Arkansas robin
Robin

Charlie May Simon

Read about the life of Charlie May (Hogue) Simon (1897-1977), a children’s book author who is the namesake of a literary award that honors books selected by the votes of Arkansas children at https://ualrexhibits.org/simon/virtual-exhibit/reexamined.

Charlie May Simon had a challenging life, having experienced poverty, young widowhood, and issues in her marriages. Read more about her life here: https://encyclopediaofarkansas.net.

Simon’s most successful book, Robin on the Mountain, was published in 1934 and was about life in the Ozarks. She later traveled the world and wrote as she discovered new people and places. Other titles she published include The Sharecropper (1937), Art in the New Land (1945), and Razorbacks Are Really Hogs! (1972).

According to ualrexhibits.org: “Her additional honors included a Doctor of Laws degree from University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, the Albert Schweitzer Book Prize, the Boy’s Club of America Junior Book Award, and the Charles and Bertie G. Schwartz Award of the Jewish Book Council of America.”

Her Marriage to John Gould Fletcher

Charlie May Simon’s third husband (she was widowed and divorced before marrying a third time), John Gould Fletcher, was an established writer before meeting Charlie May Simon. In their 14-year marriage, his career took priority, though they each continued writing. Simon’s legacy, however, has lasted longer than she may have imagined through the annual statewide children’s writing competition in her name. She also outlived John Gould Fletcher by 27 years.

They lived in a house called “Johnswood” that was designated as a national historic landmark and under consideration to be made open to the public. (The address is 10314 Cantrell Road, near the western border of Little Rock.) Since that has not happened, we suggest visiting the library named for her husband in the meantime, the John Gould Fletcher Library (Little Rock).

The John Gould Fletcher Library is the fourth stop on our Arkansas Author Adventures Trail!

Patricia Smart