writing work

I will always be a writer.

I began writing before I was a teenager, in diaries, journals, trying out poetry forms, and making up small stories. Sometimes I drew pictures to go along with the text.

I started writing with more of a focus in the late 1990s, beginning with picture books. One story, OLAF’S DOOR, was published on a multi-media platform for mobile devices. It has since gone “out of print.” I wrote more picture books, none published traditionally, and learned how to make a story work.

Currently, I’m working on novel length mysteries for middle grade, with a three-book series in development. Two short stories were included in the collection “RIVER CITY SECRETS, Stories from Richmond,” published by Chop Suey Books Books in 2016.

I also write haiku, some of which I illustrate with botanical art. The form I use (there are many) is one line of 5 syllables, the second line of 7 syllables, and the third line of 5 syllables. The challenge of capturing meaning and imagery in a few words is a great discipline.

hazel buys writer
river city secrets hazel buys

I have two stories in the anthology

River City Secrets: Stories from Richmond

for middle grade children

River City Secrets is a collection of twenty-four stories of imagination and adventure, each set in one of Richmond’s many popular historic locations. Written with children in mind, this is a great collection for adults, too!

Authors, all Richmond based, included: Kristi Tuck Austin, Elle Blair, Hazel Buys, Melissa Bybee, Deb Dudley, Robin Farmer, K.A. Herndon, Phillip Hilliker, Troy Howell, Erica Kirov, Lana Krumwiede, Stephanie McPherson, Brian Rock, Mary Helen Sheriff, Steven K. Smith, Chris Sorensen, A.B. Westrick, Vernon Wildy, Jr.


for Chinese Lantern

Translucent pumpkin
Bright bauble, paper light
Swinging festival

Hazel buys Chinese Lantern
brazil nut graphite drawing


for Brazil Nut

Dark crinkled giant
Heavy armor, forbidding
Concealing treasure


for Spring

Glorious rainbow!,
Bright red blossom, light green leaf
Winter discarded
hazel buys
botanical art hazel buys


for Summer

(Sleeping Bee)
Humble gardener
Carries pollen, shedding life
Until her day ends


for Fall

Rotund, rosy pear,
Double-winged samara,
David and Goliath
brazil nut graphite drawing
brazil nut graphite drawing


for Winter

Leaves cry underfoot
Last gasp before winter’s sleep;
Snow falls on silence

learn more

About Hazel

*click on plus sign to read

selected exhibitions
4/28 – 6/3/2012 Selected Paintings & Drawings by Botanical Illustration Instructors & Students, LGBG, Richmond, VA

7/3 – 7/30/2011 “In Praise of Nature”, invitational exhibition, Asbury United Methodist Church, Harrisonburg, VA

2/26 – 3/21/2010 One person show, “Baker’s Dozen,” Helena Davis Gallery/Artspace, Richmond, VA

Nov/Dec 2009 “ThinkSmall 5” International Invitational Exhibition, art6 and Artspace, Richmond, VA

Jan/Mar 2008 Solo exhibition of landscape paintings, VA Senate OB, General Assembly Building, Richmond, VA

Nov/Dec 2007 “ThinkSmall 4” International Invitational Exhibition, art6 and Artspace, Richmond, VA

Oct/Nov 2007 Invitational Exhibit, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Richmond, VA

Nov/Dec 2005 “ThinkSmall 3” International Invitational Exhibition, art6 and Artspace, Richmond, VA

September 2004 Member Exhibition, art6, Richmond, VA

August 2004 “The Art of Seeing – Botanical Works by Regional Artists”, Invitational Exhibition, Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD.

July 2002 Hampton Bay Days 20th Annual Juried Art Show, the Charles H. Taylor Arts Center, Hampton, VA

Juror: James Gadson Award: Hampton Arts Commission Special Purchase Award

March 1998 Award: Excellence in Art, Women’s Caucus for Art

July 1994 “Crucifixion of the Feminine” Invitational Exhibit, Martha Mabey Gallery, Richmond, VA

September 1993 “Border Beings, A Gatherings of Angels” Invitational Exhibit, Martha Mabey Gallery, Richmond, VA

1990-1991 “Bright Visions: The Making of Myth”, Rahr-West Art Mus, Manitowoc, WI Jurors: Ruth D. Kohler, Bev Harrington, Margaret F. Rahill

1980 – 1990 Multiple exhibitions in VA.

selected private collections
McSweeney, Burtch and Crump, P.C., Richmond, VA

City of Hampton, VA

Luciano Nonella, Kilchberg, Switzerland

Pat and Rita McLoughlin, Dungarvan, County Cork, Ireland

Jacqueline and Kieran McLoughlin, Paris, France

Melvin and Mildred Spicer, Charlottesville, VA
Joan Lee Carmody, Wilmington,DE
Hirschler Fleischer, Richmond VA
Marilyn and Don Martin, Richmond, VA
Milton and Bridgitte Goodwin, Tulsa, Ok


2014 – Present articles in BASNCR newsletters and ASBA journals

2011 – 2018 Reviews of children’s and YA books published for CLCD (Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database).

2016 River City Secrets: Stories from Richmond, published by Chop Suey Books, (Buys et al. 33-42, 168 – 179)

2010 OLAF’S DOOR, a narrated picture book, e-published by FrogDog Media/Zuuka

Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Richmond, VA Certificate in Botanical Illustration, May 2010

VCU, Richmond, VA, Certificate in Information Systems, August 1987 Honors: DPMA Scholarship, January 1987

University of VA, Charlottesville, VA, M.Ed., August 1976

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, B.A. French, August 1969 Honors: Dean’s List

American University in Paris, Paris, France, 1/66 – 6/67

2011 – Present Instructor, botanical painting, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Richmond, VA.

2009 – 2015 Narrator, audio books.

11/05-1/2018 Reviewer, Children and YA Books, Children’s Literature.

7/01 – 6/02 Consultant, Adoptive Family Preservation Initiative, RRP/VDD, VCU, Richmond, VA

2/00 – 5/00 ESL Instructor, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Corporate Program, Richmond, VA

10/97 – 5/00 Assistant teacher and art teacher at the Tuckahoe Montessori School, Richmond, VA

5/81 – 1/92 Programmer/Systems Analyst, Information Systems, State Government, and private industry.

9/71 – 5/81 Counselor, State Government and private, non-profit rehabilitation agencies in Virginia