The theme of this book is that nothing is perfect, but this book is a Liar McLiar, because this book is perfect.
This is a wise little tome of fairy-fuckery in the guise of a wasp nest. It’s a magical story, and a kind one, and a giant in few words. I wish I had had it to give to my wry and unsentimental 11 year old anxious OCD-ridden self, but I’m very glad that I had it to give my wry and unsentimental 11 year old anxious OCD-ridden daughter. My favorite novel back then was The Fairy Rebel by Lynn Reid Banks; THE NEST grew from similar DNA.
[two photos of many students between 2nd-5th grade and one author, all holding signs that say WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS]
“Here are a 2 photos taken this week at 2 different author events. The first one was with 2nd graders (who spent the afternoon with Andrea Beatty) and the second one was with 4th and 5th graders (the author pictured in the large group photo is Canadian author, Kenneth Oppel).
An Open Book Foundation is a children’s literacy organization committed to promoting literacy amongst disadvantaged youth throughout the Washington, DC area. We do this by bringing authors and illustrators into schools for writing/reading/art workshops. After each event all participating students are given a copy of the author’s book and have the opportunity to get their book signed. It is often the first new book that many of these children have ever received. We see the need for diverse books on a daily basis. Students are hungry for them, teachers are always asking us for suggestions, and librarians are desperate to get them on their school library shelves…diverse books go way beyond being just a "nice” thing for the kids we serve, they are an important necessity. Thank you for starting this campaign!“
Ok can someone please tell me where I can find the other pieces of art that used to be on the official Silverwing website a billion years ago? For the longest time, after they were taken down, I thought I somehow imagined them and they never actually existed. Happily, I recently found that I saved at least one of them and I’m relieved to know my mind isn’t making things up… But did anyone bother saving the others before they got blasted off the internet? They were so dang cute…
“I wanted to kiss her some more. I don’t know why, for there could be no less suitable time. Maybe it was pure relief that we were alive and away from the pirates. Maybe it was jealousy, because she and Bruce had seemed to get along so well. Mostly it was just because I wanted to, had wanted to for days."
You might have noticed, but we do love a good retelling (or a re-imagining. Or an adaptation), so today - for our last YA Author Fest readalike list - we’ve merged our book list to make it two for one! Whether you like a fairy tale or a classic story, we have you covered.
How about more familiar tales? Try these new fantasy versions of old stories, then meet and greet Carey, Lorie, and Edith at the YA Author Fest on July 26 - they’ll be talking writing fantasy fiction and world building!
Happy Birthday, Kenneth Oppel, born 31 August 1967
For me the hard part of writing isn’t coming up with ideas – it’s shaping and developing an idea into a good story. I find writing very hard work, and I write and rewrite my stories many times before I’m happy with them. I think inspiration is a small part of the writing process; perseverance is equally, if not more, important!
When I was a kid, I wanted to be an architect – and I think there are some interesting similarities betweem architecture and writiing – the kind of writing I do, especially, which is heavily structured, and often takes the reader on a journey through a number of physical environment.
First I write an outline of the story, then a first draft, which might take up to six months. Then I try to take a break so I get a fresh perspective on the story when I come back to rewrite and revise. This takes several months. I find that rewriting is when the book gets really interesting – I understand the story and the characters much better the second time around!
If you want to become a writer, write. Write a diary, keep a notebook of your ideas, and write whatever it is you love to write: poems, or short stories, or longer works of fiction or non fiction.
Write about the things you love. That’s what I did when I was a teen. I wrote science fiction stories (a lot like Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and other movies I loved); I wrote fantasy stories (like Dungeons andf Dragons, or Lord of the Rings), and I wrote a story about a kid addicted to video games (like me) – and that became my first published book, just as I was leaving high school.
When you write something, get as much feedback as you can. Parents, teachers, trusted friends. Every bit of intelligent criticism is valuable to you. Submit your work to student magazines and contests.
Always read as much as you can, because that will help you learn what kind of things you like to write best – and you can learn techniques from your favourite writers. What makes something scary, or sad, or exciting, or funny.
Don’t be discouraged if you have to rewrite a story many times. The biggest part of being a successful writer is rewriting, and having the discipline to stick with a story until it’s as good as it can be!
In the end, the people who really have the passion and skill for writing will write – because there’s nothing else they’d rather do.
Oppel is a Canadian writer. He was written 27 books, which include the Silverwing and Airborn series.