word craft



Avi, photo by Kate Milford

Summer Blog Series: Avi

In which I answer the three ques­tions I’ve sent on to 13 admired mid­dle grade authors for my Sum­mer Blog Series. Stay tuned each Tues­day for sug­ges­tions from a new author.

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Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson

Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum

Trea­sure Island, by Robert Louis Steven­son, first pub­lished seri­al­ly under the title, The Sea Cook, has enor­mous­ly impact­ed me since I first read it as an adolescent.

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peach-colored rose, Abhishek Gaurav

Words, words, words

Shake­speare was an extra­or­di­nary inven­tor of new words, words that entered the main­stream of our vocab­u­lary so that we use them today as a mat­ter of course.

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The Secret School

Series and Sequels

It’s not unusu­al for me to get a note from a read­er ask­ing me to extend the life—if you will—of a char­ac­ter in one of my nov­els or sto­ries with a new tale.

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A Letter from the Editor

One of the stan­dard forms of com­mu­ni­ca­tion between a writer and pub­lish­er is the edi­to­r­i­al let­ter. It works this way: 

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The Phantom of the Opera and Rereading

In which I mar­vel at the num­ber of times Phans have attend­ed The Phan­tom of the Opera and re-read books such as Har­ry Pot­ter, Pride and Prej­u­dice, and The True Con­fes­sions of Char­lotte Doyle. Let’s com­pile a list of books worth re-reading.

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The Canterbury Tales


One of the more intri­cate ques­tions a writer of his­tor­i­cal fic­tion must deal with is lan­guage. Eng­lish, which has the largest vocab­u­lary of any of the world’s lan­guages, is con­stant­ly evolving …

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