Fox, Annie 1950-

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Fox, Annie 1950-


Born 1950, in NY; married David Fox (an editor, designer, and Web manager); children: one son, one daughter. Education: Cornell University, B.S.; State University of New York—Cortland, M.Ed. Hobbies and other interests: Yoga, meditation, cooking, hiking, traveling, spending time with family.




Educator, game designer, and writer. Enfield Elementary School, Ithaca, NY, reading specialist, 1972-74; State University of New York—Cortland Laboratory School, instructor, 1973-74; Rivendale Summer School, San Francisco, CA, administrative director, 1974-75; Marin Primary, Corte Madera, CA, administrative director, 1975-76; Marin Computer Center, Terra Linda/ Corte Madera, CA, co-founder, with husband, David Fox, 1977-82; ICOM Simulation, Wheeling, IL, script writer for CD-ROM games, 1989-90; screenwriter, 1985-92; George Lucas Educational Foundation, writer, researcher, and onscreen talent, 1992; creator and producer of The InSite (Web site), 1996-99; Affinity Holdings International/, director of content development, 1999-2001. Freelance writer and designer for CD-ROM's, 1992-96; consultant.

Awards, Honors

Marin Arts Council individual artist grant in screen writing, 1988, and play writing for young people, 1992; North Bay Multimedia Association Best of the North Bay '99 Award, for The InSite; Parents Council Award, 2001, for Can You Relate?


People Are like Lollipops, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1971.

Armchair BASIC: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Microcomputers and Programming in BASIC, Osborn (New York, NY), 1983.

Can You Relate?: Real-World Advice for Teens on Guys, Girls, Growing up, and Getting Along, edited by Elizabeth Verdick, Free Spirit (Minneapolis, MN), 2000, published as The Teen Survival Guide to Dating and Relating: Real-World Advice on Guys, Girls, Growing up, and Getting Along, Free Spirit (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

(With Ruth Kirschner) Too Stressed to Think?: A Teen Guide to Staying Sane When Life Makes You Crazy, edited by Elizabeth Verdick, Free Spirit (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

Going Your Own Way in Middle School and Beyond, Free Spirit (Minneapolis, MN), in press.

Author of advice column "Hey Terra!" for TheInSite. com. Also author of CD ROM's for children, including Get Ready for School, Charlie Brown, and Mr. Potato Head Saves Veggie Valley.

Armchair Basic was translated into Danish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.


In 1996 professional writer and game designer Annie Fox collaborated with her husband, David Fox, on a Web site they called The InSite. As Fox noted on her home page, the site was designed to be a place "for teens and young adults to turn their world around." On, Fox started an advice column she titled "Hey Terra!" where she answered the concerns of her teen readers. From the dialogue generated from that column, she quickly assembled enough advice to fill a book, one that address the questions and concerns many teens have regarding growing up.

Can You Relate?: Real-World Advice for Teens on Guys, Girls, Growing up, and Getting Along, which was re-published as The Teen Survival Guide to Dating and Relating, is based on hundreds of e-mails the "Hey Terra!" column has received. According to Tina Barni, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, by the time the book was first published in 2000, "Hey Terra!" received, on average, eight e-mails each day. While Fox geared her book toward teens, she hopes that it will also become a conduit to parent-teen communication. "I have kids of my own, and have listened to teens on Internet for three years," she told Barni. "But I think most parents are not aware of the issues kids deal with on a day-to-day basis. The book will bring them closer to their teens, and tell sons and daughters that their parents do have a clue." The book contains one hundred questions and responses, organized into nine chapters focusing on issues ranging from relationships with parents and peers to tools for conflict resolution. Patricia Beddoe, writing in Book Report, felt that Can You Relate? "will empower teens and preteens to be honest" in attempting to employ new problem-solving techniques. Booklist critic Randy Meyer considered Fox's narrative to contain "equal parts warmth, gravity, and pep," while Mercedes Smith, writing in School Library Journal, called Fox's answers "amiable, informal responses."

Also in the self-help genre, Fox worked with fellow teacher, author, and playwright Ruth Kirschner to pen Too Stressed to Think?: A Teen Guide to Staying Sane When Life Makes You Crazy. Beginning with a discussion of how stress affects one's brain and physical well-being, Too Stressed to Think? also offers tips on schedule management, skill building, and conflict resolution. Within their informative text the coauthors intersperse true stories of teens who have successfully learned to manage stressful situations in their own lives. Carol Jones Collins considered the title to be "well-organized" and "upbeat," while Kliatt reviewer Krista Bush noted that in Too Stressed to Think? coauthors Fox and Kirschner show that they are "well versed in all things teen."

In addition to writing and providing educational consulting for a variety of organizations, Fox offers workshops on communication for teens and pre-teens as well as for parents, families, and teachers. When not keeping up with readers of "Hey Terra!," she hosts a parent forum from her home page and also writes a Parent Forum e-newsletter designed to help parents communicate with their teens. In discussing her work for TheInSite. org, Fox told Barni: "I love the fact that you don't have to meet someone personally any more to impact on their life. It used to be someone had to cross your path, but the Internet has changed all that. The kind of connections that happen between people are amazing."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Adolescence, fall, 2002, review of Can You Relate?: Real-World Advice for Teens on Guys, Girls, Growing up, and Getting Along, p. 644.

Booklist, April 15, 2000, Randy Meyer, review of Can You Relate?, p. 1536.

Book Report, September, 2000, Patricia Beddoe, review of Can You Relate?, p. 65.

Curriculum Review, March, 2006, "Stressing Solutions to Stress," p. 12.

Fresno Bee (Fresno, CA), February 3, 2000, Don Mayhew, "We Need to Talk: Cyberspace Advice Columnist Talks with Teens on Relationships," p. E8.

Kliatt, May, 2006, Krista Bush, review of Too Stressed to Think?: Real-World Advice for Teens on Guys, Girls, Growing up, and Getting Along, p. 33.

Publishers Weekly, February 7, 2000, "Help for the Dazed and Confused," p. 87.

San Francisco Chronicle, May 26, 2000, Tina Barni, "Suburban Mom Advises Teens Online: San Anselmo Woman Poses as ‘Hey Terra!,’" p. 8.

School Library Journal, July, 2000, Mercedes Smith, review of Can You Relate?, p. 116; June 2006, Carol Jones Collins, review of Too Stressed to Think?, p. 174.

Voice of Youth Advocates, August, 2000, review of Can You Relate?, p. 203.


Annie Fox Home Page, (November 22, 2006).

Electric Eggplant Web site, (November 22, 2006), "Annie Fox."

The InSite Web site, (November 28, 2006).