Thanks for stopping by. I write for kids and adults, historical and contemporary fiction, and sappy notes slipped into my kids’ lunches.
Raised by a kindergarten teacher and engineer, I grew up with a book in my hand, a story in my ear, and was encouraged from a young age to pretend, create, read, and write. I’d often come down to the breakfast table with a new story or poem to share. But some of my fondest memories are of my dad’s campfire stories and my mom reading to me from the front seat of our family station wagon during long road trips, my siblings fast asleep on either side of me. Charlotte’s Web, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Misty of Chincoteague were the beginning of a lifelong love.
Now I’m a mom to three daughters, aged 16, 14, and 12, who inspire me every day. It’s my turn to carry on the tradition of telling stories, reading aloud, and making the every day magical like it had been for me.
I’ve learned a few things. Here’s what I know (so far):
- There’s always room for improvement. Always. That’s why I put myself out there again and again.
- Even if you think you know the answer, ask. People will surprise you. I’m surprised all the time.
- I’m forever grateful to anyone who takes the time to read for me. This is a gift. Even if you only read this post, thank you.
- Listen. Everyone has a story in them. I want to hear them all.
Most of all, I want to thank my husband, Steve, and my kids for their patience while I chase my dream. Thank you for listening, even while captive in our minivan. I want to thank all of the dear family and friends who have read for me, supported me, and continue to cheer along the way. To my brother, the eternal prankster who tells the very best stories of all times and to my sister, who hides in her car to read for me scene by scene, as I write them, I love you guys beyond words. And to Ginger, our goldendoodle, for peeling me away from the keyboard. And thank you to the nice lady in the check-out line at the Giant Eagle for telling me plums are on sale. Her name’s Cathy, by the way.
- First Runner-up for Storm Watcher awarded by Writers Type, 2013
- Golden Quill Award, Civic Journalism for “GenExodus” – aired on WDUQ 90.5 NPR
Carolyn Menke is the author of RETURN TO ME, published by The Wild Rose Press in September 2015 and I’M YOURS, the companion novella that releases in 2016. RETURN TO ME, set during the 1940s, follows Sadie, as she uncovers pieces of her mother’s past. I’M YOURS, set during the Roaring Twenties, follows Audrey, Sadie’s mother, as a young starlet destined for Broadway.
A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Carolyn is a professional blogger, creative writing teacher, and award-winning flash fiction writer. She enjoys horseback riding and geocaching with her three daughters, husband, and goldendoodle.
Her flash fiction piece “Full Circle” took first place in the Writer’s Type literary competition in July 2012. “Baba’s Bananas” also placed first at Writer’s Type in March 2011, and was later awarded first runner-up overall for the yearly competition in the same category. She was awarded honorable mention for “Run” by Women On Writing in Fall 2010.
Carolyn was awarded the Golden Quill Award, Civic Journalism for “GenExodus,” which aired on WDUQ 90.5 National Public Radio. She is a member of the National Honor Society in Journalism and Mass Communication, Kappa Tau Alpha.
Carolyn loves speaking with children at schools, and to area book clubs. She is a member of Pennwriters and two writing critique groups. For more information, please visit her website at: www.carolynmenke.com.