​About Rebecca Petruck


Rebecca Petruck's debut Steering Toward Normal is an American Booksellers Association New Voices selection, a Kids Indie Next List title, and an ABC Best Books for Children. Vanity Fair's Hollywood dubbed it a "book we'd like to see made into a film," the L.A. Times included Steering Toward Normal in its Summer Books Preview, Christian Science Monitor named it one of 25 Best New Middle Grade Novels, and it is part of the International Reading Association's list "Books Can Be a Tool of Peace.” The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books gave it a starred review. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing, Fiction, from UNC Wilmington. www.rebeccapetruck.com

You'll see a little of Rebecca's teaching style in this article: Let the Main Character Drive the Bus!


What You Will Learn

In today’s competitive market, a manuscript must be compelling, demonstrate deep knowledge of the category, and be of highest quality in order to attract an editor. This course will teach you how to dig deep into what your novel is truly about with specific exercises designed to bypass the superficial ideas and get to the heart of story. Further lessons will help you create main and secondary characters readers will feel passionate about; structure your plot to build maximum tension; practice the craft of writing itself; and coach you on how to write to the end. It’s a lot of ground to cover in one month, but fun lessons, practical exercises that apply to your own writing, forum discussions with your peers, and weekly webinars will keep your energy high as you craft your kidlit novel. We'll wrap up the course with a discussion of today's kidlit market and where we think your projects might fit into it. 


Kami shares humor techniques at SCBWI Carolinas. 

Rebecca leading a plotting workshop in Charleston SC. She'll share some of those amazing techniques here too. 

Our Goals:

  • To help create or reinforce a strong foundation for you novel.
  • To give you the tools to create the best plot, characters, and format possible.
  • To help you discern where your novel fits into today's market.
  • To give you focus and direction so by the end of our course you will have a clearer understanding of how to accomplish your goals.



Who Should Take This Class: One Bite at a Time is a tool for writers of all levels. Beginning writers will learn fundamentals to build on for all future writing. More experienced writers will practice skills, discover new ones that “shortcut” some of the gestation period, and have the time to focus intently on their current projects. You will also have a chance to share your pitch and get feedback on marketability. Each class will provide many opportunities to get what one specifically needs from Kami, Rebecca, and peers.  


About Kami Kinard


Kami Kinard's first career was in education. An award winning public educator, she continues to teach writing courses for children and adults through conference workshops, continuing education courses, and her work as a teaching artist. Kinard's first novel, The Boy Project (Notes and Observations of Kara McAllister), debuted from Scholastic in 2012 and was chosen for the 2013 The Children's Choices Reading List,  a project supported by the International Reading Association and the Children's Book Council. Her second novel The Boy Problem (Notes and Predictions of Tabitha Reddy) was published in April 2014. Kinard's other fiction, nonfiction and poetry has been published in some of the world's best children's magazines. She holds an MAT in English education. www.kamikinard.com  


For a glimpse at Kami's teaching style, check out this article she wrote for Writer's Digest: Empowered by Embarrassment

One Bite at a Time: How Writing a Novel is Like Eating a T-Rex and Other Things That Bite Back

With Children’s Authors Kami Kinard and Rebecca Petruck


The idea of writing an entire novel can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be when you learn how to move in stages. Children’s authors Kami Kinard and Rebecca Petruck break down the elements of solid novel writing, beginning with the hook and on through pitch, character development, plot structure, and practical tools for writing through to the end. Though the focus will be on middle grade and young adult writing, the tools are useful for anyone who wants to complete a publishable work. 

If you'd like to receive information about our future courses including the next time Crafting the Kidlit Novel will be offered, please join our mailing list.

Kidlit Writing Scho​ol

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How the course is structured:


  • Classes will be posted daily Mondays-Fridays during the four weeks of the course. They will remain online for four months (until February 28, 2015) so participants can work at their own pace.
  • A weekly webinar will address topics covered in class. Webinars will also provide an opportunity for personal feedback from the instructors. They will be recorded and available for participants to access for four months after the completion of the course.
  • Students will be able to interact with the instructors and each other via an organized, private message board hosted just for students. This will be an excellent resource to form critique groups, freely ask questions, and support each other as you launch into your novel project.




Crafting the Kidlit Novel 

THIS COURSE IS NOW CLOSED