Anne-Marie Strohman

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman As middle grade writers, we don’t have a lot of time to hook the reader. We can rarely start with three pages of setting, or with a lot of backstory. We need to start in the middle of things, but too much in the middle of things and readers get […]

We’re off for a couple weeks, as we find rejuvenation in sand and sea, on streets and in bookshops, in stepping away from the everyday. Look for new posts at the end of April! How do you relax and refresh? What kind of break gives you the energy to return to your creative work with […]

Valentine’s Day can be more than romance. It can be a celebration of all sorts of different love relationships–family, friendships, even pets. Here are some of our favorite unexpected love stories.   Unconventional Romance In this reimagining of the Cinderella story, Char, the Rat Prince, shows his devotion to Rose (Cinderella). But at it’s core, […]

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman The Penderwicks (as I explored here) has delightful characters, and Birdsall is a master at distinguishing between the four sisters and establishing them as a coherent unit. One of the ways she allows us to know the four sisters so fully is through close third person narration with a shifting […]

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman Tumble and Blue begins with a sly-talking golden alligator. The opening two pages reveal an ancient story of two people who attempted to claim a changed fate under the Red Sickle Moon. What comes next is the story of two of their descendants, the cursed-to-lose Blue Montgomery and the super-hero-obsessed […]

The turn of the new year is a time to look forward (resolutions, anyone?) and to look back. We’ve perused our reading lists from the past year and picked out our favorite reads of the year–some published in 2017, some we encountered or re-read this past year. If you’re one for resolutions, you can use […]

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman The subtitle of The Penderwicks–A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy–describes both why readers love the book (all those characters!) and a huge challenge for the author (all those characters!). Arguably, the plot arc of this first installment in Jeanne Birdsall’s series is Jeffrey’s […]

interview by Anne-Marie Strohman We’re so pleased to welcome Amy Dixon to the blog! I met Amy a couple decades ago through friends when we both lived in San Luis Obispo, California. It’s been delightful to reconnect over the last few years through writing for children. Amy’s writing journey began with picture books, and I […]

Not enough time to read about craft? You can listen about craft! A few of our members are avid podcast listeners and have a number of writing podcasts they listen to. Others of us are interested to find great listening material that will help us grow as writers. So we’ve compiled a list of great […]

We wish you a Halloween haunted by your favorite books. And in case you want to find some new creepy favorites, we’ve gathered some of ours here. Read to the end to find our most recommended creepy book.  Prepare to be spooked! And the number one most recommended creepy book: What are your favorite creepy […]