Guest Post: Cory Putman Oakes on Writing Spooky Middle Grade Books

By Cory Putman Oakes

My next book, The Second Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street, is coming out from Abrams/Amulet on Aug. 18 and is now available for preorder. To celebrate, I’m taking over Cynsations this week to talk about spooky middle grade!

Today’s post is on craft. I reflect on where I got the initial idea for the The Second Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street and the long road to actually writing it.

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Guest Post: Tom Angleberger on Children’s Literature as a Team Sport

By Tom Angleberger

I’m coming up on the 10th anniversary of Origami Yoda (Amulet, 2010) in a month or two. And it won’t be long until I hit the 20th anniversary of quitting my day job and deciding to really try being an author.

Have I learned anything? Gained any wisdom? Can I impart one piece of advice that I’ve learned?

Yes,

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Guest Post: Kate Messner on The Secrets to Writing Lots of Books, Promoting Them, and Still Having a Life

By Kate Messner

I’ll start this post with a confession. I don’t really have any secrets.

The truth is, when my first novel came out in 2009, I made all of the same overeager mistakes other debut writers make when that first book is released–over-promoting and dragging my wonderfully supportive family to book event after book event for an entire season.

(My daughter was nine then.

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Guest Post: Abigail Hing Wen on Character Development the Brutally Hard Way

By Abigail Hing Wen

After twelve years of writing and hundreds of rejections as I learned to write, I can’t quite believe my first novel is coming out in just eight weeks.

My biggest struggle had always been my characters. I read dozens of character craft books and asked for advice from character gurus like Coe Booth and Sandra Nickel.

Even as a student at Vermont College of Fine Arts,

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Guest Post: Linda Joy Singleton on Critiquing Critique Groups

By Linda Joy Singleton

My First Critique Group

When I was a new young writer, a friend invited me to her critique group. I was told to bring a chapter of my work-in-progress to share. It was a casual group open to many writers. I had no idea what to expect and was so shy that reading in front of a dozen-plus writers terrified me.

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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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