Elana K. Arnold

Elana K. Arnold writes books for and about children and teens. Some of her books have been included on the LA Public Library’s Best Books of the Year list, the Bank Street Best Book list, the YALSA “Best Fiction for Young Adults” list, have been ALAN picks and have been selected for inclusion in the Amelia Bloomer Project.

Her novel A BOY CALLED BAT, the first in a series, is a Junior Library Guild selection.

She holds a master’s degree in Creative Writing/Fiction from the University of California, Davis, where she has taught Creative Writing and Adolescent Literature. A parent and educator living in Huntington Beach, California, Elana is a frequent speaker at schools, libraries, and writers’ conferences. She loves to connect with readers and writers of all ages.


How an Idea Becomes a Book: The Life Cycle of a Novel (Ideal for all grades)
Getting a book published feels to many students like an almost magical task. Using one of her own novels as an example, Elana K. Arnold shares with students how an inspiration becomes an idea, how the idea becomes a manuscript, and how a manuscript becomes a book. Students will be encouraged to ask questions and share their own ideas for stories.

Fiction from Personal Experience (Ideal for all grades)
“Write what you know,” teachers say. “But nothing ever happens to me,” students protest. Using examples from her own novels, Elana K. Arnold shares stories from her life and how they have informed her fiction. Her gentle, personable approach will encourage students to see material in their own lives.

Using Figurative Language (Ideal for grades 1-5)
When is a fish not a fish? When it’s a symbol! ElanaK. Arnold, lover of language, will lead students in a discussion of figurative language—the good and the bad. Learn about metaphors, similes, hyperbole, clichés, and more, and see how finding le mot juste can elevate writing and the writing experience.

Plotting with Knuffle Bunny (Ideal for grades 1-8)
Using the clever picture book Knuffle Bunny, Elana K. Arnold explains the basics of plot structure—exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution—in an interactive discussion. Then, Elana guides students in creating a story outline using Freytag’s Pyramid to organize their ideas.

Stories and Doors: Finding a Way Into the Story You Want to Tell (Ideal for grades 6-8)
Using examples from her own book and other recently published books, Elana K. Arnold looks at the “doors” writers use to get into their own stories. Then she will lead students on an exploration into a story of their own.

Outlining: An Art Form (Ideal for grades 9-12)
Figuring out how to tell your story is an important and empowering step in the writing process. Using examples from her own process and other writers’ processes, Elana K. Arnold shares a variety of brainstorming and outlining techniques.


Availability and Honorariums

Please email Sarah Azibo for information and availability