Now, I’m sure the woman has a first name but I still feel like raising my hand when I see her so I didn’t ask.

Thanks Sarah and Nancy for renewing my understanding of why I write stories for children. Your kind words motivated me to carry on. And thank you, truly, to Mrs. Western, whose caring yet no-nonsense teaching style helped open my eyes to the world around me, inspiring me to see greater and be greater. Thank you, ladies for a wonderful day.

Good News REVIEWS!


Authors love, love, love it when reviewers say awesome things about their work. Check out this review for President of the Whole Sixth Grade courtesy of the American Library Association’s Booklist Magazine:

President of the Whole Sixth Grade
By Sherri Winston
November 2015/ $17/ Ages 8 to 12
ISBN 978-0-316-37723-2
Ebook ISBN 978-0-316-37722-5

When we last saw Brianna Justice she was on top of the world, fresh off the victory of being elected president of her fifth-grade class. But nothing bursts her bubble faster than starting middle school, where no one really cares about things anymore and everyone is trying to be someone else. Worse, two of her longtime BFFs have started blowing her off to hang out with a pair of nasty “popular” girls (the Peas). To top things off, Brianna has to contend with a rival who is determined to see her middle-school political career fail, and she only has a limited amount of time to raise money for the class trip to D.C. But Brianna has never been scared of a challenge, so she gathers up other allies and her trusty clipboard and gets to work. Brianna’s determination and follow-through make her a great role model, but the true value here is the very real depiction of the ebb and flow of middle-school friendships and the difficulties that come with growing up. An important resource for anyone who’s ever been in Brianna’s shoes.



The New York Public Library, The Brooklyn Library and the Queens Library, along with the NYC school library network, has selected President of the Whole Fifth Grade–a book totally written by yours truly–for their recommended summer reading list.

Oh, New York. Thank you so much. It’s such an honor. Now if you’re reading this in the NYC area and decide to check the website,

http://www.nypl.org/events/summerreading, they may have messed up my name a little bit–called me Sherri Williams. Not to worry. It’s me, Sherri Winston, author of President of the Whole Fifth Grade and the soon-to-be released President of the Whole Sixth Grade. President Cover with Bleed_CMYK[1]Trust me. I wrote both of them with barely any help. OK, maybe a little help from a few real-life fifth graders. And people who like cupcakes because the main character, Brianna Justice, is all about baking cupcakes. And there are recipes, too. I made them up. I DID. And anyway, the New York library people totally got the name of the book right, so who cares. On behalf of me and Sherri Williams, please accept my humble thanks. I shall now take a brief delay to perform my happy dance.DSC_0188


I am now done with my dance. Please, go along with your day. And if you are in NYC or know someone there with an awesome kid in need of awesome reading material, tell them Sherri Williams, uh, Winston, says hello!

Spooky Writing Contest





Today I am announcing my first-ever spooky writing contest. I am so excited. During my years as a journalist at the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, I was privileged to play host to such a contest for young writers. It has been a goal of mine since becoming published to offer a contest on my blog. Thanks to the success of President of the Whole Fifth Grade, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has blessed me with an opportunity to write a sequel — President of the Whole Sixth Grade.

In honor of the recent announcement of the book’s 2015 anticipated publishing date, I would like to encourage little authors to think big. Therefore, I am holding a writing contest that features spooky themes, fun prompts and yes, even candy-filled gift bags.

The contest begins Sept. 2 and ends on Oct. 17. When is the deadline, you ask? Oct. 17, 2014. When does it begin? Well, thanks for asking. It begins Sept. 2. It is open to all third, fourth and fifth grade classes. How much does it cost? Well, though the experience is valued in the gazillions, the fee is $0. Last-minute entries will have to pay double.

Each Monday, on this site, I will include tips for writing that the kids can use not only for the contest but in there daily writing, as well.

I will continue to update, cajole, pester and otherwise make the contest known to as many as possible. Come on media specialists, teachers and reading coaches, don’t leave me hanging. Check out the attached flyer for details. Entries can be either scanned and emailed to sherriberries@gmail.com or sent through traditional mail upon contacting me.

All emails relating to the contact should say SPOOKY in the subject field. Allow me to boost your writing programs and help make the 2014-15 school year an absolute blast!

Contest Instructions

2014 FLYER

Brianna Justice heads to Osceola County Florida!

A stilt walker entertains visitors at the 2012 Miami Book Fair.
A stilt walker entertains visitors at the 2012 Miami Book Fair.

Brianna Justice and her friends have been pretty busy. Since President of the Whole Fifth Grade was named a Sunshine State Young Reader Award winner for 2012013, Brianna and the gang have been very busy. Author Sherri Winston, who happens to know Brianna very well, will head to Osceola County in Florida to visit several schools. The excitement is very HIGH. This is Big news!

Who knows, maybe after Ms. Winston talks to the students about Brianna, Sara, Lauren, Becks and Weasel, not to mention Mrs. Nutmeg and the lovely Miss Delicious, maybe some kid right there in Florida will decide, “Hey, I’m a good person. I want to be rich and famous. Hmm . . .maybe I can start my own business, too! I want to be a leader just like Brianna Justice!”

Author Sherri Winston gets a hug from former her former English teacher during a November 2012 visit to the Muskegon Heights Library in Muskegon Heights, Mich.
Author Sherri Winston gets a hug from former her former English teacher during a November 2012 visit to the Muskegon Heights Library in Muskegon Heights, Mich.

Or at least, maybe a few readers will enjoy being out of regular class for a little while talking about a pretty cool book and a great group of friends!

Want more Justice? Get your copy of President of the Whole Fifth Grade ($6.99, Little, Brown) at your local bookstore, online or through your schools book fair.

To find out how Brianna does in her latest school appearance, stay tuned! (That’s TV talk for please come back and read some more!)