Guest Post: Suzanne Crowley on Finding Inspiration Close to Home

Young Suzanne with her Grandfather Tio
in Uvalde, Texas

By Suzanne Crowley

As writers, we are frequently asked where we draw inspiration from. I think it’s true that everything we write is somewhat autobiographical.

I know I scatter a bit of myself in everything I write – that’s what gives it a soul and makes my stories “sing,” if you will.

In Finding Esme (Greenwillow,

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Hearts Unbroken: Writing Stories “Loosely Inspired By” Your Real Life

On our way out to a high school winter dance.

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

The first in a series of four posts celebrating the Oct. 9 release of my realistic contemporary YA novel, Hearts Unbroken (Candlewick).

My senior year of high school, “Back to the Future” was a hot new release, Duran Duran was ruling the radio waves,

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Guest Post: Carol Coven Grannick: Let’s Make a Plan: Reminders from Early Childhood Education

By Carol Coven Grannick

I walk into a classroom at the extraordinary early childhood center where I work, and watch a teacher kneeling or sitting at the height of one of her two-year-olds, one hand holding his, eyes meeting eyes.

Noah, I can see you’re having a hard time finding a way to play with Ari. Let’s make a plan for how you can do this.

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Guest Post: Carol Coven Grannick on Does Expecting the Worst Make You a Pessimist? Confessions of a Learned Optimist

By Carol Coven Grannick

The endings of so many wonderful stories – our own and others’ – are different than what protagonists imagine they might be.

And our lives hand us some of the same twists and turns.

As writers and illustrators, there are times we must move through more than the usual vicissitudes.

Something may go terribly wrong and leave us feeling like doors are closing,

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Author Interview: Courtney Stevens on Faith in Lit & Life

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today we welcome author Courtney Stevens to discuss her upcoming YA novel, Dress Codes for Small Towns (Harper Teen, August 22, 2017). From the promotional copy:

The year I was seventeen, I had five best friends…and I was in love with all of them for different reasons.


Billie McCaffrey is always starting things.

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Author Interview: Jenn Bishop on Stormy Middle Grade Emotions

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today we welcome author Jenn Bishop to talk about her upcoming middle grade novel, 14 Hollow Road (Alfred A. Knopf, June 13, 2017). From the promotional copy:

The night of the sixth-grade dance is supposed to be perfect for Maddie; she’ll wear her beautiful new dress, she’ll hit the dance floor with her friends, and her crush, Avery,

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Author Interview: Marianna Baer on the Twisty Turns of Becoming a YA Author

By Gayleen Rabakukk

We welcome Marianna Baer to talk about her new YA novel, The Inconceivable Life of Quinn (Amulet, April 2017). From the promotional copy:

Quinn Cutler is sixteen and the daughter of a high-profile Brooklyn politician. 


She’s also pregnant, a crisis made infinitely more shocking by the fact that she has no memory of ever having sex. Continue Reading Author Interview: Marianna Baer on the Twisty Turns of Becoming a YA Author »

Guest Post: Carol Coven Grannick on “Into the Scary for the Sake of Joy”

By Carol Coven Grannick

I’ve been musing about what project I will work on next. Of my numerous ideas, which will take me into the challenging and blissful intellectual, emotional, psychological environment that I’ve been in for more than two years with my middle grade novel in verse, now on submission through my agent?

While I’ve written and revised it many, many times without having the thought of whether or not it would ever be published hovering close to me,

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Guest Post: Carol Coven Grannick on Life, Writing & A Word In Praise of Emotional Safety

By Carol Coven Grannick

This morning I see a child on the early side of toddler, snuggled like a well-placed puzzle piece in his daddy’s arms.

He smiles at me, reaches out with one arm, as if I will be a wonderful new discovery. I reach back…

But, no. The minute I do, he pulls his hand away, squishing himself into the soft corners of a neck,

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Guest Post: David Jacobson on Trusting the Illustrator & the Publishing Process

By David Jacobson

For the last eight years, I have worked for a small Seattle book publisher called Chin Music Press.

I’ve done everything from fact checking and copy editing to developmental- and line-editing, from setting up book tours to reading through the slush pile (a task I actually enjoyed).

But during all that time, my name never appeared on the cover of a book.

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