Guest Post: Michele Weber Hurwitz: Taking a Risk with Narration: Trust Your Instincts

By Michele Weber Hurwitz

When I first read Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan (HarperCollins, 2012), I remember being completely amazed.

A brown bear or a pigeon narrating a picture book are one thing, but a gorilla narrating a meaningful middle grade novel? This was something else entirely. Applegate’s brilliance took my breath away. The spare yet powerful writing as well as the non-human voice was absolutely perfect.

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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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Author Interview: Elizabeth Rusch on Balancing Multiple Projects

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Elizabeth Rusch is an accomplished author who joins us today to discuss her newest picture book and share insight on juggling multiple projects.

Congratulations on Glacier on the Move, illustrated by Alice Brereton (West Margin Press, 2019)! It joins a long list of your other titles that includes both fiction and nonfiction, picture books, and even a middle grade graphic novel.

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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: Deborah Halverson on Viewing Narrative Beats as “Revelatory” Beats in MG/YA Fiction

Deborah Halverson

By Deborah Halverson

We work hard to get to know our characters.

Creating bios, interviewing them, giving them personality tests. One discovery tool often overlooked in this great pursuit are the small actions tucked into the narrative beats.

Narrative beats are those little breathers in dialogue, sometimes filled simply with speaking tags like he said, she said.

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Profiles of Persistence: Lisa Bierman, Meredith Davis, and Jill Donaldson on Committing Long-Term to Children’s Writing

By Carol Coven Grannick

Part One: The Writer’s Heart

Many hard-working, committed, persistent, and resilient writers forge ahead with their writing journeys in spite of obstacles, disappointments, “almost-there” moments and plenty of what I call “Beautiful, buts.”

This two-part interview explores the experience of being a long-time, determined writer who has not yet had a book published.

Writers Lisa Bierman, Meredith Davis,

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Hearts Unbroken: Writing Teen Love, Romance, Passion!

Inspirational HS relationship.

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

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

Let’s talk about teen love, romance, passion!

Which of course means talking about awkwardness, three-dimensionality, and emotional resonance.

My new YA novel, Hearts Unbroken (Candlewick,

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Hearts Unbroken: Writing Well-Rounded Secondary Characters

Writing is rewriting.

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

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

We’re all the heroes of our own stories.

The same is true of our fictional friends and foes.

In responding to my new YA novel, Hearts Unbroken,

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Hearts Unbroken: Writing (Sort Of) Timeless Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Learn more about Cynthia Leitich Smith.

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

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

We’re all living in the past, present and future.

Perhaps that’s never so true as on the page.

My 2018 YA novel, Hearts Unbroken,

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Guest Post: N.H. Senzai on Writing About War for Middle Grade & Escape From Aleppo

By N.H. Senzai

The reason I love writing for the middle grade audience is because at this age kids can still suspend belief and journey with you through a story as long as you create believable plots, authentic characters and dialogue that rings true.

However, you need to hook them in quickly, so my first goal is to create a story that “reels them in.”

Once they’ve signed on to follow your protagonist,

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