As a writer/journalist/editor/illustrator, Reta Stewart Allen (Spears-Stewart) has written for regional and national publications, including those in Springfield, Missouri, Chicago and Minneapolis, for over 30 years.
A native Chicagoan, Reta also lived in Minneapolis for seven years before moving to the Ozarks in 1975. Reta has seven grown children, 19 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren (“at last count.”)
She has taught both writing and art in children’s and adult evening classes, written video scripts and advertising copy for television and radio and enjoys writing song lyrics. She continues to author books, write articles, and edits and designs books for authors who elect to self-publish.
Reta authored the country music history book, "Remembering the Ozark Jubilee, Starring Red Foley," which was awarded the Country Music Association of America’s Eagle Award as Best Country Book of the Year. She also wrote "Route 66 RAIL HAVEN: An Offspring of the “Mother Road,” with many historic photos and interviews with business people in the Springfield, Missouri area.
Her children’s picture book, "Before I Was A Kid" (Pacific Press), received praise from reviewers for its beautifully written answer to one of the most profound questions a child might ask: “Where did I come from?” The answer, she says, is from a Scriptural point of view. Another of Reta’s successful children’s books is "Toby's Big Truck Adventure" (Pacific Press), an elementary-grade novel written in an adventure/humor format. Her latest children’s picture book, "A Dog Named Shirlahassee Frooginaut," (PublishAmerica) is also illustrated by Reta.
She has served as president and vice-president of the Springfield Writers' Guild, a chapter of the Missouri Writers' Guild.