By Carla Killough McClafferty
I love true stories about people, which is why I write biographies. While I include names, places, events, dates, and accomplishments, I want them to be a natural part of the story.
Equally important to me is that I craft the text so that readers will feel something about the person I’m writing about. I don’t tell them what to feel. I trust that readers will supply their own emotions.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Carla Killough McClafferty on Evoking Feelings in Nonfiction »
By Barbara Dee
These days educators agree that there’s no such thing as a “boy book” or a “girl book.” All kids, whatever their gender identity—male, female or nonbinary—should have access to every book on the shelf, no matter the color scheme of the cover or where the main character falls on the gender spectrum.
But here’s something I passionately believe: We still need middle grade books about what it means to be a girl in our culture.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Barbara Dee on #MeToo Moments for Every Kid in the Room & Maybe He Just Likes You »
By Christina Soontornvat
“You’re on fire!”
“You’re killing it!”
Those are the types of comments that came across my social media feed last fall as I posted screenshots of my most recent book deal announcements.
Due to publishing’s funky and unpredictable timing, I had back-to-back announcements two weeks in a row: one for my middle grade nonfiction about the Thai Cave Rescue and another for my new chapter book series,
Continue Reading Guest Post: Author Christina Soontornvat on the Downs (and Eventual Ups) of Making It Past that Debut Year »
By Mary Quattlebaum
At a recent book event, a little boy was nonplussed to discover that humans are animals, too.
“You mean, me?” he asked incredulously. “I’m an animal?”
Yup, welcome to the family!
I loved doing the research for Brother, Sister, Me and You (National Geographic, 2019), especially since this nonfiction picture book was inspired by my own tumble-bumble pack of three sisters and three brothers.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Mary Quattlebaum on Nonfiction, Connections & Environmental Change »
By Lisa Papademetriou
What are we to make of the knowledge that we share DNA with a banana?
No, I’m not kidding. All life on earth evolved from a single-celled common ancestor—our genes and banana genes are over 60 percent identical.
I love thinking about this because stories are the same. The cellular structure that underlies the vast majority of fiction is descended from an ancient ancestor,
Continue Reading Guest Post: Lisa Papademetriou on Writing Tools »
By Nanci Turner Steveson
My third middle grade novel, Lizzie Flying Solo (HarperCollins, 2019), came out a few weeks ago. It took me 13 years to get that book just right.
It was the manuscript my agent signed me for in 2010, but back in the heyday of Harry Potter [by J.K. Rowling, 1997-2007] and all things commercial,
Continue Reading Guest Post: Nanci Turner Steveson on Writing Mirrors »
By Cori McCarthy & Amy Rose Capetta
Hello dear readers (and, in many cases, writers)!
Amy Rose and I are here today to interview each other in celebration and—let’s be honest—promotion of our debut coauthored YA novel Once & Future (Jimmy Patterson, 2019), a genderbent King Arthur retelling in space, which is out now from Little, Brown.
We’re blessed to be doing a lot of interviews this release season,
Continue Reading Guest Post: Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy Share Craft & Career Insights »
By Erin E. Moulton
In 2015, I had an idea for an anthology. It would be a collection written by sexual violence survivors for teen readers.
It would be part documentary, part creative content, part informational resource. That anthology was published in March 2018 and was called Things We Haven’t Said: Sexual Violence Survivors Speak Out (Zest Books, 2018).
It came out strong,
Continue Reading Guest Post: Erin E. Moulton on an Anthology Proposal Crash Course »
By Diane Telgen
Fans of young-adult short stories may have noticed the anthology format making a comeback in recent years. But other outlets for original YA fiction, like magazines and websites, are few and far between—especially if they pay their writers. The options can be even more limited for new voices trying to break into the market.
Enter Foreshadow: A Serial YA Anthology,
Continue Reading Guest Post: Diane Telgen on Stories of Foreshadow: A Serial YA Anthology »
By Yvonne Pearson
In a stroke of good fortune, I published my first trade picture book with a regional publisher—Minnesota Historical Society Press (MNHS).
I had attended a gathering of our local Picture Book Salon to hear MNHS’ Managing Editor Shannon Pennefeather talk about the press’ relatively new focus on publishing children’s books. They had begun that effort in 2010 and continued to look for stories with a Minnesota slant.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Yvonne Pearson on Publishing with Historical Society Presses »