• OhMG! News


    July 11, 2014: Apply for a Thurber House residency!

    Thurber House has a Children’s Writer-in-Residence program for middle-grade authors each year and  guidelines and application form for the 2015 residency were just released.

    This unique residency has been in existence since 2001, offering  an opportunity for authors to have time to work on their writing in a fully furnished apartment, in the historic boyhood home of author and humorist, James Thurber. Deadline is October 31, 2014. For details, go to READ MORE

    July 10, 2014:

    Spread MG books in unexpected places 7/19
    Drop a copy of your own book or of another middle-grade favorite in a public place on July 19 -- and some lucky reader will stumble upon it.
    Ginger Lee Malacko is spearheading this Middle Grade Bookbomb (use the hashtag #mgbookbomb in social media) -- much in the spirit of Operation Teen Book Drop.  Read more ...

June 16, 2014:
Fizz, Boom, Read: Summer reading 2014

Hundreds of public libraries across the U.S. are celebrating reading this summer with  the theme Fizz, Boom, Read! Find out more about this year's collaborative summer reading program and check out suggested booklists and activities. Read more ...

April 30, 2014:
Join the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign and help change the world

The conversation on diversity in children's books has grown beyond book creators and gate keepers to readers and book buyers. What can you do? Take part in the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign May 1 though 3 on Tumblr and Twitter and in whatever creative ways you can help spread the word to take action. Read more ….

April 11, 2014:
Fall 2014 Children's Sneak Peek
A peek at forthcoming middle grade books (as well as picture books and YA books) in a round-up from Publisher's Weekly. First printed in the February 22 issue, but now available online. Time to add to your to-read list. Read more ...

April 9, 2014:
How many Newbery winners have you read?
You could make a traditional list of all the Newbery Medal Award-winning Children's Books you've read, but there's something so satisfying when you check them off and get a final tally on this BuzzFeed quiz. Read more ...

March 28, 2014:
Middle Grade fiction is hot at 2014 Bologna Children's Book Fair

For the second year in a row, publishers are clamoring for middle-grade, reporters Publishers Weekly. "I’ve been coming [to Bologna] for 12 to 15 years, and I’ve never had as many European publishers asking for middle-grade," said Steven Chudney of the Chudney Agency. Read more ...

February 14, 2014:
Cybils Awards announced
Ultra by David Carroll (Scholastic Canada) wins the Cybil for middle grade fiction; Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (Disney Hyperion) wins for Speculative Fiction. Read more.

January 27, 2014: And the Newbery Medal goes to ...
Kate DiCamillo won the Newbery Medal for "Flora & Ulysses"; Rita Williams-Garcia won the Coretta Scott King Author award for "P.S. Be Eleven." Newbery Honor awards to authors Vince Vawter, Amy Timberlake, Kevin Henkes and Holly Black. For all the exciting ALA Youth Media Award News ... READ MORE

November 12, 2013:
Vote in the GoodReads semifinal round

Readers' votes have narrowed the middle-grade semifinals down to 20 titles. Log in to your GoodReads account and vote for your favorite middle-grade (and in other categories, of course). Read more ...

November 9, 2013:
Publishers Weekly Top Children's Books of 2013

Middle-grade and young adult titles selected by the editors of Publishers Weekly as their top picks of the year. Let the season of "top ten books" begin! Read more ...

October 14, 2013:
Middle Shelf: Cool Reads for Kids debuts January 2014

Shelf Media Group, publisher of Shelf Unbound indie book review magazine, will launch a new free digital-only publication for middle-grade readers. The debut issue features interviews with such notable authors as Margaret Peterson Haddix and Chris Grabenstein as well as reviews, excerpts, and more. Middle Shelf will be published bi-monthly beginning in January 2014.
Read more ...

September 19, 2013: Writer-in-Residence program at Thurber House

Dream of time and space to focus on your own writing project? Applications now being accepted (11/1/2013 deadline) for The Thurber House Residency in Children's Literature, a month-long retreat in the furnished third-floor apartment of Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio. Read more ...

September 18, 2013: Vermont College of Fine Arts Scholarship opportunity

Barry Goldblatt Literary launches The Angela Johnson Scholarship, a talent-based grant for writers of color attending the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults program at VCFA. Up to two $5,000 grants will be awarded each year. Read more ....

September 16, 2013:
National Book Awards longlist for youth literature

For the first time, the NBA is presenting lists of 10 books/authors on the longlist in each category. The 2013 young adult literature list includes five middle grade novels and five YA. Read more ...

Sept. 13, 2013: Spring preview
Check out Publishers Weekly roundup of upcoming children's books to be published in spring 2014. Read more...

August 21, 2013:
Want to be a Cybils Award Judge?

Middle grade categories are fiction, speculative fiction, nonfiction. Applications due August 31! Read more ...

