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JOIN US IN EXPLORING OTHERS' CRAFT AND BUILDING OUR OWN

craft review by Jen Jobart Kids do a lot of growing up from ages 8-12. Books are meant to grow with them and inspire them along their journey. A lot of middle grade books have a protagonist whose character arc moves towards independence over the course of the book. The middle grade novel Bob is […]

craft review by Kat St. Claire Four books we read in our MG Book Group this year got me thinking about how a writer can use science and science facts to launch into fiction, even the fantastic. I’ve divided these four books into two categories. The first category I’ll call, From science facts to science fiction […]

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 […]

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 […]

craft review by Jen Jobart In Chapter 6 of his book The Anatomy of Story, John Truby talks about building a story world that reinforces the story you’re telling.  Jessica Townsend’s book Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow is a great case study for how to do this. Nevermoor is the story of Morrigan Crow, […]

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 […]

compiled by Anne-Marie Strohman Memorial Day was originally meant to honor the fallen soldiers of the Civil War. The day was first widely observed in 1868. While some people today honor all those who have served in the military, it is primarily a remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives in all American wars. On […]

Guest post by Colleen Riordan Middle grade readers are deeply curious about the wider world and fascinated with the creative “what if” possibilities presented by magic. They often want to understand how the magic works, in order to imagine how it might fit into their own worlds. When creating a magical world, it can be […]

craft review by Beth Mitchell First chapters are tricky. The craft books tell us that our first chapter needs to ground the reader in the world of our story. It needs to introduce the protagonist and establish the narrative voice. It needs to sow the seeds of the internal story and the external plot. Above […]