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Q Lindsey Barrett

That’s what you, dear writer, must do. Whether novel, short story, memoir, or essay, all prose openings must seduce your reader to keep reading, an increasingly difficult task in our world of constant distraction. You must make your reader fall in love.

David Hancock

Bobby Alamo’s dead. Just don’t know it yet. No footprints. Hair stopped growing. Sense of taste is gone. He only exhales now. Like he’s got one last breath inside him and needs to dole it out.

Bethany Hegedus

Hunger Mountain editor Bethany Hegedus is the author of Grandfather Gandhi, a new picture book she co-authored with Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. The book, released in March 2014 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, was illustrated by Evan Turk. Here, with an introduction by Matthew Winner, Bethany interviews Evan about his picture book debut.


We asked writers, editors, and educators to remember Walter Dean Myers, the author of more than 100 books, whose profound contributions to children’s literature go well beyond the printed word.

Doug Ramspeck

Hard to tell the birds from their voices
in the darkening field where hemoglobin

clouds drift low to the earth, bleeding
along their underbellies

A.S. King

Sometimes a great opening never becomes a book–even for an award-winning author. A.S. King was kind enough to share this enchanting beginning that never bloomed into a novel.

Table of Contents

David Hancock
Doug Ramspeck
Shelley Girdner
Lisa Rosinsky
Joseph Bruchac
Richard Adams Carey
Diane Lefer
Michael Czyzniejewski
Emma Komlos-Hrobsky
Leah Kaminsky