August 19, 2013:
S&S and BN reach a deal
Readers will soon be able to find books from Simon & Schuster at Barnes & Noble. The bookstore chain was locked in a disagreement with the publisher over how much it was willing to pay for books. Read more ...

August 6, 2013:
NPR's 100 Must-Reads for Kids
NPR's Backseat Book Club asked listeners to nominate their favorite books for readers ages 9 to 14. More than 2,000 people nominated titles, and a panel of Newbery authors brought the list to 100. Most are middle grade books. Read more ...

July 2, 2013:
Penguin & Random House Merger

The new company, Penguin Random House, will control more than 25 percent of the trade book market in the United States. On Monday, the newly formed company began to take shape, only hours after a middle-of-the-night announcement that the long-planned merger had been completed. Read more ...

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  • NaNoWriMo – Final post and an interview

    NaNoWriMo Logo
    (Note: This is the fifth of a five-part series about NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program.  Click the following links to read Part 1Part 2Part 3, and Part 4 of the series.)
    Happy Thanksgiving to all our Mixed-Up Files readers!

    Even though today is a holiday and our school is closed, my guess is that the NaNoWriMo young authors are busy at home working on their novels. They have only five days left to meet their word count goal. But you know what? I feel safe to say that all of the kids in our group met the goals I had set for them which have nothing to do with word count. They learned that writing a book is hard work, time consuming, fun, and doable.

    Since this will be my last NaNoWriMo update, I wanted to introduce one of our young authors, Sydney. I’ve known Sydney for a few years and I’ve always noticed the way she quietly observes her surroundings, as if she’s taking it all in. Now that I know she’s a writer, I totally get what she’s doing! She’s storing up information to use in her writing!
    I asked Sydney if I could interview her for our blog and she was excited about the opportunity.

    Can you tell us a little bit about your story?
    My novel is about two orphan girls whose parents drop them off to orphanages in the Northeast and they have a wild crazy adventure.  I am planning on making a series of books about Jazmine and Camelion and their many adventures.  Hopefully you will find it amusing.

    I haven’t read any of your book yet, but, yes, I think it sounds very amusing! Do you know what your current word count is? No.  My last count was 4722 words.
    Yay! That’s a lot of words!  Until NaNoWriMo, what was the longest story you’d ever written?
    It was a nine page book of poetry called “Peace Out”, that I wrote in 3rd grade.
    Above is a photo of you with your AlphaSmart on your lap, writing in the library before school started. You always work hard. What motivates you to write?
    My family and knowing that it could be successful.  I like telling a story.
    Do you get support from your family, friends, or teachers?
    Yes!  I get the greatest support from my Mommy.  She motivates me and tells me to keep writing.
    It takes a lot of time to write a book. What kinds of sacrifices have you made in your every day life in order to find time to write?
    I have been giving up some of my TV time and reading time.  This is hard for me because I love to read.
    I’ve seen you on the playground during recess with your little notebook. What are you writing?
    I write my characters down and notes that I need to help me with my story.  I get some of my character traits from my family because they have so many different personalities.  So when I am outside, I am writing notes about character settings and what the character does and roles the character will have in the book.
    Have you thought about being a writer when you grow up?
    So many times!  I want to be a fashion designer, an author and a lawyer.  I love writing because books are so wonderful and interesting.  I love to read books so I want to make something that I love.

    Who are your favorite authors?
    Roald Dahl, Lois Lowry, Christopher Paul Curtis and  Karen Cushman.

    Thanks for answering my questions, Sydney! I look forward to reading your final draft of the adventures of Jazmine and Camelion. I’ll see you at school on Monday.



    1. someone  •  Nov 25, 2010 @2:49 pm

      My mom supports me. I think Sydney’s book sounds really interesting.

    2. Rosanne Parry  •  Nov 25, 2010 @11:58 pm

      Wow Sydney! You’re an inspiration!

    3. Olugbemisola  •  Nov 26, 2010 @2:08 pm

      what a wonderful, inspirational interview. Congratulations, Sydney — you and your book sound wonderful!

    4. Laurie Schneider  •  Nov 26, 2010 @6:35 pm

      “I love to read books so I want to make something that I love.”

      That’s what keeps me writing, too. Thanks to Sydney and Jennifer for a month of inspiration.

    5. Amie Kaufman  •  Nov 26, 2010 @7:36 pm

      How inspiring! Thank you so much for this–us adults had better get moving, make sure we keep up with motivation like this!

    6. Sydney the Writer  •  Nov 27, 2010 @9:34 pm

      Thank you for your comments and encouragement. I hope all of you will read my book when I publish it.

    7. Msjuanita  •  Nov 30, 2010 @3:53 pm

      Wow! That’s all I can say, Sydney…Wow!