Saturday, November 25th, 2017

What’s your biggest question about writing children’s books?

Happy New Year! As a children’s author, editor and writing coach, I spend a lot of  time talking about writing and/or publishing books for children and young adults. I feel so blessed to do the work I do, and to belong to such a warm, supportive and buoyant community of fellow readers, writers and children’s […]

Backstory Basics

Backstory can be essential to understanding a character and his/her journey. It can deepen conflict, reveal motivation and elicit sympathy for a hero or secondary character. But… Nothing can kill pacing faster than an info-dump of backstory, especially in the first half of a novel.  So when and how best to include it? Here are 5 […]

Is it YA or Adult Fiction?

You’re writing a story with a teenage protagonist but very sophisticated themes and content… is it categorized as adult fiction, or young adult (YA)? You’re writing a sci-fi fantasy with two protagonists – an adult and a child.  Is it YA or adult fiction? You’re writing a graphic novel with a 20-year old hero. Adult […]

Beginnings

What does it take to draw in today’s young reader and persuade them to keep reading? Last week, in the children’s lit class I’m teaching at Stony Brook Southampton, we looked closely at the beginnings of middle grade and YA novels.  I made a list of important elements for my grad students… but I’d love to hear […]

Beach Writes – The Southampton Childrens Literature Conference

“If you’re dreaming of becoming the next J. K. Rowling, we’ve got the perfect place for you—the Southampton Children’s Literature Conference!” So said School Library Journal last year after Rocco Staino paid a visit to the Stony Brook Southampton campus to observe the Conference in action. As Director of the Conference, I am delighted to […]