Posts about writing for children


Cover of What if Soldiers Fought with Pillows by Heather Camlot

Cantastic Authorpalooza: Heather Camlot

“Where do your ideas come from?” That’s the question I get asked most from children and adults alike. The simplest answer is, from my life. Don’t misunderstand, I don’t have a wild and crazy life full of intrigue and adventure. ... Read More  

Ann Eriksson in Cedar Flats

STEMinism Sunday: Biologist, Novelist, and Children’s Nonfiction Writer Ann Eriksson

Welcome to STEMinism Sunday! As a former woman in science, I have a deep and enduring interest in the experiences and representation of women in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). This series will be an opportunity for ... Read More  

The boreal forest is a vast and vital wilderness that is worth protecting.

How Can We Preserve The Boreal Forest?

Last week we talked about some of the reasons that the boreal forest matters - not just to those of us who live there, but to the entire world. This week, I wanted to draw your attention to some ... Read More  

In addition to providing habitat for plants and animals, the boreal forest supports people's cultural, spiritual, and aesthetic needs.

What Is a Forest For?

When I was writing The Boreal Forest, one of my goals was to shine some light on ecological processes - by showing how a forest works, I could hopefully show what a forest is for... by which I mean, ... Read More  

The Canada lynx is one of the few cat species to call the boreal forest home.

How Do You End a Book, Anyway?

This is the original draft of the final scene in The Boreal Forest: Snow falls from a flat grey sky. It hisses in the steam that rises from a hotspring. A snowshoe hare laps at the warm water. She nibbles ... Read More  

Squirrels are familiar denizens of both North American and Eurasian boreal forests, building hordes on both continents.

Hoards: Not Just for Dragons Anymore

Pages 34-35 of The Boreal Forest show boreal birds migrating south for the winter. That scene originally included this snippet, showing a different winter survival strategy: Red squirrels fill their winter pantries. One hauls a mushroom up a pine, wedging ... Read More  

book cover of Zebi's Dream by Farida Mirza

Cantastic Authorpalooza: Farida Mirza

Welcome to Cantastic Authorpalooza, featuring posts by and about great Canadian children's writers! Today's guest: Farida Mizra. Take it away, Farida! My memories of growing up in pre-digital South East Asia are rich with images of living in extended families, ... Read More  

To stay warm in a boreal winter, North American martens grow thick fur - even on the pads of their feet!

Evolution of a Scene: Revision and The Boreal Forest

Today, on Forest Friday, we're going to take a deeper dive behind the scenes into the process of revision. I'm going to share every draft of the first scene in The Boreal Forest (pages 8-9), and explain how the ... Read More  

Scientists think that white and black fur might serve as a high-contrast warning, rather than camouflage.

The Appalachian Extension: Spotted Skunks in the Southern Boreal

The boreal forest is generally considered a northern forest, because boreal species, like pines and birch and rhododendrons, thrive in cooler climates. But cool climates are also found at high altitudes, so boreal forests extend into mountain ranges along ... Read More  

Northern flickers have the longest tongues of any woodpecker in the boreal forest.

Deleted Scenes – Of Flickers and Fire

Sunbeams dance in a birch grove, sparkling off the morning dew. Rat-a-tat-a-tat! A northern flicker drums on a burned stump, then flutters to the soil. It pecks and scratches, licking up ants with its long tongue. In a puddle ... Read More  

One of Josée Bisaillon's illustrations for The Boreal Forest, by L. E. Carmichael, created in her signature mixed media collage/watercolour style

The Partnership Between Author and Illustrator

My previous books cover a wide range of age groups and topics, but they all have one thing in common: they are illustrated with photographs. The Boreal Forest was the first book I've ever written that has illustrations instead. ... Read More  

Because their breeding grounds in the boreal forest are protected, the whooping crane population has increased from less than 20 to more than 400.

Four Days Until the Forest!

I will be doing an online reading from The Boreal Forest TODAY as part of the #KCPSpringReading Relay. The video will go live on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at 2:30 EST, but when it's over, it's gone. Don't ... Read More  

Lake Myvatn, in Iceland's boreal forest, is famous for flies! In summer, up to 50,000 fly larvae swarm in every square metre of lake bed.

Iceland’s Boreal Forest: Birds, Bugs, and… Vikings?

Here's a sidebar that I'd originally planned to include on pages 20-21: Iceland's Lake Myvatn is famous—for flies! In summer, up to 50,000 fly larvae hide in every 1 m2 (1.2 y2) of lake bed. Many birds eat these larvae, ... Read More  

Loons are a beautiful, iconic bird of The Boreal Forest. They are also fiercely territorial and a little scary!

Loons: Beautiful, Iconic, and Kind of Badass

Next week is March Break, and if you live near Peterborough and have kids that need entertaining.... why not let ME do it? I'm offering two programs on March 19, one of which is special sneak peak at The ... Read More  

When writing her new children's science book, The Boreal Forest, author L. E. Carmichael consulted 238 sources and three types of subject-matter experts.

Forest Fridays: Researching The Boreal Forest

How did I research The Boreal Forest? I read 238 books, scientific articles, and websites, adding up to untold thousands of pages of research (I didn't actually count). I took 72,400 words of notes (those I did count, or ... Read More  

shoreline by Jean Mills

Cantastic Authorpalooza: Jean Mills

Warning, readers: I’m not a science writer. But like any scientist, I do incorporate research findings (of a sort) into my stories. Here’s one example that’s especially true of my most recent YA novel, Larkin on the Shore. When stories ... Read More  

Teach Write: Age Groups and Audience in Children’s Literature

This will be our final column on audience (at least for now). So buckle up for a crash course on age levels in children's literature! First, a caveat: the categories I'm presenting here are not absolute. Different people use different ... Read More  

cover of How Emily Saved the Bridge, by Frieda Wishinsky

Cantastic Authorpalooza: Frieda Wishinsky

A poet and illustrator once said to me, “Why don’t you stick to one kind of writing? You’re all over the place. You should write one kind of book and brand yourself.” It’s true. I write in many genres— picture ... Read More  


1