Bio

Victoria Winifred was born in Brooklyn, NY, and lives in East Tennessee with her husband and cat. She loves to inspire young minds to embrace literature and chess both through her books and her dynamic standard-supporting school visits.

With over two decades of teaching experience and her passion for nurturing children’s natural wisdom, Victoria has integrated chess, philosophy, and public speaking practices into her teaching strategies, leaving a lasting impact on her students. Her engaging approach to education has earned recognition, with her gifted and talented classroom serving for ten years as a model for her school’s G & T program and as a workshop model for Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. She holds a master’s degree in education and a graduate certificate in Chess in Education among many other accreditations.

Beyond writing, Victoria is deeply involved in the chess and local community, managing a nearby chess club, hosting a fan club on Chess.com, and serving as an educational consultant and blogger for the Chess in Education Coalition. She is an active member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Midsouth and the Author’s Guild of Tennessee, and participates in many local fairs and festivals throughout the year in addition to school visits, PD sessions, and speaking engagements.

Her debut novel, The Princess, the Knight, and the Lost God: A Chess Story, illustrated by Luisa Galstyan, launched on National Chess Day, October 8, 2022, filling a void in children’s literature and claiming a new genre of “Chess Fiction for Kids.” It garnered critical acclaim, including multiple first-place awards in children’s literature, hundreds of 5-Star reviews, and a coveted recommendation from Kirkus Reviews for readers to purchase her book. This book is recommended for grades 3-5+.

Her chapter book series, the Cozy Chess Club Mysteries, introduces younger readers (grades 2-5) to chess through engaging stories revolving around a third-grade afterschool chess club who solve mysteries in their school.

Additionally, her early chapter book (grades 1-3,) Murray the Cat: First Adventures combines heartwarming storytelling with stunning watercolor illustrations by Tammy Brown, with proceeds supporting animal shelters. This book also serves as a read aloud for even younger children.

Victoria is also bringing her late mother’s poetry to life, one volume at a time. The first volume, titled From Peacock Lane, is available now. These poems offer a refreshing escape for mature readers seeking the purity of both Dickinson-style and narrative poetry about nature and life’s adventures.

More books by Victoria Winifred are currently in progress; stay tuned!

Press Clippings:

Chess Connections!

Some special links showing how chess in the classroom connects with everything:

Women’s World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk responds and surprises us by featuring my students’ letters online!

Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Visits Our Classroom!

Chess is Everything! My students.

Chess in My NYC Classroom

Chess even factored into our celebrity visit when the internationally acclaimed tenor Paul Potts and his wife Julz paid our classroom a surprise call.

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