Fantasy World Building – Today on The Winged Pen

Master Your Craft - Fantasy World Building with The Winged Pen



Fantasy world building is something I get a little obsessed over. Whether it’s analyzing the way the screen writers played with Greek mythology in Wonder Woman or looking up all the amazing mythology references in Harry Potter, I’m fascinated by the way creators bring the stories that came before them into their work.

So today, I’m over at The Winged Pen with my pal Gabrielle Byrne talking about our very different approaches to building fantasy worlds in fiction as part of the Master Your Craft series. You can read about my other craft posts here.

Additional Resources for Fantasy World Building

Here are some additional resources to help with your fantasy world building:

Guess who’s the new Regional Advisor for SCBWI WWA?

SCBWI Western Washington Yes, it’s true, this month I’m stepping up to be the co Regional Advisor for SCBWI’s Western Washington chapter. I’m so excited to step into this role alongside my amazing co-RA, Holly Huckeba. We’re already planning amazing things and are very lucky to have an amazing Advisory Committee working with us to continue to offer this large, vibrant chapter professional programming, support, and fun.

A Month of Blogging!

May certainly turned out to be a month of blogging for me! Today, I’m interviewing fellow Mixed-Up Files contributor Annabelle Fisher about her new middle grade, Pixie Piper and the Matter of the Batter. Check it out for a chance to win a two-book giveaway!

Earlier in the month, I wrote a couple of posts on writing craft including how to use a long-form messy synopsis as part of your pre-writing process as well as posts on using humor to lighten up tough middle-grade topics and my Pantser’s Guide to Character Development.

But it’s also the start of gardening season here in the Pacific Northwest, so I hope once you’re reading my posts from a hammock in the sunshine or some other outdoor locale. This summer is likely to be a quiet one for me in terms of blogging as we will be traveling quite a bit, but look for some news related to SCBWI WWA and Pitch Wars in the coming weeks!

Today’s Craft Post Two-For-One

Sometimes blog posts written days or weeks apart just happen to go live on the same day. Such was the case today! I blogged about how some of my favorite authors use humor to lighten up tough topics in middle grade at From the Mixed Up Files. AND I submitted my first contribution to The Winged Pen’s Master Your Craft series, a post on using three of my favorite craft books to make sure your plot arc and character arc are working together in your story.

Both of these topics are on my mind as I dive into revisions on one middle-grade story and wrap up a second one. So, as is often the case, the time spent away from them working on these blog posts was not wasted. I hope you enjoy them, and that you share them.


Check Out My Story on Quite the Query

The query letter for my middle-grade novel, The Elephant Tree, was featured on Amy Trueblood’s Quite the Query this week. Most writers agree that writing a succinct summary of an entire book in a one-page query letter is hard work. Whole blogs (my favorite of course being Query Shark!) are devoted to the fine art of writing queries that will catch an agent’s eye. But the thing I love about Quite the Query is that it shares real queries that landed an offer of representation.

And if you’d like to read more about my journey to signing with the lovely Jennie Dunham of Dunham Lit, check out my “Getting the Call” story on The Winged Pen.

Thanks for having me, Amy! And if you’re currently in the query trenches, hang in there. I know how tough it is (did you see the part where I queried FOUR manuscripts before I got an agent). Don’t lose hope. If you keep doing the work, you’ll find your way!

I’m a Mentor Twice Over!

TeenPit a mentor program for teen writersPitch Wars - A mentor opportunity for writers



I’ve been lucky to have many mentors–teachers, friends, other writers–guide me on my writing journey. So I’m always delighted when I can give back to the writing community in some way. That’s why I’m so excited to announce that I will be a mentor for both TeenPit and Pitch Wars this year. I’m particularly thrilled about TeenPit because helping kids goes right back to the heart of why I write in the first place. Best of luck to everyone who enters these two amazing contests–I can’t wait to meet my mentees and give them the same love and support that I have received over the years.

Getting the Call


At the very end of September, I got the email I’d been dreaming of since I first started querying in July of 2014. The next day, I had The Call. In October, I signed with Jennie Dunham of Dunham Lit and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Read all about The Call on The Winged Pen as I talk with my pal Kristi Wientge about all the juicy details.

Lord Licorice – A spooky Halloween story for children

Spaceports & SpidersilkA couple of years ago, I wrote a spooky Halloween children’s story for my daughter and her friends as part of a Halloween slumber party. Now, I’m pleased to announce that it appears in the July 2016 issue of Spaceports & Spidersilk on Smashwords. It’s a fun little lower-middle grade adventure about girls who wake up in a land made of candy and have to battle evil Lord Licorice and foil his plans to build a licorice army. Check it out!