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Creating Books

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

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 […]

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 […]