My name is Rita Arens, and this is my house.
I started this blog in 2004 shortly after the birth of my daughter. I started it to chronicle her life and my experience as her mother. At this point, I'm writing so we both will know who I am and who I was after I've long since forgotten.
I'm the former managing editor for BlogHer.com, a SheSource expert, a Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) featured author, and a freelance writer. I've written over 50 articles for periodicals including Scholastic Parent & Child, Babble, The Kansas City Star, Greater Kansas City Business, KC Weddings, Art and Ingram's. My fiction and poetry have been published in Circle Magazine online, The Rockhurst Review, Camas, Offerings, and Number One. My unpublished picture book, Bella Eats the Monsters, won 5th place in the 2014 Writer's Digest awards.
I post product and book reviews at Surrender, Dorothy: Reviews. I've written professionally for Cool Mom Picks, SuperEco and Savvy Source. My LinkedIn profile is here. You can find me on Twitter here. I'm on Facebook, but we have a tenuous relationship. I've done some speaking: Summer 2016 Spine Out show, BlogHer PRO 2014, BlogHer 2014, 2013 Kansas City Listen to Your Mother Show, BlogHer 2012, BEA Bloggers Conference 2012, BlogHer Writers 2011, BlogHer 2011, Blissdom 2011, Alt Summit 2010, BlogHer 2010, BlogHer 2008 and BlogHer 2009 (liveblog here), the 2008 Kansas City Literary Festival and 2009 Chicks Who Click. I appeared on the Walt Bodine Show in 2008 and Up to Date in 2013.
Along with 24 amazing contributors, I published an anthology in fall 2008 from Chicago Review Press called Sleep Is for the Weak, which won a 2009 gold NAPPA award. My debut young adult novel, The Obvious Game, a 2016 Library Journal Self-e Selection, was released from Inkspell Publishing in February 2013. I co-edited ROOTS (a food blogging anthology) with my fellow BlogHer editors. It came out from Open Road in 2013.
I'm a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and the Missouri Writers Guild and on the board of The Writer's Place in Kansas City.
You can reach me at ritajarens(at)gmail(dot)com.
Please subscribe to my feed or come and visit me often.