Jill Vanderwood

About Jill

Jill Ammon Vanderwood is the 2008 Writer of the Year for the League of Utah Writers. She is the author of ten books for children and young adults and one adult book. She grew up in Oregon, the third of eleven children. Jill and her husband Bill are parents of four and grandparents of nine, with three great-grandsons. They have recently moved to Southern Idaho.

loves going on adventures with her grandchildren, she loves to travel and tries to write something every day.

Jill's books have won numerous publication awards:

  • What's it Like, Living Green is the winner of:
    • The Indie Excellence Award
    • The Teen Development Award
    • The USA Book News Best Books Award
    • The Silver Quill Award from the League of Utah Writers
  • Drugs Make You Un-Smarter, co-authored by her granddaughter, Savanna Peterson, is the winner of:
    1. Finalist in The Indie Excellence Awards
    2. The Gold Quill Award from the League of Utah Writers
    3. The National Mom’s Choice Award
  • Shaking Behind the Microphone, Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking is the winner of:
    1. The Gold Quill from the League of Utah writers
    2. Finalist in the USA Book News, Best Books Awards
  • Santa's Mysterious Boot was awarded:
    1. Dove Foundation’s Family Friendly Seal of Approval—with a five- dove review.
    2. The Gold Quill from the League of Utah Writers
  • The Year Santa Lost his List was awarded:
    1. Dove Foundation’s Family Friendly Seal of Approval—with a five- dove review.

In 2015 the author introduced her nonfiction book, Erase the Problem of Bullying. This is a teen book which addresses bullying from the perspective of the bully and those who are being bullied. This book includes stories from 42 teens and adults, from their own experiences. Each contributor includes advice for those who are being bullied.

In 2017 the author republished and updated her middle-grade Through the Rug collection. Through the Rug and Through the Rug 2 came out in the Tenth Anniversary Editions

Also in 2017 the author released the first edition of Through the Rug 3: Charm Forest. This is the book everyone was waiting for!

Early in 2019 the author introduces a new book series for fifth graders and up. The Path You Choose, with the first book: Off Target. This is a fiction book which explores a dangerous situation, when kids get hold of a parents’ gun. The reader is the main character, making choices and experiencing the consequences of each choice throughout the story.

Also in 2019 or early 2020 look for the second book in The Path You Choose series—On the Rocks, a fiction book which explores the dangers of underage drinking, with the reader as the main character.

What else is the author working on? For those who have read Drugs Make You Un-Smarter, which begins with the story of Savanna Peterson, who was exposed to drugs at an early age with her father going to prison for crimes he committed due to drug addiction. This book will be a memoir of Savanna Peterson’s father, Kacy Peterson. Kacy has lived a life of drug abuse and crime, which has landed him in prison, numerous times. Because of Kacy’s life choices, two children grew up without their father. Now we will hear first-hand how drugs have affected the Peterson family. Kacy Peterson reached out to Jill to help write his memoir. Their correspondence began with post cards, hand written in pencil. Both Kacy and Jill writing very small, trying to fit as many words on a card as possible.

Kacy, knowing it’s too late to become a model father and a contributing member of society, decided the only way he can give back is to tell his story and hopefully help others understand the Hell that drug addiction brought to his life and the lives of those around him.

Jill is an experienced writer, and speaker. She has taught workshops for writers, as well as being a keynote speaker for the League of Utah Writers. She speaks at school assemblies, teaches writing assignments in school classrooms, has spoken at a drug rehab, Boys and Girls clubs, church groups, summer camps and scout troops. Jill has interviewed for radio, newspaper and TV—on the topics of drug abuse, bullying and overcoming the fear of public speaking.

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