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Creating Books

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

“Garth Williams: Illustrator of the Century” exhibit

Through July 31st, 2018, the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, Maine, is hosting the children’s book exhibit “Garth Williams: Illustrator of the Century.” Curated by none other than children’s literature scholar (and Friend of The Horn Book) Leonard S. Marcus, the exhibit is “by far the largest Garth Williams retrospective ever assembled,” with over one […]

The Best Book I Ever Read

By Ann Durell This speech should probably be called the Patchwork Principle. I have been fretting about it for what seems a year, undergoing a whole range of anxiety from vaguely uneasy to acutely apprehensive, because I wasn’t assigned a topic. Without a topic, I gnaw and discard ideas, rather like my Siamese cat with […]

Ann Durell (1931-2018)

Renowned editor and publisher Ann Durell died May 6, 2018, in New York City. She was eighty-seven. She entered the children’s book field in the 1950s, first as an apprentice and secretary at Doubleday, then taking over as head of the Junior Literary Guild, then moving to Holt, Rinehart and Winston as a children’s book […]

The Writer’s Page: The Un-Hero’s Journey

My very first author presentation was in a library branch in my hometown, the Allen County Public Library’s Pontiac Branch in Fort Wayne, Indiana. My first book, The Rock and the River, had just come out and I was eager to get some experience in front of an audience. The library had a regular group […]

#NESCBWI18 recap

The 2018 New England SCBWI annual conference — with the theme “Dream. Explore. Create.” — was held in Springfield, MA, April 20th–22nd.  I’ve attended this conference most years since 2008, and was aware of some welcome new measures: attendees are now required to read the SCBWI anti-harassment policy before registering, and the (always large and […]

An Interview with Regina Hayes

A lifelong bookworm and unapologetic generalist, Regina Hayes, who led Viking Children’s Books from 1982 to 2012, has worked widely across genres in a career marked by intense curiosity; quiet, persistent daring; and a firm grasp of the world in which young people live. Hayes has also brought a refreshing spirit of irreverence to a […]

“How Does Jane Yolen Write a Book?”

Author and poet Lesléa Newman wrote the following appreciation (with apologies to the How Do Dinosaurs? series) in honor of her friend and colleague Jane Yolen’s 365th book — a remarkable achievement. And what better time than Women’s History Month to celebrate it? For more from The Horn Book on Women’s History Month, click the […]

The Writer’s Page: Fighting the Lost Cause

In 2004, when I took my first journey through the Deep South since growing up in Lexington, Virginia, I couldn’t stop noticing all the Confederate statues. My childhood schoolbooks had led me to believe I’d grown up in a uniquely historic community that had been justifiably filled with monuments. But, decades later, I discovered that […]

To Inform and Delight: The Elements of Story — The Zena Sutherland Lecture

Salutations! I am honored to be here with all of you. I never met Zena Sutherland, but she’s been described as “short and feisty,” and I like short and feisty women, especially, as in Zena’s case, ones with passion and panache. When Zena was offered the job to become editor and sole reviewer for the […]

A Quick Way to Die: Humor in Translation

by Julia Marshall For humor to work, someone has to find it funny. There are many ways to kill a book, and trying to be funny and failing would be one of the quicker yet most painful. And that includes translated books. At Gecko Press here in Wellington, we handpick children’s books by some of […]