the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults Author Blog


Posted by Adi Rule on Tue, Oct 07, 2014 @ 08:10 AM

There's a chill in the air, and we are so ready to bring on the spooky stories! Gather round the campfire, friends, because you're not going to want to miss "The Game of Boys and Monsters," a creepy tale from Rachel Wilson that drops today from HarperTeen Impulse! 

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A teeny sneak peek:

“Okay, so here’s the game,” Evy said. “Every guy is either a vampire or a werewolf. Our job is to decide which.”

Less loves her best friend Evy, and she loves Evy's games. But the game Evy's chosen to play with the mysterious Marsh brothers may prove deadly. 

Grab this digital short (and a blanket and flashlight!) today!

Visit Rachel at, and check out our mini post celebrating this year's release of her YA novel, Don't Touch (HarperTeen).

And you can watch the trailer for Don't Touch here!

Topics: young adult, 2014 release, Rachel Wilson, HarperTeen, HarperTeen Impulse

Rachel Wilson and DON'T TOUCH

Posted by Tami Brown on Tue, Sep 02, 2014 @ 16:09 PM


5642209Caddie has a history of magical thinking—of playing games in her head to cope with her surroundings—but it’s never been this bad before.

When her parents split up, don’t touch becomes Caddie’s mantra. Maybe if she keeps from touching another person’s skin, Dad will come home. She knows it doesn’t make sense, but her games have never been logical. Soon, despite Alabama’s humidity, she’s covering every inch of skin and wearing evening gloves to school.

And that’s where things get tricky. Even though Caddie’s the new girl, it’s hard to play off her compulsions as artistic quirks. Friends notice things. Her drama class is all about interacting with her scene partners, especially Peter, who’s auditioning for the role of Hamlet. Caddie desperately wants to play Ophelia, but if she does, she’ll have to touch Peter…and kiss him. Part of Caddie would love nothing more than to kiss Peter—but the other part isn’t sure she’s brave enough to let herself fall.

From rising star Rachel M. Wilson comes a powerful, moving debut novel of the friendship and love that are there for us, if only we’ll let them in.

HOORAY, RACHEL! Don't Touch is at a bookstore near you today!

Topics: young adult, 2014 release, Rachel Wilson, HarperTeen

Illinois Reads VCFA!

Posted by Adi Rule on Mon, May 26, 2014 @ 10:05 AM

chime Serendipity Market 9780061468759 330 winniefinn


Illinois Reads, a project that promotes reading for all ages, has selected its 2014 books, and we're thrilled to see some familiar faces! Huge congratulations to all the fantastic writers and illustrators on this list, with special Launch Pad shout-outs to alums Penny Blubaugh and Carol Brendler and faculty member Franny Billingsley!

Learn more about these books and their creators --

Serendipity Market by Penny Blubaugh 

Chime by Franny Billingsley

Winnie Finn, Worm Farmer by Carol Brendler, illustrated by Ard Hoyt


Topics: Farrar Straus and Giroux, Carol Brendler, Franny Billingsley, HarperTeen, Dial Books, Penny Blubaugh, congratulations

Launch Day for DON'T CALL ME BABY!

Posted by Adi Rule on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 @ 08:04 AM

Congratulations to Gwendolyn Heasley, whose new YA novel Don't Call Me Baby launches today from HarperTeen!

dontcallmebabyHere are the deets:

All my life, I've been known as the girl on that blog.

Do you know what it's like for everyone to think they know you because of what they read on some stupid website? My mother has been writing an incredibly popular, and incredibly embarrassing, blog about me since before I was born. The thing is, I'm fifteen now, and she is still blogging about me. In gruesome detail.

You can read my life as my mom tells it on But this story is my actual life and about what happened when my BFF Sage and I decided to tell the real truth about our lives under a virtual microscope. Thanks for reading . . . Just don't call me Babylicious.

"This surprisingly poignant comedy about teen-parent communication has enough bite to pique the interest of any teenager having trouble interacting meaningfully with her parents." --Kirkus

Check out the trailer here!

Stop by Gwendolyn's website!

Topics: young adult, 2014 release, Gwendolyn Heasley, HarperTeen

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