Category: Blog

Review: Jack Cheng’s MG contemporary See You in the Cosmos 

Review: Jack Cheng’s MG contemporary See You in the Cosmos 

[ 0 ] February 2, 2017 |

You’ll enjoy this middle grade roadtrip story even if you aren’t crazy about the movie Contact, but space fans will especially adore it.

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How Scotland could save civilization

How Scotland could save civilization

[ 0 ] January 19, 2017 |

I write this piece hoping that you can take inspiration from Scotland, as I have — in case you’re despairing of what one individual can possibly do to fight back, as we all head into the darkness of a presidency that should never have been.

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Review: Lisa Thompson’s MG mystery The Goldfish Boy

Review: Lisa Thompson’s MG mystery The Goldfish Boy

[ 0 ] January 17, 2017 |

Confession: this is a review I hadn’t intended to do; I tend to write up only the advance review copy books I get from NetGalley. But on rereading THE GOLDFISH BOY this week with my daughter, it struck me again what a genius work of middle grade fiction it is.

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10 things I learned about writing in 2016

10 things I learned about writing in 2016

[ 10 ] December 26, 2016 |

I’ve just spent my first full year as an agented writer after years of learning how to write children’s fiction. In no particular order, here are my lightbulb moments of the last 12 months: things I’ve realized that have helped me most in my development as a writer this year. Beautiful writing abhors repetition, unless […]

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I pledged allegiance

I pledged allegiance

[ 2 ] November 6, 2016 |

I wrote this poem in advance of the US elections due to my severely broken heart.

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Why kill your darlings?

Why kill your darlings?

[ 4 ] October 24, 2016 |

Few writing tasks are harder for me than rewriting my opening chapter. I end up stuck to my opening lines like a suction cup, afraid to break the book by reimagining how it might open. It’s where I’m least willing to kill my darlings, but I’ve realized why my first chapter, of all places, can’t […]

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When children don’t see themselves in books

When children don’t see themselves in books

[ 0 ] September 14, 2016 |

For anyone who’s noticed — and agrees with — the groundswell of feeling that children’s publishing is overly white and needs to change, this makes startling viewing. The Diversity in Children’s Books 2015 infographic illustrates with painful clarity that not enough children are seeing themselves in the books they read.

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Review: Dave Rudden’s MG fantasy Knights of the Borrowed Dark

Review: Dave Rudden’s MG fantasy Knights of the Borrowed Dark

[ 0 ] July 26, 2016 |

I first heard of Dave Rudden following his intriguing think piece in the Guardian about how society raises boys, and about his own quiet suffering the face of bullying. So when I spotted KNIGHTS OF THE BORROWED DARK on NetGalley, I was extra-interested to read this middle-grade debut, which promised chosen-one adventure and power to the powerless.

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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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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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