Thursday, September 19th, 2019

To Prologue or Not to Prologue?

Many middle grade and YA authors debate whether or not to include a prologue when beginning their manuscripts. Prologues are sections of story that precede the first chapter, similar to an introduction, but their sequencing in relationship to the following chapter(s) is not necessarily chronological. Often structured as a flash forward or flash back, a […]

The Series Series, Part 4: Continuity

Despite scrupulous editing, some of the most successful series of all time feature notable inconsistencies.  For example, in Eragon, book one of Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle, the character of Murtagh has brown hair – but in Eldest and Brisingr, he has black hair.  J.K. Rowling is the first to admit to the many discrepancies in […]


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 […]

And the Oscar Goes To… Children’s Lit!

Say what you will about the ceremony itself (I actually found it to be refreshingly tender and dignified, for the most part), Sunday night’s Academy Awards were a tribute to Oscar’s own medium – the history, customs, elders, and influence of cinema.  From the retro popcorn girls in the aisles and the live band in […]

Shout-Outs, Giveaways and Reciprocity

One of the things I love best about being a member of the children’s lit industry is the spirit of community with which we support one another. Unlike many other businesses, almost everyone who writes, illustrates, edits, publishes, markets, sells or otherwise works with children’s books puts their love of kids and reading first. This […]

The KidLit Blogosphere

The KidLit Blogosphere is a formidable force in the children’s book industry, and an important one to become familiar with.  Essentially, it is comprised of ‘bloggers’ – that is, people writing regularly in blog form on their websites – who devote their content exclusively to children’s literature. Their posts might encompass book reviews, industry trends, […]