Julie Berry's Blog

July 2, 2015

Last March, I guest-blogged for the State Library of Victoria, Australia's groovy blog for YA readers: InsideADog.com. Over the course of the month I wrote eight posts about writing. Enough time has passed that I should repost them here, with links to the original. Enjoy!

Where in the World is Julie Berry? 
"Why do we do this? Do you have the same crazy appetite that I do to chuck three-dimensional, ultra high-definition reality for the hazy murk of a fictive world? To disappear...
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Published on July 02, 2015 13:46 • 9 views

February 22, 2015

When I was a young (so very young!) bride-to-be, the women at my church threw me a bridal shower. Among the dishes, towels, and utensils I received from this coven of kind and knowing women was a gift that did not seem to fit--a slim, beige volume of poetry: Sabbaths by Wendell Berry, published in 1987 by North Point Press, San Francisco. The friend who gave the gift was undoubtedly making a little joke about what my name would be when I married Phil Berry. I confess that at the time I didn't...
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Published on February 22, 2015 23:55 • 108 views

November 13, 2014

Here’s an overdue bulletin of all that’s been happening with me lately (and why I’ve been so behind in my blogging!). 1.     This year we managed an epic cross-country move from suburban Boston to suburban Los Angeles. And all in a relatively short time, to, from final decision to final arrival. It’s been a somewhat harrowing adventure, including home renovations, yard sales, getting rid of tons of stuff, packing, unloading vehicles, buying new vehicles, flying family plus cats...
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Published on November 13, 2014 11:22 • 95 views

May 5, 2014

Last weekend was the New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conference in Springfield, MA. I attended on Friday and Saturday, and gave a presentation Saturday afternoon with my editor from Viking Children's Books, Kendra Levin.

I attended my first such conference in 2006 in Nashua, NH. Since then the conference has outgrown one venue after another. I remember that first conference vividly. I had signed up for a critique for the first ten pages of the very first...
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Published on May 05, 2014 08:29 • 134 views

December 23, 2013

These books were gifts for nieces and nephews, ranging from 3-12, and I’ve already given them, so there’s no harm now in me sharing my choices here. Last-minute shoppers, if you’re hitting your bookstore and looking for ideas for great reads, you might want to look for these. (And what, I ask, is the purpose of school vacation, if not to read read read?) 
Use the links under each title to see if your nearby indie has them in stock. If not, you can order them. 
Picture books Monstergart...
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Published on December 23, 2013 06:05 • 96 views

December 16, 2013

1. It’s shiny.2. The cover has Christmas colors.3. Mistletoe is romantic. So is the book. 4. Sprinkle it with seeds and water, and it becomes a ChiaBook. 5. Before you wrap it, you can read it. She’ll never know unless you spill nacho crumbs.6. It helps digest Christmas dinner. Flop on the couch with book and Tums.7. “Crumbs” rhymes with “Tums.”
If you tweet a photo of your new book (at the store! coming out of the package!) and tell where you got it, I will mail you a signed bookplate, po...
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Published on December 16, 2013 18:59 • 58 views

November 22, 2013

A few years ago I attended Kate Messner’s Swinger of Birches writing retreat on Lake Champlain for the first time. Many authors I met there have become writer pals for life. One who leaped out at me (figuratively! Ahem.) was Sarah Albee. Smart, funny, clever, talented, and kind could describe every writer there, but there was something so cool about Sarah. (Don’t you want to hang out with the author of Poop Happened ? I do!) She’s a rockstar writer, a jock, a scholar, a fascinating blogger, a...
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Published on November 22, 2013 08:00 • 64 views

November 4, 2013

            Since 2010, I’ve visited Chenery Middle School in Belmont, MA every year to give author presentations and creative writing workshops to the fifth grade. Belmont rolls out the red carpet for authors! I love the enthusiasm I find there in the teachers, in the administration, in the library, and in the kids.
Over the summer of 2012, Chenery library media specialist Karen Duff proposed we try something different. We met at Starbucks and she outlined for me...
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Published on November 04, 2013 04:21 • 80 views

August 27, 2013

Hannah Barnaby, acclaimed author of Wonder Show (2012, Houghton) was my first graduate school writing mentor. She slogged with me through the jungle of the first novel I ever wrote, one which will never see the light of day, and never once told me to sharpen my skills at my day job. I owe her hugely.
Hannah recently participated in The Next Big Thing Blog Tour, which started in Australia and is now looping its way from blog to blog around the cosmos. She tapped me in her blog post as her NEXT...
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Published on August 27, 2013 20:30 • 147 views

August 9, 2013

What do picture book The Day the Crayons Quit and middle grade novel Counting by 7s have in common? Absolutely nothing.

Except that they’re both published by Penguin, and that I got to hobnob with illustrator Oliver Jeffers (of Crayons fame) and author Holly Goldberg Sloan (7s) at a promotional dinner at ALA in Chicago. They were witty; they sparkled; between courses, they had the audience in stitches.
Look at Oliver. This should surprise no one. 

Doesn't Holly look like your best friend s...
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Published on August 09, 2013 18:15 • 69 views