Rick Shelton was born in Durham, North Carolina in 1958 and grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Alabama where he also received a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing. He also holds a Master's Degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago. Mr. Shelton is an independent consultant and has worked with teachers and students in schools across Alabama and the southeast for more than a decade, teaching writing and writing assessment preparation. As a Language Arts Specialist for the Alabama State Department of Education, Mr. Shelton gained firsthand experience reading and evaluating the Alabama Direct Assessment of Writing (ADAW). His guide to writing, Write Where You Are! Strategies for Teaching Four Modes of Writing (self-published), has become a popular reference for teachers, especially those with responsibility for preparing students for state writing assessments. Mr. Shelton's first children's book, Hoggle's Christmas , won the Alabama Library Association's Alabama Author Award for Juvenile/Young Adult Literature in 1995. In 1998 he was awarded the first annual Advancement of Alabama Literacy Award by the Gulf Coast Conference on the Teaching of Writing. Mr. Shelton also served as a reading-writing connection trainer for the Alabama Reading Initiative.Mr. Shelton lives in Westover, Alabama, with his wife, Cathy. They have two sons, Scott and Andrew. Rick is an avid fly fisherman.