Checking in with Writer in Residence Lori Alexander

Lori Alexander is the Library's Summer 2022 Writer in Residence. We checked in with her about the program and her connection with the Library. Learn more about Lori's residency in this press release.

What do you love most about the Library? 

Due to a genetic condition, my daughter spent most of her early childhood in a cast or leg brace. Favorite kid hangouts—sandy playgrounds, inflatable castles, swimming pools—were difficult for her to navigate. Storytime at Oro Valley Public Library became our go-to for safe fun and connection with other families. Leaving with a big bag of picture books each week was an added treat. As an author, the library is essential for researching new story ideas and reading the latest in children’s literature. And of course, it’s a wonderful feeling to see my own books on the library shelves!

Why did you agree to take on this role? Why do you think the program is important?

I’m excited to share my can-do spirit and offer comradery to new and seasoned writers in the Tucson community. I’ve sold both fiction and nonfiction to large publishing houses like HarperCollins and Scholastic. I also have experience working with a literary agent, promoting books, and conducting school visits. I’m looking forward to using my knowledge to assist local writers on the next steps in their writing journey.

Most writers know that continuing education will benefit their craft. But conferences can be expensive. Extended time away from family or other commitments is not always possible. Workshops offered by the Writer in Residence programs are free and close to home. The 30-minute one-on-one sessions are perfect for giving writers the customized support they need, exactly when they need it. Whether that’s feedback on a current manuscript, finding a critique group, or advice on next steps in the publishing process, this program has it covered!

Who is the audience for your consultations and programs?

My 30-minute, one-on-one consultations are primarily for adults who are interested in writing for children (anything from board books, picture books, chapter books to middle grade or young adult novels). Two of my 90-minute group programs are for adults as well. On May 14th, I’ll discuss writing and revising and we’ll work through some hands-on exercises. On July 16th, I’ll speak about the world of children’s publishing, including how to craft a query letter to entice an agent or editor. While these consultations and programs are indented for adults, if teen writers are interested they are welcome to participate (summer is a perfect time to sharpen those writing skills!). On June 18th, I will host a lively creative writing program especially for children. Check out for full program descriptions and sign-up instructions.