PICTURE BOOKS

MIDDLE GRADE

YOUNG ADULT

Middle Grade, Picture Books, Young Adult

Letter to Myself After Going Down the Twitter Hole Tonight

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 […]

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analysis by Aimee Haburjak and Kristi Wright Do a search on elements of a good picture book and you’ll quickly find a treasure trove of lists. Here’s one by agent Tracy Marchini. And another by author Margo Finke. And yet another by author Kathryn Evans. Every author, agent, and editor who works in the children’s […]

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“The end never comes when you think it will. It’s always ten steps past the worst moment, then a weird turn to the left.” -Lena Dunham I’ve been struggling with endings lately. So I did my usual thing—went back to some of my mentor books. And I found three books I want to talk about: […]

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craft review by Becky Levine You hear this over and over again: your story hero needs to face obstacles, grow and learn, and then . . . dive into that dark cave for the sword, come out swinging, and change their world for the better. Even in a picture book. Even when your hero is […]

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guest post by Naomi Kinsman A couple days ago, I stood in front of a third grade classroom acting out a scene between a giant and a young girl, complete with action and dialogue. Afterward, in our class discussion and in one-on-one conversations, the youth writers and I unpacked specificity of voice, gesture, subtext, tone, […]

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To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’re sending you some books we love! These are books that have inspired us as writers and helped us to reimagine our writing processes as well as shape our writing lives. May you too be inspired.   Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. It just came at the right […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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