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 […]

craft review by Beth Mitchell The Wild Robot by Peter Brown is a charming tale of a robot who is washed ashore on an island inhabited only by animals. ROZZUM unit 7134, or Roz, is not designed for the wilderness, but she is programmed with survival instincts and the ability to learn. At first, the […]

Craft Review by Lindsay Lackey Rules, glorious rules. If there is one thing writers know well, it’s the rules. Write what you know. Show don’t tell. Start with action. You know the drill. They aren’t all bad, really. Rules are lane markers. They protect us and can even empower us. But rules, as they say, […]

craft review by Jen Jobart The first in the MAGNUS CHASE series, like most of Rick Riordan’s books, has been a huge success.  It has spent months at the top of the New York Times middle grade bestseller list.  Personally, it is my own kids’ favorite book, and I credit Rick Riordan’s books in general […]