Hope Irvin Marston is a member of the New York State Retired Teachers, the Greater Thousand Islands Literacy Council, the Jeff-Lewis Librarians Association, and the Adirondack Center for Writing, the St. Lawrence County Arts Council, the North Country Arts Council and SCBWI. She organized the Black River Valley Writers Club and served as its leader for several years.
In addition to writing 32 children’s books and several adult titles, Hope has been on staff for Christian Writers Conferences at Hephzibah Heights (MA), Montrose Bible Conference (PA) and at St. Davids Christian Writers Conference at Beaver Falls, PA. She has taught creative writing workshops at Jefferson Community College, the Jefferson-Lewis Teacher Center and the North Country Arts Council.
Her picture book series, MY LITTLE BOOK COLLECTION (Windward), has grown to eight titles thus far and has 125,000 books in print. She has a new release, Eye on the Iditarod: Aisling’s Quest, which is suitable for ages 8-14 and was released by Windward Books on December 1, 2011. It’s a biography of Aisling (pronounced “Ashley”) Lara Shepherd whose goal is to some day run her own dogs in the famous Iditarod sled dog race held each March in Alaska. Born legally blind, from the time she was three she loved watching sled dog racing on television. Marston shared, “My book, written from information Aisling shared with me in hundreds of e-mail letters, follows her through the mushing season the year she is eleven, which is the year after I met her. That memorable year she conquered obstacles, dealt with heartbreak and loss, and achieved victories, while keeping her eye on the Iditarod. Any young person interested in mushing, will find Aisling’s experiences engaging, informative, and entertaining, whether they are a bit younger than she is in the book or considerably older.”
In 2008 when Aisling was 10 years old, she was one of three girls chosen from 8,000 nominees for a Real Girl of the Year Award, by American Girl. The award was given in recognition of her “demonstrating initiative, effort, impact and personal growth” in reaching her goal of someday running the Iditarod. She exemplified those qualities by her dedication to rescuing, training and racing sled dogs. “I learned about her from an article in an online newspaper published near where we used to live in Maine. Since she lived in Norway, a town near Buckfield where I taught, I contacted her, went to see her and felt led to tell the world about this remarkable young girl with a broad vision, figuratively, if not visually,” shard Marston.