Author Snapshot: Marie Cruz

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Marie Cruz is the debut author of Everlasting Nora (Tor/Forge, 2018).

From whom have you received creative feedback–critique groups/partners, writing teachers, expert/sensitivity readers, family and friends, editor and/or agent?

Over the last 15 years, I’ve received feedback from pretty much all of the above! But I must say that critique partners are the best.

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Guest Post: Harold Underdown on Line Editing

Harold Underdown

By Harold Underdown

Eileen Robinson and I have been teaching about revision for several years now through our partnership, Kid’s Book Revisions.

Until recently, we hadn’t taught about line-editing–it seemed too complicated, too messy, for a workshop approach–but we thinking we’ve figured out how to do it. I’d like to tell you why you should learn about line-editing,

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Interview: Author Christine Marciniak & Editor Madeline Smoot on Once Upon a Princess

By Gayleen Rabakukk

The popularity of the recent royal wedding illustrates society’s continued fascination with monarchies. 

A new middle grade novel, Once Upon A Princess by Christine Marciniak (CBAY, 2018) offers a twist on familiar tropes. From the promotional copy:

After a coup in her country, Her Royal Highness, Fredericka Elisabetta Teresa von Boden don Morh (or Fritzi to her friends),

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New Voice: JoAnne Stewart Wetzel on Playing Juliet

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

JoAnne Stewart Wetzel is the first-time novelist of Playing Juliet (Sky Pony, 2015). From the promotional copy:

Beth Sondquist, 12 1/2, secretly dreams of playing William Shakespeare’s Juliet. 

When she learns the children’s theatre in her town is threatened with closure, she and her best friend, Zandy Russell, do everything they can to save it. 

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New Voice: Hannah West on Kingdom of Ash and Briars

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Hannah West is the first-time author of Kingdom of Ash and Briars (Holiday House, 2016). From the promotional copy:

Building on homages to Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jane Austen’s Emma and the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Hannah West makes a spectacular and wholly original debut.


Bristal, a sixteen-year-old kitchen maid,

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New Voice: Melanie Conklin on Counting Thyme

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Melanie Conklin is the first-time author of
Counting Thyme (Putnam, 2016). From the promotional copy:

When eleven-year-old Thyme Owen’s little brother, Val, is accepted into a new cancer drug trial, it’s just the second chance that he needs. But it also means the Owens family has to move to New York, thousands of miles away from Thyme’s best friend and everything she knows and loves. 

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Guest Post: Tamara Ellis Smith on Another Kind of Hurricane

By Tamara Ellis Smith

Space. Not up, as in the final frontier, but between, as in the distance between you and me.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that kind of space lately, and I’ve been especially curious about what can happen inside of it. What I’ve come to believe is that anything can happen—and everything.

I learned this through the process of writing my debut middle grade novel,

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New Voice: Melissa Gorzelanczyk on Arrows

On Twitter? Follow @MelissaGorzela.

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Melissa Gorzelanczyk is the first-time author of Arrows (Delacorte, 2016). From the promotional copy:

People don’t understand love.


If they did, they’d get why dance prodigy Karma Clark just can’t say goodbye to her boyfriend, Danny. 

No matter what he says or does or how he hurts her,

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New Voice: Christine Hayes on Mothman’s Curse

Mothman Selfie Sheet

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Christine Hayes is the first-time author of Mothman’s Curse, illustrated by James K. Hindle (Roaring Brook, 2015). From the promotional copy:

Josie may live in the most haunted town in America, but the only strange thing she ever sees is the parade of oddball customers that comes through her family’s auction house each week. 

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New Voice: Cindy L. Rodriguez on When Reason Breaks

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Cindy L. Rodriguez is the first-time author of When Reason Breaks (Bloomsbury, 2015). From the promotional copy:

A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. 

Emily Delgado appears to be a smart, sweet girl, with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her,

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