MARGARET ANN SPENCE Margaret Ann SpenceAs a child, Margaret wanted to run an orphanage or be an author. Perhaps the Madeline books inspired both ideas. Debating whether to do good or have fun, she gave up studying to be a social worker and pursued a life around the written word. High heels, tight skirts and makeup won over sensible shoes, though publishing promised a permanently low salary. She worked as an editorial assistant for a major publishing house, for a magazine and for a university. She earned a master’s degree in journalism, wrote a slew of press releases as a publicist, and as a freelance writer when her children were small, published feature articles in newspapers and magazines. In the past few years, she’s turned to writing fiction and essays. Her essay, The Dog Catcher of Jabiru, won the Tara L. Masih Intercultural Essay Prize in the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition in 2014. Margaret’s novel, Lipstick On The Strawberry, was published in July 2017 by The Wild Rose Press. The story took first place in the Romantic Elements Category in the 2015 Beacon Contest, sponsored by the First Coast Romance Writers. Since publication the book has won 5 star reviews. Lipstick on the Strawberry was a finalist in the 2019 Eric Hoffer Book Awards. The award honors excellence in books published by academic, independent, small press and self-publishers.