Children’s author Melissa Williams inspires with Read3Zero

Melissa M. Williams

Companies: LongTale Publishing and READ3Zero

Title: Children’s Author & Publisher

Years in the business: six


What inspired you to create the Read3Zero Literacy Foundation?

My job as a guest speaker and instructor in the schools has put me in front of thousands of creative kiddos yearly. The letters, emails, conversations, ideas and stories I receive from my readers and students inspired me to get them directly involved in a reading and writing based organization. Read3Zero also gives the parents an opportunity to be involved and excited for their child’s interests and achievements at the foundation.

How can students join Read3Zero?

Read3Zero’s big writing and drawing contest called, I Write Short Stories by Kids for Kids is a great way to become involved with READ3Zero. Each year students in grades 3to 8 can submit short stories, artwork for the book cover and poetry. We choose 50 stories and poems each year and about 5 students’ artwork for the front and back cover. The deadline for entry is the end of May, and the book comes out each December.

What advice can you give a parent whose child is struggling?

The number one important factor is to NOT make them feel like there is something wrong with them. Do the homework on different disorders and always get a professional opinion. Once you’ve discovered what is blocking them; have it be a negative association with reading, boredom or a reading and writing disorder, then you can create a positive atmosphere around reading and writing. Limiting electronics that diminish a child’s interest in reading and writing can also be a great help, along with finding out what type of characters your child loves to watch on TV. If your child loves space, find books on the subject that he or she enjoys.


How do you balance your literary works and the foundations?

I live and breathe deadlines as a business owner, no-profit founder, speaker and writer.  I plan my year, months, weeks, and hours in advance, but I always allow for flexible change. I carry a planner with me at all times and I have an office assistant who reminds me of small deadlines when I’m balancing huge projects but thankfully I have about 15 different people working with me on projects from websites, advertisements, media and graphics to edits and contracts. I try to release at least one to two books a year.  I’m currently working on the second book in the Turtle Town Series, called The Green Room. The 250 page story takes place across four of the Hawaiian Islands, so I’ve been traveling and doing intense amounts of research on the Hawaiian culture, people, history, environment and surf life.

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Alexandria Green
Alexandria Green

Houston TX, Writer, Photographer, Pop Culture Connoisseur.

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