Guest Post: Carol Lynch Williams on Writing Craft, Perseverance & Writing Life

By Carol Lynch Williams

I’ve always been a writer.

The first thing I wrote, and produced, was a play. There were two members of the cast (myself and my younger sister), and one member in the audience. My grandmother, Nana.

I don’t think I was much more than seven years old.

Still, I composed a musical score. (I could sing it for you right now.

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Guest Post: Carol Coven Grannick: Submit! The Discovery of My First Year as a Full-Time Writer

By Carol Coven Grannick

One word permeated my first year as a full-time writer: “Submit!” I added an exclamation point because it deserves one. I’ll explain….

On June 3, 2018, I left my retirement job (having previously retired from my private practice as a Clinical Social Worker) at a beloved and extraordinary early childhood center to work for the first time in my life as a full-time writer.

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Guest Post: Avery Fischer Udagawa: Our Children’s Books Put America (and English) First

September is #WorldKidLit Month, a time to notice if world literature is reaching kids in the form of translations.

By Avery Fischer Udagawa

The movie “You’ve Got Mail” recently turned 20, with a New York Times critic noting both its staying power and its “dark commentary on how capitalism absorbs its critiques.” After all, this classic rom-com has the chain bookstore owner Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) woo the indie children’s bookstore owner Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) while putting her indie out of business,

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Guest Post: Janet Wong: Happy New Year! (It’s Time for a Vacation)

By Janet Wong

It’s the start of a new year—the school year—the real new year to many of us.

Are you ready for a vacation already?

If you are a writer, consider this: Sign up this month for a conference, something—anything—having to do with books. Why?

Blogs like this one can be incredibly inspiring and easy to read in the comfort of your kitchen or office,

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Guest Post: Carla Killough McClafferty on Evoking Feelings in Nonfiction

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.

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Guest Post: Barbara Dee on #MeToo Moments for Every Kid in the Room & Maybe He Just Likes You

 

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.

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Guest Post: Author Christina Soontornvat on the Downs (and Eventual Ups) of Making It Past that Debut Year

By Christina Soontornvat

“You’re on fire!”
“Rockstar!”
“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,

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Guest Post: Mary Quattlebaum on Nonfiction, Connections & Environmental Change

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.

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Guest Post: Lisa Papademetriou on Writing Tools

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,

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Guest Post: Nanci Turner Steveson on Writing Mirrors

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,

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