Jonathan Schork, Artist, Author, and Illustrator
Writing literature & making artwork for children of all ages!
Jonathan Schork was born and raised in the mid-Hudson Valley, maintains close relationships there still, and used the Catskills of his childhood as the setting for More Tales from the Enchanted Wood and The Love of Simon Fox. A graduate of Onteora High School, he also volunteered there as a teaching assistant for fourteen years. A former resident of the Florida Keys for several decades, Schork distinguished himself as a sculptor at Key West’s iconic annual SculptureKeyWest exhibition, as owner/operator of the Schork-Munsell Studios with late wife Mary Cooke Hoeft, and as an HIV volunteer and activist. He has navigated an eccentric career path that includes contributions to various Key West, Florida newspapers, the fashion magazine Disfunkshion, and several screen plays. His previous books include the 2015 illustrated young adult fantasy/adventure novella Fearless Inanna, and 2017’s collection of short plays, The Bathroom Rule. More Tales... is his sixth book, and has won awards from Literary Classics and Royal Dragonfly. Mr. Schork currently resides with a stray cat, a stray girl, and his mother in his art studios in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The most important thing the author wants readers to gain from her book:
There are several key points Mr. Schork tries to impart with his writing:
Good manners are good habits: Though not all of his work is intended for a children's audience, he seldom includes profanity of any kind, and enthusiastically promotes kindness, civility, generosity, and courage.
Good language skills: A self-avowed classicist and fusty grammarian, he stubbornly resists the temptation to "dumb down" his work, preferring instead to challenge his readers to grow both their communications and their cognitive skills. He is so committed to the principle of improving language and literacy that, in 2015’s illustrated novella Fearless Inanna, he included a glossary of more than twenty pages of some of the more challenging vocabulary as a compromise to their omission.
A sense of wonder and magic: A deeply rational thinker, he nonetheless likes to encourage his readers to strive for their own greatness and be mindful of extraordinary possibilities.
It seems useful to point out that, in addition to his Enchanted Wood books, Schork has published a book of short plays appropriate to a young audience, a collection of baroque short stories, and a book of philosophy and art, and is comfortable weaving these resources together for an holistic presentation.
Why the author is an authority on the subject of her book:
Where his literature is concerned, Mr. Schork, a precocious reader, has been writing complex and sophisticated prose since he was a teen, heavily influenced by such classic giants as Dinesen, Fitzgerald, Dickens, Kipling, Lewis, Carroll, & Tolkien. His non-fiction works are influenced by the late paleontologist, philosopher, and sports fan Stephen Jay Gould. As a volunteer teaching assistant in a public high school for fourteen years, as a volunteer teacher in various arts academies for the past twenty years, and as the host of many child-based interactive literary events for the past ten years, he is well-suited to provide engaging and life-enlarging presentations to, as he puts it, "children of all ages". Where his short plays are concerned, many have been performed, and all have been the subject of a staged or table reading.
2018 Royal Dragonfly first prize for the Animals/Pets category
2018 Literary Classics Book Awards gold prize for Anthology
2018 Literary Classics Book Awards gold prize for Fairy Tales
Speaking Engagements and School Presentations:
As he has written elsewhere, Mr. Schork does not consider himself a "writer" or "author", but a "story-teller" who writes his stories down so more people can hear them. As such, at almost any event in which he participates, he likes to include some reading; where practical, he likes to include some audience participation. For very young audiences, he has developed an inventory of paper masks with which he likes to host public mask-colouring, encouraging children to greater curiosity about the characters whose faces they might be wearing. When the age and cognition of the audience permits, Mr. Schork likes to encourage class writing exercises, and Q&A sessions.
Willing to Travel