Bringing Your Middle Grade Characters to Life

A PSB Writing Center Zoom Webinar with Karen Pokras
 Tuesday, August 17 from 1pm to 2:30 pm 

Every story comes down to your main character. This webinar will cover developing the middle grade character for readers up to age 13 in a context of more than just writing dialogue and narrative. It encompasses idea generation, finding your character’s voice, using character to develop plot, writing dialogue and narrative, and developing relationships between sub-characters. Brainstorming exercises will be part of this class.

$25 registration fee. To register or for more information, please contact Cindy Louden at 267-421-6203 or clouden@pearlsbuck.org.


Karen Pokras is a daisy lover, cat wrangler, and occasional baker. She has been writing for children for over ten years, winning several indie literary awards for her middle grade works.

Karen has appeared numerous times as a panel speaker for Philadelphia Stories’ annual Push to Publish conference on topics related to marketing and writing for children and has spoken at various other workshops for children and writers in the Philadelphia area. Karen is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and is a writing contest judge at NYC Midnight.

Karen’s newest middle grade story, The Backyard Secrets of Danny Wexler (Lerner/Kar-Ben) hits the shelves in November. For more information, visit karenpokras.com.

Writing to Heal with John DeDakis

Writing to Heal with John DeDakis
Pearl S. Buck Writing Center Zoom webinar
Monday, July 12, from 7 to 9 p.m.

All of us have — or will — experience the loss of a loved one.  In my case, in addition to the expected deaths of grandparents and parents, I’ve witnessed a car-train collision that killed three people, lost my sister to suicide, and endured the death of my youngest son because of an accidental heroin overdose.

Even though death is a part of life, it need not be crippling or debilitating. In this session, we’ll look at strategies — including journaling and writing — to help you move forward, through, and beyond the pain and into a future that can once again be filled with hope — and even joy.

$50 registration fee (A Zoom link will be sent to registrants prior to webinar.)

To register or for more information, please contact Cindy Louden at 267-421-6203 or clouden@pearlsbuck.org.


Writing coach, and award-winning author, John DeDakis is a former CNN Senior Copy Editor for the Emmy and Peabody-Award winning news program “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.

He is the author of four mystery/suspense novels — Fast Track, Bluff, Troubled Water, and Bullet in the Chamber. The books provide a behind-the-scenes look at real-world journalism.

In addition to book signings and readings, DeDakis travels nationally to speak on the topic “From Journalist to Novelist: (Or How I Learned to Start Making it Up).”

DeDakis can serve as a one-on-one writing coach, leader of a day-long workshop for aspiring writers, or as editor of book-length manuscripts. Contact him through www.johndedakis.com.