Author Archive: Sheila Averbuch

I live outside Edinburgh, Scotland and write middle-grade adventures (age 9-12) with a science-fiction/fantasy bent. Originally I'm from Boston in the US, where I studied American History & Literature and did arguably too much student theatre at Harvard University. I’m represented by Jennifer Laughran of Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

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Unlocking a tough scene with a clean-slate rewrite

Unlocking a tough scene with a clean-slate rewrite

[ 0 ] June 7, 2016 |

Last week’s revisions were the hardest I’ve faced in a while on my work in progress, a middle grade novel that’s my first full-length fantasy. The scene where the very real world meets the magical just wasn’t working, but thanks to some great reading recommendations from twitter (I especially loved Anne Ursu’s BREADCRUMBS), plus some back-to-the-drawing-board scene […]

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Review: Emma Shevah’s MG comedy Dara Palmer’s Major Drama

Review: Emma Shevah’s MG comedy Dara Palmer’s Major Drama

[ 0 ] May 22, 2016 |

I’m a sucker for theatrical kids, and it was obvious from the start that Dara Palmer, star of Emma Shevah’s DARA PALMER’S MAJOR DRAMA, wouldn’t disappoint. Eleven-year-old Dara is a born star; it’s just that no one around her has recognised this yet. Passed over repeatedly for starring roles in the school play, Dara ever-so-reluctantly joins the director’s after-school acting class at the local theatre and ever-so-gradually learns that she has a lot to learn about this acting thing…which is not, evidently, based around how many faces she can pull.

If you loved Tim Federle’s BETTER NATE THAN EVER books, you’ll love the Dara story, not least because there’s a heavy dose of heart-warming self-discovery as Dara’s eyes open to other things beyond what makes a good actor.

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Review: Martin Stewart’s YA fantasy Riverkeep

Review: Martin Stewart’s YA fantasy Riverkeep

[ 0 ] April 21, 2016 |

I recently joined NetGalley and was thrilled for the chance to read an advance copy of Martin Stewart’s YA fantasy Riverkeep, a river “road trip” tale that put me in mind of so many English literature classics I lost count, but that still managed to steer its own course and be thoroughly itself, and thoroughly unforgettable. […]

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Your story can make a great story

Your story can make a great story

[ 0 ] April 20, 2016 |

I shouldn’t be blogging when this is my only clear morning to work on novel revisions, but yesterday’s twitter pitch contest aimed at increasing the diversity in children’s literature has me thinking thoughts that are crowding out everything else. #DVpit, the brainchild of New York literary agent Beth Phelan, took over twitter yesterday, encouraging writers […]

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Great middle grade reads: review of PAX by Sara Pennypacker

Great middle grade reads: review of PAX by Sara Pennypacker

[ 0 ] April 8, 2016 |

Although I write for middle grade I’m largely catching up on young adult reading at the moment, and amazing YA it is. That’s why I was extra thrilled to come across a middle grade book that really packed an emotional punch: PAX by Sara Pennypacker. I haven’t read a dual voice narrative that works in quite a […]

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Snapchat vlog on manuscript revisions – Week 3

Snapchat vlog on manuscript revisions – Week 3

[ 0 ] February 26, 2016 |

Latest instalment of my revision vlog! This week I’m grappling with rewrites on the first five chapters of my new book. I’m hating how hard it is to write exposition, and loving our weird-cool trip to a plague exhibition in the National Library of Scotland, with a peek at plants used for medicinal purposes.

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Plot, structure, death, death and more death

Plot, structure, death, death and more death

[ 0 ] February 21, 2016 |

I’m fixated on plot and structure at the moment – you may be, too, if you’re a writer tackling revisions on a work in progress or a NaNoWriMo draft from last year.

This year, for the first time, I’m editing a manuscript that I’ve left for a long, long rest. I wrote it more than a year ago. I’ve never let a first draft sit for so long before.

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How I got my agent and what nearly stopped me

How I got my agent and what nearly stopped me

[ 32 ] December 30, 2015 |

I’ve vacillated about whether to record this journey, as it may be the most personal thing I’ve written yet, but all things considered, I think it’s best to capture the story of how I signed with a literary agent, and the fear that almost stopped me.

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My top 2015 contemporary middle grade books

My top 2015 contemporary middle grade books

[ 0 ] December 22, 2015 |

If you’re like me, word of mouth is the most reliable way to find books for your kids and yourself to read. Here’s my video roundup of the best contemporary, realistic middle-grade books (for reading age 9 to 12) that I read during 2015. Not all of them were published during this year, but they were new to me.

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Big Sur Children’s Writing Workshop means a big leap forward

Big Sur Children’s Writing Workshop means a big leap forward

[ 3 ] December 9, 2015 |

Having re-discovered the astounding wonder of a full night’s sleep, I’m determined to catch a few insights from the Big Sur Children’s Writing Workshop I just attended in California, while they’re still fresh. But if you read no further, read this: it’s a workshop you will love if you’re serious about a career in children’s writing.

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