The Short Bio
Jean Alicia Elster
Formerly an attorney, Elster now writes fiction for children, middle graders, and young adults.
She is also an editor, essayist, writing instructor and grant writer.
The Long Bio
Jean Alicia Elster, B.A., J.D., is the author of the novel The Colored Carfor ages 8 and olderpublished by Wayne State University Press and released in September 2013. The Colored Car was selected as a 2014 Michigan Notable Book by the Library of Michigan. Elster was awarded the 2014 Midwest Book Award in Childrens Fiction for The Colored Car by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association. The Colored Car was chosen as an Honor Book for the 2014 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People. Elster is also the author of the novel Whos Jim Hines?for ages 8 and olderand published by Wayne State University Press. Released in August 2008, it is in its second printing (2009). Whos Jim Hines? was selected as one of the Library of Michigans 2009 Michigan Notable Books. In addition, the Michigan Reading Association placed Whos Jim Hines? on the Great Lakes Great Books Award 2009-2010 ballot for grades 4-5. Whos Jim Hines? was also a ForeWord Magazine 2008 Book of the Year Award Finalist in the category of Juvenile Fiction.
In addition, Elster is the author of the childrens book series Joe Joe in the City, which includes the books Just Call Me Joe Joe (2001), I Have A Dream, Too! (2002), Ill Fly My Own Plane (2002), and Ill Do the Right Thing (2003). She was awarded the 2002 Governors Emerging Artist Award by ArtServe Michigan in recognition of the series and in 2004, Ill Do the Right Thing received the Atlanta Daily World Choice Award in the category of childrens books.
In recognition of outstanding work, Elster was honored with a 2017 Kresge Artist Fellowship in Literary Arts, awarded by Kresge Arts in Detroit, a program of The Kresge Foundation. Elster was awarded residencies at the internationally acclaimed Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois, in 2001, 2003, and 2005.
Elster is frequently invited to speak at schools, libraries, and conferences throughout the state of Michigan and across the United States. Engagements include the following events: In 2016, she was a presenter for the 60th Annual Conference of the Michigan Reading Association in Detroit, Michigan and the guest speaker for the Ann Arbor (Michigan) District Librarys Write On! Story Contest Awards. In 2015, she was the keynote speaker at the inaugural Association of Michigan Independent Schools (AIMS) Affinity Workshop in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. In 2014, she was a guest speaker for the Vander Veen Center for the Book Program Series at the Grand Rapids Public Library in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2012, she was selected as the inaugural visiting author for The Lori Lutz Visiting Artist Series at The Roeper School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Formerly an attorney and now a professional writer, Elster has edited several books including The Death Penalty and The Outbreak of the Civil War (Greenhaven Press, an imprint of The Gale Group, Inc.), as well as Building Up Zions Walls: Ministry for Empowering the African American Family and Playbook for Christian Manhood: 12 Key Plays for Black Teen Boys (Judson Press). In addition, her essays have appeared in national publications including Ms., World Vision, Black Child, and Christian Science Sentinel magazines. She also collaborated in the preparation of the manuscript for Dear Mrs. Parks: A Dialog with Todays Youth, by Rosa Parks (Lee and Low, 1996), which was honored with four awards including the NAACP Image Award and the Teachers Choice Award.
Elster is the founder and president of Write Word LLC (established as Write Word, Inc. in 1994). She and her husband live in Detroit, Michigan and are the parents of two adult children.
|The Write Word Journal
Whenever I appear at book signings or readings, I invariably answer a number of questions related to the writers life. The queries are so frequent that I devoted almost two years of monthly and then weekly musings to the topic of my life as a writer, found here in the Write Word Journal.
While I will add occasional reflections to this journal, I invite and encourage you to visit/revisit the archived entries. I still welcome your comments and feedback and the opportunity to dialog with you.
Visit the Write Word Journal Archive Click Here