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JOIN US IN EXPLORING OTHERS' CRAFT AND BUILDING OUR OWN

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 […]

Especially for writers starting out, day jobs are essential. Sometimes those jobs can feel like a drain–of energy, of creativity, of joy. But often, skills you develop on the job can actually help with your writing. This series, comprised of interviews and posts from authors for children, focuses on how non-writing work has helped writers […]

Especially for writers starting out, day jobs are essential. Sometimes those jobs can feel like a drain–of energy, of creativity, of joy. But often, skills you develop on the job can actually help with your writing. This series, comprised of interviews and posts from authors for children, focuses on how non-writing work has helped writers […]

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman In the last two posts in this series, on Bridge to Terabithia and on Jacob Have I Loved, we’ve seen how Katherine Paterson creates inevitable and surprising endings, in both a conventional ending (Bridge) and an unconventional one (Jacob). In both cases, the character’s emotional arc concludes, and the character’s […]

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman As we saw in the first post of this series, on Bridge to Terabithia, an ending that feels inevitable and surprising includes a scene that cements the character’s change and shows them moving toward a future where that change sticks, and also offers a surprise, in this case a surprising […]

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman In The Art of Fiction John Gardner repeats Aristotle’s claim that the climax of a story must be “inevitable and surprising” (172). He is cautioning writers against leaving the big moment to chance—a stray semi on the highway, or an incident of food poisoning. The same can be said of […]

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 […]

commentary by Jackie Friedman Mighdoll Hey girl, You were just on Twitter and you saw someone’s happy news. A new book acquired by a great publisher! You liked the tweet—because a) you celebrate other writers and b) the book sounds super cool and you’d like to read it. But in the darkest pit of your […]

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 […]

interview by Kristi Wright In A GOOD KIND OF TROUBLE, Lisa Moore Ramée has built a wonderful cast of characters that contribute significantly to the overall world building through their complex relationships. (See our post on the main character, Shayla.) In the interview below we asked her how she went about crafting her characters and […]