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Creating Books

Writing a book for young people? Look here for information, advice, and inspiration.

Review of The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults

The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults by Cheryl B. Klein Norton    368 pp. 9/16    Paper ed.  978-0-393-29224-4    $18.95 Editor Klein has revised her earlier self-published book Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults, weaving the content of that […]

“How an Idea Becomes a Children’s Book” panel recap

Most people who love books are aware of at least some of the jobs that go into creating them. Authors, certainly. Editors, probably. But how much do people know about production editors, designers, or publicists? There are lots of things you can do in the publishing industry. Our goal this Saturday at the CBC Teen […]

Fashion-Forward Vampires and the Power of Humor in Genre Fiction

Mostly, my social interactions start out something like this: Them: Oh hello, what is it you do? Self: I’m a writer. Them: That’s cool, what do you write? Self: Commercial genre fiction. You know, science fiction, fantasy, romance, young adult. *Pause.* Self: It’s mostly funny. So. Hello. My name is Gail Carriger. I’m an author. […]

#NESCBWI17 recap

The New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (NESCBWI) Annual Conference is a place to get re-inspired, a place to gain new insights and apply familiar ones to new projects, to encourage friends’ work. And this year, as the conference theme put it, it was a place to “Expand & Diversify Your Portfolio.” […]

“Say Something Funny”

I went on a date in high school once where I barely knew the guy. In those dinosaur days you couldn’t Google someone, so instead I asked everyone what they knew about this person. Apparently, he did the same. Over dinner my date said, “Everyone says you’re funny. Say something funny.” “I don’t know any […]

When Google Translate Gives You Arroz con Mango: Erroneous Español and the Need for #ownvoices

I recently had a Twitter conversation with three writer and librarian colleagues, two of whom are native Spanish speakers, about the use of Spanish in primarily English-language children’s books. The conversation started after one of us wrote about finding incorrect Spanish in a book. Each of us chimed in, able to produce at least one […]

Foreign Correspondence: An Interview with Deborah Ahenkorah: Torchbearer for African Children’s Publishing

I first became aware of Deborah Ahenkorah a few years ago when I was prospecting the internet for groups working to address diversity issues in children’s publishing. Ahenkorah is the cofounder and executive director of Golden Baobab, the groundbreaking pan-African social enterprise behind the Golden Baobab Prizes for African children’s literature. Golden Baobab not only […]

Emerson’s “Diversity in Children’s and YA Publishing” panel

Last week, Martha and I attended an excellent panel on “Diversity in Children’s and Young Adult Publishing,” hosted by Emerson College’s Writing, Literature, and Publishing program. Panelists were Lesléa Newman (author of Heather Has Two Mommies, October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard, and many, many others); Vicky Smith, Kirkus‘s children’s and teen editor; and […]

How I Discovered Young Adult Poetry – The Zena Sutherland Lecture

A couple of weeks ago, at a dinner with several poets, one of them said, “You’re lucky, Marilyn: you know how to write poems for the young adult audience.” I laughed and told him he was entirely wrong. I have absolutely no idea how to write for the young adult audience. I just write what […]

Foreign Correspondence: Translator: Trafficking Between Cultures

Translation has often been compared to the building of a bridge. The text originates from within one culture and has to arrive safely in another. A translator acts as travel guide across that bridge, helping the book to find its audience and success in a new land. Yes, some luggage may get lost along the […]