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Craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman Reviews of Amy Dixon’s Annie B., Made for TV highlight the spot-on, hilarious middle grade voice of Annie Brown’s narration. “Annie’s first-person narration is hilariously astute.” —Kirkus Review “On the last day of fifth grade, when her best friend Savannah wins every award, Annie muses, ‘the only thing I’m best […]

by Kristi Wright We’ve mentioned Cheryl B. Klein before. She’s the insightful mind behind THE MAGIC WORDS: WRITING GREAT BOOKS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS. Last March our Middle Grade Lunch Break Book Club had the pleasure of spending time with Cheryl–via video chat. It’s been a few months now, but here are my top […]

Hello, lovely readers! We are official launched! We’ve been working over the past year to move our mglunchbreak.com blog to our new home at kidlitcraft.com. We’ll continue to bring you in-depth craft reviews of middle grade books, as well as conference takeaways, book recommendations, and author interviews. In the months ahead, we’ll be adding both […]

by Elizabeth Van Tassel Do you need some dedicated time away from the demands of life to kickstart your writing? There are many options—from national conferences to regional conferences to writing retreats. Selecting the right experience for you can be as challenging as finding the perfect book at the bookstore. Typically, I’ve attended large conferences […]

Craft review by Sonya Doernberg One of the important decisions we have to make as writers is how to narrate our middle grade story. Using first-person point-of-view allows the reader to see events through the narrator’s eyes. Second-person POV, which is rarely used, makes the reader feel like a character in the story. The third-person […]

by Jen Jobart BayCon is an annual California Bay Area fantasy conference for writers, artists, and fans.  I attended the conference as a writer of middle grade fantasy. I had a lot of fun and had many opportunities to talk about and learn new things in the company of other creative people.  BayCon was my […]

craft review by Lindsay Lackey In May, Richard Peck, beloved children’s author and champion of writers, passed away. He was a prolific storyteller, penning 41 books in 41 years, and winning numerous awards, including the Newbery Medal in 2001. He was also a generous and wise mentor, offering writers encouragement and advice in conferences and […]

craft review by Lindsay Lackey During his keynote talk at an SCBWI conference in 2016, the late Richard Peck shared his tried and true method for creating a solid first chapter. He said, “I always go back and rewrite the first chapter from scratch after I’ve written the last chapter.” He went on to explain […]

craft review by Kristi Wright A few months back, while chatting with fellow authors, I proposed that when writing a mystery, it was important to keep the tension going till the bitter end about “whodunit!” I quickly realized that this isn’t a hard and fast rule—we all have beloved mysteries that reveal the identity of […]

complied by Becky Levine and Kristi Wright This year’s Spring Spirit–a one-day SCBWI conference sponsored by the California: North/Central Region–was, as usual, a wonderful day. There is always so much energy in the air. People are excited to attend the sessions, but they’re also greeting old friends and making new ones. Going to writing conferences […]