Author Archives: Jennifer Kay

About Jennifer Kay

Jennifer Kay is a KidLit author and Structural Engineer. She has a VCFA MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, is an SCBWI Rockford Network Rep, edits the SCBWI IL Prairie Wind, and belongs to Mystery Writers of America. Jennifer works as a writer, freelance editor, literary agency reader, and creative writing teacher.

Be A Maker

Engineer Jennifer has always been a builder. LEGOs were a right of passage for me – probably for most kids headed for a career in Civil Engineering. Among my peers, there were two schools of thought regarding those LEGO kit … Continue reading

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Social Media for Middle Graders

Recently I’ve noticed an increasing number of authors on Facebook asking what social media 12-year-olds use. Writer Jennifer understands the question. These authors want to keep their writing relevant to modern kids by incorporating the methods of communication being used … Continue reading

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Working As A Reader To Improve My Writing

For the past four months I’ve been sneaking a peak behind the scenes of a New York literary agency. Yes, I was snowed in at my Midwest writing office most of that time. I’ve been working remotely as a middle … Continue reading

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KidLit Nonfiction Beyond Picture Book Biographies

Earlier this month, I hosted an SCBWI Rockford Network guest speaker who really resonated with me. Michael Leali, the Children’s Department Manager for Anderson’s Bookshop in La Grange, presented Beginning at the End: Informing Today’s Writing By Considering the Future … Continue reading

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Finding My Own Inspiration

Last weekend many of my writing friends returned to VCFA for residency. I did not – for the first time in two and a half years. It was harder than I expected to view the social media posts about the … Continue reading

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The Highlights Foundation Magic

Visiting Highlights Foundation for the first time is much like entering an enchanted forest, the leaves dripping with writing magic. Three nonfiction story ideas were born in my little cabin in the woods. Several familiar Illinois and VCFA writer names … Continue reading

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Tapping Into Your Creative Inner Child

This fall author / illustrator Lynda Barry has fueled my creative fire. She generously shares her teaching materials and encourages others to follow along with the UW-Madison courses she teaches by sharing her syllabus, exercises, and homework assignments on Tumblr … Continue reading

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Post-Grad Revelations

Last month I checked a few major writing milestones off my bucket list: 1) Delivered my graduate reading of my young adult science fiction work-in-progress, Eraser. 2) Presented my graduate lecture, Shift That Narrow Trend Line into a Scatter Plot of … Continue reading

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The Open Question

My first revelation of 2018 is that MFA programs have magical time slip powers. I last blogged in September when my third semester at VCFA was just getting started and I had taken on the challenge of writing a pretty … Continue reading

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You Snooze, You Lose

I recently started reading Waking Up White And Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving. This book was recommended during an incredible VCFA WCYA lecture by Tom Birdseye called “Fish Talks Water,” which discussed white privilege and … Continue reading

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