Award-winning writer Cynthia Furlong Reynolds knew at an early age that her calling was to help people tell their stories—an adventure she writes about in Grammie’s Secret Cupboard (2008 Mom’s Choice Award) and in her Young Adult novel Across the Reach.
A journalist whose byline has appeared in more than 50 newspapers and magazines, she has written six histories (Our Hometown: America’s History Seen Through the Eyes of a Midwestern Village and JIFFY: A Family Tradition both received Michigan Notable Book Awards), a dozen picture books (H is for Hoosier: An Indiana Alphabet won a Young Hoosier Book Award, 2004), a series of early readers based upon a mouse’s adventures (Oliver’s Travels), a young adult novel, countless articles, and dozens of life stories for private individuals.
Ms. Reynolds frequently visits schools to talk to students of all ages about the writing and publishing process. She leads professional development programs on writing. Every year she undertakes a corporate history, and she helps individuals tell their own stories.
“I have always felt that my role was to help people tell their stories,” said Cindy. “I write life stories. I write oral histories. My children’s books reflect stories from my family as well as my friends. For my MFA in creative writing, I produced a manual called Writing S’mores, because I get so many questions from would-be writers about how to choose a topic and structure a story.
“I took two and a half years to do the MFA and I dropped out of everything but writing. Now I’m back to the action–signings, school visits, and helping others write. The world of publishing children’s books is a very different place than when I started in 2001. I think it’s ever more important to have a group these days to help you critique and study the craft, telling a story the most effective way.”
She is a member of the Association of Personal Historians, Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and several historical societies.
An eleventh-generation Maine native, Reynolds lives in the country outside Ann Arbor, Michigan, but can often be found in York, Maine or along the shores of Pleasant River Lake in Beddington, Maine. She and her husband have three children and two dogs.