craft review by Kristi Wright HELLO, UNIVERSE by Erin Entrada Kelly won the John Newbery Medal in 2018, a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children to the author of “the most distinguished contribution to American Literature for children.” On the cover of the book, directly below the HELLO, UNIVERSE title […]

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 Laurel Holman Whether on purpose (planners) or by instinct (pansters), most published novelists have produced stories that conform to a universal story structure. Breaking down a novel into its component parts can be a tremendously valuable exercise for writers still learning the craft and those who are already masters. Save the Cat, […]

craft review by Danielle Sunshine Beetle Boy, by M.G. Leonard, tells the story of Darkus Cuttle, whose father, a former entomologist, has disappeared. As Darkus attempts to find his father, his two new friends, Virginia and Bertolt, assist him. They not only help with his plot to foil his antagonists’ plans and save his father, […]

craft review by Jen Jobart When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was A Wrinkle in Time.  I’m sure many of you can relate–how many of us were inspired to write children’s books by Madeleine L’Engle? And do any of you remember the magic of the movie The NeverEnding Story?  I still […]

craft review by Kristi Wright A MONSTER CALLS, a fantastical tale about a young boy’s struggle to come to terms with his mother’s cancer, was a joy to read, a joy to reread, and a joy to study, even though (or maybe because) I fought tears through much of the book. There’s so much I […]