Choosing Your Mentor Text

Image by Evgeni Tcherkasski from Pixaba As any brave explorer would do before embarking on a journey, it’s important for us as children’s writers to choose a reliable flashlight to help us find our way.For writers, our flashlight is a mentor text. What exactly is a mentor text, you may ask? In a nutshell, it’s…

Websites for YA Writers

Compiled by Jean Matthew Hall If you would like to read up on writing for young adults before our September 18, 2021 Master Class with Tessa Emily Hall here are a few helpful website. Some contain quick tips. Some go into much more depth. They are handy resources for you to refer to again and…

Book Review: Social Media for Today’s Writer

Social Media for Today's Writers

Social Media for Today's Writer offers practical advice for building an author platform. Read a full review here.

Book Review: A Book for Writers by Jean Hall

A Review by Jean Matthew Hall of STEERING THE CRAFT: A TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY GUIDE TO SAILING THE SEA OF STORY by Ursula K. LeGuin Dear Writers, If the beauty of language thrills you; If you love weaving words, sounds and silences as they move readers through a story; If you admire and respect the power…

5 Tips for Using Literal and Metaphorical Language, Part V (conclusion): Always Remember Context by Deborah DeCiantis

TIP #5 Use context to recognize, understand, and interpret literal and metaphorical language. Historical, social, cultural, and biblical contexts are essential for understanding literal and metaphorical elements in speech and writing. Accurate understanding should come before interpretation! A cropped photo automatically demands interpretation, zeroing in on details the user wants to emphasize while excluding others. In…

5 Tips for Using and Understanding Literal and Metaphorical Language, Part IV by Deborah DeCiantis

TIP#4 Recognize valid situations where literal and metaphorical meanings co-exist. Statements may have both literal and metaphorical meanings without being ambiguous, equivocal, or contradictory. Acronyms and acrostics, homonyms and antonyms, sound devices like alliteration and rhyme, humor, and even puns, function as literal content and also as helpful memory aids. Today’s icons, emoticons, GIFs, and…

5 Tips for Using and Understanding Literal and Metaphorical Language, Part III by Deborah DeCiantis

  TIP #3 Don’t avoid tough literal situations by referring to them only as metaphors. Taking literal language metaphorically is equally problematic.                         Kids can be masters of metaphor. Ask “Didn’t I tell you not to play in the mud?” and they answer, “We weren’t playing, we were making a snack for the frogs.” One child,…

Reading With My Mom by Emily Babbitt

I’ve been working from home for 21 weeks. This prolonged period of isolation has given me time to reflect on happier times in life: adventures and excitement in college, friendships forged in high school, and time spent reading with my mom as a child. Those were the good days — Mom reading to me and…

9 Tips for Writing Unforgettable Characters by Deborah DeCiantis

According to Elaine Marie Alphin (Creating Characters Kids Will Love p. 2) “Kids read because a magical closeness springs up between them and the characters in books and stories—the same magical closeness I felt as a child. They read because a writer has brought a character to life on the page for them.” Every great…

5 Tips for Using and Understanding Literal and Figurative Language Part I

Tip #1: Use clear definitions and illustrations to distinguish literal from metaphorical. For writers and readers alike, understanding the terms literal and figurative (metaphorical) is essential: what do they actually mean? And how can we distinguish the way language is being used, whether in conversation, on social media, in literature, in advertisements, in business documents,…

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