Behind the Scenes: “Using Placeholder Words and Stanzas until the Lightbulb Moment” by Debra Shumaker

I absolutely loved Debra Shumaker’s book, FREAKY, FUNKY FISH, so when I learned of her new one, PECULIAR PRIMATES, I invited Debra back in hopes she might share something about it. Her topic in this post is valuable not only for authors, but educators, too! I get stalled way too easily and frequently on imperfect … More Behind the Scenes: “Using Placeholder Words and Stanzas until the Lightbulb Moment” by Debra Shumaker

Especially for Educators: “Using Picture Books to Create a Classroom Museum” by Laura Perdew

As a teacher, I always loved classroom projects like this! Thank you, Laura Perdew for sharing this terrific activity for educators and your brand new Biome Explorers series! AND thank you for offering a GIVEAWAY of a complete set of the BIOME EXPLORERS series! Just leave a comment below for a chance to win! (And … More Especially for Educators: “Using Picture Books to Create a Classroom Museum” by Laura Perdew

Mining for Heart: “The Heart Can Surprise You” by Jeanette Bradley

So many of us have manuscripts in a “drawer”—waiting for a block to clear or a better ending or a new take. I love hearing about the rare occasions when the lightning strikes and the manuscript emerges from doom with a revelation that transforms it. Here Jeanette Bradley shares how a manuscript became more than … More Mining for Heart: “The Heart Can Surprise You” by Jeanette Bradley

Behind the Scenes: “Find the Spark that Ignites Your Story” by Kristen Nordstrom

Though we often hear the phrase, “write what you know,” a good many of us are drawn to topics and ideas that we don’t know about, by a natural urge to know more. And kids are, too! I can totally identify with author Kristen Nordstrom’s experience. In this post, Kristen shares how she turned a … More Behind the Scenes: “Find the Spark that Ignites Your Story” by Kristen Nordstrom

Especially for Educators: “Nonfiction Mentor Texts for the Classroom” by Annette Whipple

In the classroom, I found that mentor sentences and mentor texts provided opportunities for student writers to amaze themselves and tackle many forms of writing with confidence. Now, as an author, I analyze mentor texts for my own learning. Thank you, Annette Whipple for this post for educators on using your nonfiction series in the … More Especially for Educators: “Nonfiction Mentor Texts for the Classroom” by Annette Whipple

Especially for Educators: “Climb Aboard the Yellow Submarine: A Study in Research and Activism” by Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw

Here’s a great story of the birth of MIGHTY MAHI from Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw, a story that sprang from project-based learning with excited and engaged  students. Authors will enjoy learning about the genesis of the book, and educators will surely find inspiration for their own classrooms. While Suzanne wrote the book as a result of … More Especially for Educators: “Climb Aboard the Yellow Submarine: A Study in Research and Activism” by Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw

Mining for Heart: “Finding the Manuscript’s Mission” by Elisa Boxer

Welcome, Elisa Boxer, and thank you for this wonderful post with another way of viewing the HEART of a story!  Giveaway! Elisa is offering a signed copy of one of her books—your choice! Just leave a comment below for a chance to win! Congratulations to Donna Gwinnell Lambo-Weidner, winner of FRANZ’S PHANTASMAGORICAL MACHINE from my … More Mining for Heart: “Finding the Manuscript’s Mission” by Elisa Boxer

Behind the Scenes: “Building Franz’s Phantasmagorical Machine”

This post is another in my author’s journey. Though my initial attraction to Franz Gsellmann’s story came from the child within, and the writing brought more layers of connection, as I reflect back on it now, I’ve found something deeper.  To celebrate the release of FRANZ’S PHANTASMAGORICAL MACHINE, we’ve got a GIVEAWAY! Just leave a … More Behind the Scenes: “Building Franz’s Phantasmagorical Machine”

Behind the Scenes: “One Research Dive, Two Books” by Meeg Pincus

Who doesn’t love a 2-for-1 deal?! If you’re really lucky, the solution to your story idea that results in “too much information” just might be two books! Kid lit writer Meeg Pincus was paying attention and, in solving her manuscript problem, found two “solutions”! And we have a GIVEAWAY! Just leave a comment below for … More Behind the Scenes: “One Research Dive, Two Books” by Meeg Pincus

Mining for Heart: “Making Learning Real in Traditional Expository Nonfiction” by Julie Danneberg

Writing expository nonfiction has its own challenges, and finding “heart” may be one of them. Julie Danneberg shares her approach to this genre and how she brings it home to middle grade readers. Her post might send you directly to your closet! Don’t miss Julie’s GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment below for a chance to win … More Mining for Heart: “Making Learning Real in Traditional Expository Nonfiction” by Julie Danneberg