Sarah Davis

Sometimes when writing, we know what our character wants, but it’s a struggle to turn the nebulous desires into something tangible, something attainable, something concrete. Here’s how.

Many kids that experience mental illnesses start developing symptoms as young teens–just when they’re at the age to encounter Young Adult literature. Through YA novels, writers can reach readers at this critical time. Young adult books can be a balm to teens struggling with mental health, offering disability representation, much-needed hope, and comfort in knowing that they’ll come through their darkest days… if we follow a few key guidelines. These six pointers are indispensable in creating an empathetic, accurate, and hopeful book with mental health themes.

Craft review by Sarah S. Davis Don’t bother asking Cambridge-bound Head Girl Frances Janvier anything. She won’t know the answer. She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know who she wants to be. She doesn’t know what she wants. In fact, through her interior monologue and dialogue with others, it’s clear that clever Frances, the […]

craft review by Sarah S. Davis In Part 1, we saw how Kisner shapes Brynn’s political awakening through internal conflict. Read on to find out how Kisner creates stakes that push Brynn toward change. Even Losers Have Something to Lose So what could possibly change her mind and push Brynn towards risking not just a […]

craft review by Sarah S. Davis When readers meet Brynn Harper at the beginning of Adrienne Kisner’s Dear Rachel Maddow (2018), her life is in freefall. Dumped by Sarah, her high-achieving girlfriend, Brynn has also recently been kicked off the school paper because of poor academic progress. Meanwhile, at home, after losing her beloved older […]