HomeWriting Resources (Page 9)

By Caitlin Kittredge, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: April 29, 2011

I knew when I set out to write The Iron Thorn that it was an alternate history novel (albeit one set in the 1950s) and that I’d run into language barriers.  Not the type you’re thinking of—but slang, etymology and yes, even swearing.

Somebody asked me recently what I thought of swearing in YA, and my answer was the same as it is for adult fiction—don’t be gratuitous, but when it’s situationally appropriate, then hell yes.  Swear.  Sidestepping so-called “bad words” lessens the impact.  You run into a roadblock though, writing about teenagers in the 1950s.  Pop culture at the time liked to pretend that teenagers didn’t swear (or, except in a few rare cases, smoke, drink or even let the possibility of sex cross their minds.)  I turned to my mother, who was a teenager in the late 1960s, as a primary source, and from there I extrapolated some real language, supplemented by books on 50’s pop culture for slang and references.  That was the easy part.

By Martyn Bedford, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: April 21, 2011

A Visit to the Dentist

One of the most common questions I get asked as a writer, is: “Where do you get your ideas from?” Well, the seed for FLIP was planted in my head more than 40 years ago . . . by a visit to the dentist.

Of course, dentists are always putting things in your head (or, at least, in your mouth) – fillings, braces, pointy tools, cotton swabs, their fingers and so on – but even back in the 1960s you didn’t expect to go for a regular check-up and come away with an idea for a novel.

By Patricia Reilly Giff, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: August 15, 2010

Welcome to stop 6 of Patricia Reilly Giff’s Blog Tour for her new series ZIGZAG KIDS.

What Characters!

Destiny Washington wears her hair up, hmmm, maybe down. Bows on top or over her ears. Green streaks on St. Patrick’s Day.

Mitchell wants to be Number One, instead of Number Eighty-four. He’s hopeful; Nana gave him a Number One tee shirt. And don’t worry; he’s going to be tough! He’s won’t cry, even if a tarantula lands on his head.

By Adam Jay Epstein & Andrew Jacobson, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: August 9, 2010

“Archimedes did it in the bathtub, we do it in the shower”

Andrew Jacobson & Adam Jay Epstein

ADAM JAY EPSTEIN spent his childhood in Great Neck, New York, while ANDREW JACOBSON grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but the two met in a parking garage out in Los Angeles. They have been writing for film and television together ever since. The Familiars  is their first book.

By Mary Hershey, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: August 2, 2010

Did you know that during the month of August, approximately 2,031 marshmallows are flambéed every sixty seconds? Compare that to a mere 17 toasting disasters total during the entire month of February. Rowdy summer campers are responsible for these carcinogenic torches, too impatient to wait for slow toasting needed for the perfect gooey s’mores.

By Jane Yolen for the The Children’s Book Review
Published: January 5, 2009


People are always surprised at how much I write. They think I am constantly inventing. What they don’t seem to notice, though, is that what I am constantly inventing is myself as a writer.

By this I mean it is difficult to pigeonhole me. Am I a picture book writer, a fantasy writer, an historical fiction writer, a poet, a music book writer, a writer of pedagogical books?

Yes. I. Am.