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    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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  • Author Interview with Erin E. Moulton

    Learning Differences

    Today we would like to welcome one of our Mixed Up Authors, Erin E. Moulton, to the blog to celebrate her debut book FLUTTER: The Story of Four Sisters and One Incredible Journey. We will also be giving away a copy of FLUTTER and a gift box of maple goodies in honor of our protagonist, Maple T. Rittle.


    TO WIN? Leave a comment in the comments section below and our random generator will choose a lucky winner on Saturday, May 21st.  You’ll get extra entries for sharing a link on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or if you click the ‘Follow this blog’ button in Networked Blogs on the lower right side of our site.

    ***Please mention each link in a new comment so the generator will add your extra entries.  Winners must live in the US or Canada.  Good luck!

    The Synopsis: Big things are about the happen at Maple’s house. Mama’s going to have a baby, which means now there will be four Rittle sisters instead of just three. But when baby Lily is  born too early and can’t come home from the hospital, Maple knows it’s up to her to save her sister. So she and Dawn, armed with a map and some leftover dinner, head off down a river and up a mountain to find the Wise Woman who can grant miracles. Now it’s not only Lily’s survival that they have to worry about, but also their own. The dangers that Maple and Dawn encounter on their journey makes them realize a thing or two about miracles-and about each other.

     

    How did you come up with the idea for your book?

    Flutter came to me in fits and starts.  It wasn’t just that I had an idea of writing a story about kids who go looking for a miracle for their little sister who is born prematurely. The truth is, that was one of the last things I thought of in the process of creating this story.  I was at VC when I was working on this and the story began during my second semester working with Ellen Howard.  Ellen had asked me to focus on something I knew about that was close to me, something that would show what I knew about life.  I was, I think, 22 or 23 at the time, had just completed college and was striking out into the real world.  I knew I missed home and I knew I missed my sisters, my family and the mountain.  So I focused on the thoughts and feelings around that and then the adventurous plot fell into place.

    At what age did you decide you wanted to write?

    I wrote a lot all through my childhood and my adolescence.  In 2nd grade I wrote a book with my friend Kim.  It was called The Two Orphans.  In 4th grade, I remember my friend Sam and I wrote a long story about all of our classmates getting killed off in the desert.  I had a bad habit of putting my friends in stories and then adding the drama.  My teachers were patient and understanding, but looking back on them, I am somewhat horrified.  In 5th and 6th grade I wrote many stories, and read a lot.  Mr. Alligator was my teacher for those years.  He was one of the best teachers I ever had because he was a huge advocate of imagination and literature. Later on, in high school, I focused more on the teen angst and poetry.  I have lots and lots of embarrassing diary entries from this period of my life and also some great vignettes and short pieces done in Ms. Stahl’s class.  The thing is, I knew I loved writing, but I didn’t think I could make much of a living out of it, so I followed my second passion.  Being a lighting designer for the theater.  Yes, you heard me right.  I abandoned being a writer for a career in the theater.  What? Note to self, don’t swap out one art for another.  Might as well just barrel on through the best you can with the original plan.  Regardless, I suppose it worked out for the best.  I went to Emerson to pursue my degree in theater and during my junior or senior year I decided I needed to take a writing class to get a few extra credits.  Being in those classes and doing workshops with the writing, literature and publishing crew woke me right up.  Shortly after, I applied to VCFA and started writing in earnest.

    What kinds of books did you like to read when you were a kid?

    All kinds. I loved adventure. I loved day to day stuff. I loved poetry.  I even went through a period in sixth grade where I read a bunch of Chaucer, and later sought out the works in their old English versions. And I also loved Shakespeare.  There was something about the way it sounded.  I didn’t have to understand everything that was going on, the beauty of the words, the way they had rhythm like music, was enough to keep me occupied for hours.  But I also loved books that kids today will recognize, such as, A Murder for Her Majesty by Beth Hilgartner, The Giver by Lois Lowry and  Lyddie by Katherine Paterson.

    How many hours a day/week do you write?

    I usually average about an hour and a half/day during weekdays and about 8 to 9 hours/day on the weekends.  When I am on deadline it is a lot more!  Also, I work full time, so the weekend hours would be considerably less if I had weekdays to focus on it!

    Can you share some of the things your main character loves that aren’t mentioned in the book?

    Maple loves lots of things.  She is a very loving character, as are all the Rittles.  Let’s see, she loves warm sunlight, and tea with two teaspoons of sugar.  She likes catching frogs and salamanders and bugs of all sorts.  She also likes to eat raspberries straight off the bush after a light rainfall.  She loves dipping her feet in streams and reading her sister’s diary.  She loves stealing all the chocolates out of the advent calendar and watching a few tv shows snuggled on the couch with her sisters. She also loves a good thunderstorm.

    What are you currently working on?

    My next novel, currently titled The Lanternlight Dreamers, is in the revision process for publication in 2012 from Philomel/Penguin.  I can’t give away too much, but I will tell you it is about a girl named Indie Lee Chickory, a boy named Owen Stone, a summer of adventure, mistakes, top secret tree forts and theater.

    Thanks so much for coming over to the mixed up files today!

    Erin E. Moulton graduated with an MFA in Writing for Children from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of Flutter: The Story of Four Sisters and One Incredible Journey, published on May 12th! Erin is co-founder of the Kinship Writers Association and when she is not writing she works at Springboard After School with lots of silly kids and a bearded dragon named Puff.  Erin lives in Southern New H ampshire with her husband and puppy where she writes, reads, drinks tea and dreams.  You can visit her online at www.erinemoulton.com or on Facebook as Erin E. Moulton (Author)

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