PICTURE BOOKS

MIDDLE GRADE

YOUNG ADULT

Young Adult

Middle Grade, Young Adult

How Attending a Book Launch Can Improve Your Writing Craft

As writers it’s easy to have an abstract concept of your audience when working at your desk, far removed from the energy and bright perspective of kids. When you’re writing for a certain age of reader, especially middle graders, it can help to observe kids themselves. You can also be inspired by how other middle […]

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craft review by Jesaka Long In contrast to the rich yet static symbolism of Dolly Parton’s music in Dumplin’ (see Part 1 of this post here) where Dolly’s songs guide Willow Dean throughout the story,  the main symbol in John Corey Whaley’s Highly Illogical Behavior evolves throughout the story, thus helping to elevate the stakes […]

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craft review by Jesaka Long Using symbols in young adult fiction can create emotional connections between reader, character, and story. The symbols—which frequently represent things like character’s relationship with a specific person, or a childhood relic signifying their resistance to growing up—typically have a meaning that does not change throughout the story. However, Donald Maass […]

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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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craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman Figuring out the opening for a novel can be daunting. We know we need to draw our readers in, to make them want to turn the page. And we have so many choices! Even with the myriad ways to open a novel, there are some basic strategies that underlie even […]

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by Jen Jobart Like everyone else these days, I keep busy.  I don’t currently have a paying job, but I’m the primary caretaker for two kids – one who I homeschool, and one who goes to a parent participation school, where I teach writing to my son’s fellow fourth graders.  Someone literally always needs something […]

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craft review by Laurel Holman There are as many ways to open a novel as there are novels, and while there are some traditional rules about what to do and not to do, those rules are often broken in the hands of a master storyteller. With so many options, and with so much riding on […]

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craft review by Jen Jobart Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor is the story of a girl who must embrace her otherness in order to save the world. Sunny, who recently moved from Nigeria to the US, is struggling to fit in. Her albino skin makes her “other” in her new community.  Then she makes a […]

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craft post by Jen Jobart The Worldbuilding chapter of the John Truby’s book The Anatomy of Story was the culmination of several things that help me to realize that there are a finite number of stories that can be written.  There are endless ways to write those stories, but we humans are all the same […]

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