Due to the unexpected death of her dear husband, Valerie’s Writer in Residence-y has been discontinued at this time so she can focus elsewhere. Admittedly, the pandemic played a big part in her decision since it was already affecting what could and could not be done. She so appreciates Vicki, Stephanie, Megan, and the rest of the staff at the Apache Junction Library. They have been so supportive during all of this. She hopes to return at a later date, either in the same role or as a presenter of several standalone programs. She hopes to see you then! 

Support your local library!

Valerie is pleased and honored to announce that she is currently


at the Apache Junction Public Library in Arizona!

She will serve from July through September–basically a modified summer session. Due to Covid-19 all presentations and consultations will be held virtually.

She is available for writing and publishing consultations via Zoom or email. Sign up on the library’s website:


Should every chapter of your book end in a cliffhanger? Read Valerie’s theory.


Click to watch her first video wherein she discuses the motivations for writing her debut novel and the inspiration she received from a favorite childhood author… (She had no idea it was going to be done in one take so what you see is what you get!)

So You Want To Write A Book!

Valerie Ipson, our Summer 2020 Writer in Residence, is an author of children, teen and adult fiction. She was a contributing writer and genealogy columnist for a regional newspaper until retiring after 17 years to write fiction fulltime. Currently she is finishing production on two picture books.

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You’ve probably heard this statistic, or one similar: 80% of the population says they want to write a book. Even with the advent of Print-on-Demand and its inherent ease of publishing, though, most of that percentage doesn’t do it.

The truth is, writing AND FINISHING a book takes a lot of effort. It takes discipline and persistence. You know, all those words that at the end of the day feel like work. But writing a book is also thrilling and freeing, and often magical—even if you’re not writing the next Harry Potter. If you have the desire and the drive, and the ability to carve out some time, you can do it!

Maybe you have been like me and stared at all those library or bookstore shelves, row after row of published authors, published books, and wondered, “Who am I that I think I can do that?”The secret of getting ahead is getting started Mark Twain

I was inspired years ago by a picture book writer, I don’t recall his name, who shared this exact experience. He found himself in the library one day feeling small among the vastness of all the authors’ books on display. “Who am I? Who am I?” seemed to echo down the rows. But then a new thought, “They did it. WHY NOT ME?

I’ve never forgotten that and it’s a sentiment that moves me forward. I’m here to tell you: There is space for you on the virtual shelf, and maybe even a library or bookstore shelf. WHY NOT YOU?

I am pleased and honored to serve in this writer residency at the Apache Junction Public Library. I am available for free consultations on writing and publishing topics.

Valerie will hold virtual office hours via Zoom on Tuesdays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Reserve your time slots by calling (480) 474-8555 or click here.