Schrecengost, Maity 1938–

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Schrecengost, Maity 1938–

(S. Maitland Schrecengost)


Surname is pronounced Shreck-en-gost; born June 8, 1938, in Scottdale, PA; daughter of Albert Warren and Leona Shirer; married Thomas E. Schrecengost, June 11, 1960; children: Lynda D., Thomas Warren. Education: Allegheny College, B.A., 1960; Nova Southeastern University, M.A., 1994. Religion: Christian. Hobbies and other interests: Canoeing, birdwatching, crewel embroidery, reading, travel.


Home—Summerfield, FL. E-mail—[email protected]


Elementary schoolteacher in Murrysville, PA, 1960-62, and Mercersburg, PA, 1980-86; Manatee County School Board, Bradenton, FL, elementary schoolteacher, 1986-2000. Presenter of writing education and research workshops; also works as writing consultant.


Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, National League of American Pen Women, Florida Reading Association, Writers' Bloc.


Florida Historical Society, Carolynn Washbon Award, 1998, for Tasso of Tarpon Springs, and Patrick D. Smith Prize for Florida Literature, 2000, for Panther Girl.


Write to Be Read, Highsmith Press (Fort Atkinson, WI), 1992.

Let Them Write! (videotape for teacher training), Title I Media Productions, 1994.

Research to Write, Highsmith Press (Fort Atkinson, WI), 1994.

Researching People, with teacher's guide, Highsmith Press (Fort Atkinson, WI), 1996.

Researching Events, with teacher's guide, Highsmith Press (Fort Atkinson, WI), 1998.

Tasso of Tarpon Springs (juvenile novel), with teacher's guide, illustrated by Rose Stock, Maupin House (Gainesville, FL), 1998.

Panther Girl (juvenile novel), with teacher's guide, illustrated by Sal Salazar, Maupin House (Gainesville, FL), 1999.

Writing Whizardry: 60 Mini-lessons For Teaching Elaboration and Writing Craft, Maupin House (Gainesville, FL), 2001.

Researching Issues, with teacher's guide, Highsmith Press (Fort Atkinson, WI), 2002.

Voice Whizardry: 36 Discovery Activities to Develop Personal Writing Voice, Maupin House (Gainesville, FL), 2004.

High above the Hippodrome (juvenile fiction), SPS Publications (Eustis, FL), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Florida Living and Aglow.


Maity Schrecengost once commented: "I was born in 1938 in Scottdale, a small town in southwestern Pennsylvania, the youngest of my parents' four children. It was there, at our small public library, that I fell in love with books. They became my best friends. I began scribbling at an early age, penning my ‘last will and testament’ at the age of ten. My ‘studio’ was the roof outside my bedroom window, through which I escaped to avoid detection at dishwashing time.

"Throughout my young adult years, while an at-home mom for our two children, I continued to write, with an occasional publishing success. When I resumed teaching, I became one of a core of teacher consultants for the Pennsylvania Department of Education writing project. As such, I became aware of the need for books to introduce children to the craft of writing. This resulted in the publication of Write to Be Read, Research to Write, Researching People, Researching Events, and Researching Issues.

"As a fourth-grade teacher in Florida, I also recognized the lack of historical fiction about Florida for young readers. Thus was born Tasso of Tarpon Springs, the story of an immigrant Greek boy who stows away to become part of the developing sponge industry in Florida, and Panther Girl, the story of a Florida pioneer girl in 1843 and her friendship with a Seminole Indian boy." High above the Hippodrome is a historical novel about life on the road with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus in 1927.

"Writing for children is a wonderful and terrible responsibility. Children deserve our best. Above all else, they deserve truth. In an era of ‘political correctness’ and ‘revisionist history,’ I am ever cognizant of the importance of careful research and accurate portrayal of the historical period represented in my books."

More recently Schrecengost added: "Working with classroom teachers, I was aware of their need for time-efficient, effective mini-lessons for both teaching the writing craft and affording students opportunities to practice writers' devices. Writing Whizardry: 60 Mini-lessons For Teaching Elaboration and Writing Craft, was developed from mini-lessons used in my own classroom. Later as many teachers, unfortunately, turned to ‘formula writing’ to prepare their students for writing assessment tests, children's strong natural writing voices began to be silenced. Voice Whizardry: 36 Discovery Activities to Develop Personal Writing Voice was created to provide activities for teachers and students to rediscover and ultimately use their unique personal writing voices."