The Front Page

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” — Frederick Douglas










Thank You to Children’s Literature, LLC

Thank you, Children’s Literature, LLC! After nine years and over 500 book reviews, I am stepping down as a book critic for the company to focus on my own writing. I’d like to especially thank Marilyn, who gave me this job opportunity, and to Emily, who continued the company’s traditions and great work ethic. I learned so much about children’s books, past and present; it was an education and a pleasure working with everyone. Best of luck to Children’s Literature as it embarks on new adventures in the future! (November, 2018)

Don’t Forget the 2018 Lab Rescue LRCP Online Auction!

Check out all the items! There’s something there for everyone. And copies of my book, “Thumper, or, Life on the Farm,” will also be auctioned off. Lab Rescue of the LRCP (Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac) is a volunteer driven, non-profit organization (Non-Profit Tax I.D. 52-1880024) that rescues, provides veterinary care for, fosters, and finds loving new homes for abandoned and neglected Labrador Retrievers. For information about Lab Rescue and the online auction, please go to (November, 2018)

Thanks for Another Great MWA Conference!

Many thanks to everyone who helped organize and who participated in the 2018 Maryland Writers’ Association Conference, held on March 23 and 24. There was a great line-up of presenters, editors, agents, and authors. Many thanks to author and adjunct professor Judy Kelly; author and screenwriter John Gilstrap; and author, screenwriter coach, and story expert Michael Hauge.

Thumper Is Available!

I’m happy to report that my novella, Thumper, or, Life on the Farm, has been published by 1st Ride Publishing! Thanks to everyone on the 1st Ride Team!

In my latest book, a revolution is underway and a way of life is disappearing. Growing up on a small tobacco farm in Maryland in the 1960s, a boy faces challenges from his family and society. In the midst of this turmoil, a dog named Thumper barges into his life: an animal with the face of a hound, the legs of a dachshund, and a tail that can’t stop wagging.

Available on Amazon and at








New Nature Video by David Illig — April, 2017

Be sure to check out David Illig’s new short video, “The Crane Fly and the Peony,” available on Vimeo right here:  — It’s a good one!

The Thoughtful Dog Publishes “Dreamers”

Thanks to The Thoughtful Dog for publishing my short story, “Dreamers,” and my interview with the editorial staff in their March 2017 edition. The Thoughtful Dog is an online magazine of literary fiction; it also features interviews, essays, and articles on the art of writing and the literary life. Their photographs are amazing. Go to and check it out!

Thanks to the Maryland Writers’ Association

I’d like to thank everyone in the Maryland Writers’ Association who worked on  the 2017 Conference. The speakers were great, and I know that I learned a lot. Thanks again!

Reactions to The Elephant and the Bird Feeder:

Children’s Literature, one of the premier book reviewers serving schools and libraries across the country, recently praised  The Elephant and the Bird Feeder as “a story of compassion and friendship.” The Delmarva Review, one of Maryland’s critically acclaimed literary magazines, included it in its section on “New  Books by Regional Authors,” saying that all the books are “testimony to the continually evolving literary history of the Chesapeake and Delmarva region .  . . which show the diversity of regional creative talent.” Thank you, Children’s Literature and The Delmarva Review!

Thank you to the Green Gables Elementary School in Lakewood, Colorado, for using The Elephant and the Bird Feeder in their after-school program! The book was chosen to celebrate National Elephant Appreciation Day, September 22, 2016.

Thanks to the MD/DE/WV Regional Chapter of SCBWI for their August 2016 interview with me. It’s great to be a member of such a friendly and professional organization! For a transcript of the interview, “Happy Book Birthday: Coffee and Conversation with Leona Illig,” just go to their website at

My children’s chapter book, The Elephant and the Bird Feeder, was published by 1st Ride Enterprises. It is available in print and on Kindle and Nook (ISBN 978-1-530740956). For members of SCBWI, it is also listed on SCBWI’s On-Line Bookstore. Enjoy!

Should I trust my enemy? Befriend a stranger? Believe the impossible? Three youngsters living in northeast Thailand—an elephant, a parrot, and a boy—must find answers to these questions. Their responses could determine their survival.


Current Assignments

Book Reviews for Children’s Literature.

Current Book Projects

Emails from Dogs

First, there was a dog. Then there were many dogs—all shapes, sizes, colors, and breeds. But they all had the same mission: to cheer up their young friend Rory, whose mother had died. There was a problem, however. The dogs lived in Maryland. Rory lived in New Jersey. How were they going to talk to each other? For photographs of the actual dogs who star in this two-book series, see the
Emails from Dogs section.

Charmed City: Tales of Baltimore and Beyond

Baltimore—a city or a state of mind? In this collection of short fiction, diverse characters with their roots in Baltimore find themselves in strange and sometimes dangerous situations. From the Middle East to Asia, and from the 1800s to the distant future, the protagonists must use their intelligence, determination, and wit to survive some truly out-of-this world experiences. But why should anyone be surprised? Welcome to Baltimore, Hon!


Americans in post-war Laos must choose sides in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Previous Assignments

Special Issues Reporter (Environmental), 2011—2014, League of Women Voters of Anne Arundel County

Publicist, 2011-2014, League of Women Voters of Anne Arundel County

Newsletter Editor, 2008—2009, League of Women Voters of Anne Arundel County