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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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  • A chat with Michele Corriel

    Learning Differences
    Please welcome Michele Corriel, author of Fairview Felines!
    Thomas Weston has newspaper ink in his veins. Not only that but he also has funny headlines running through his brain 24/7. If he can convince the principal at Fairview Middle School he has what it takes, maybe, just maybe, he’ll be able to make his dream of a school newspaper come true. But first he has to figure out why all the cats in Fairview are vanishing!
    Many readers will identify with Thomas’ determination to be a good journalist, despite not being a star student. Tell us about a time when you succeeded against the odds.

    Sometimes I feel like everything I do is against the odds! When I wanted to go college my parents wouldn’t co-sign my student loan. So instead of going straight to school I got a job and then traveled around Europe for a couple of years. By the time I was ready to go back to college I decided I’d try for every scholarship I could find. I sent out 72 letters to different private funding sources and one answered. They paid for my almost all of my tuition for the next four years.

    I loved reading about the small newspaper office where Thomas helps his mother, the editor. How do you think journalism is changing in the electronic era?

    This one is almost a spoiler! The third book in the series deals with Thomas and a blogger. Seriously, I think there is a danger with people mixing up blogs with news. Anyone can write anything online, but in a newspaper article there has to be at least three sources for a story.

    The immediacy of electronic media also seems to be somewhat addicting. By that I mean people want news and they want it now. Headlines matter. But it may not be the whole story – and some people don’t seem to care about the more in-depth, investigative stories.

    You have a background in nonfiction. What inspired you to write Fairview Felines: A Newspaper Mystery?

    People always say to write what you know. And I know newspapers. Actually I love newspapers. I’m a total news junky. Since I’d worked at a newspaper just like The County Journal I’d always thought it would make a perfect setting for a mystery.

    I don’t think there are enough mysteries for middle-grade readers. What are the unique challenges when it comes to writing a good mystery?

    First of all you need to write it backwards. Not literally, that would be very hard! But you need to know who dunnit before you write the first chapter. This way you can work in all the “red herrings” as you develop the story lines and the characters. Which brings me the next challenge of writing a mystery – you can’t make it obvious or no one will read the book to the end.

    Can you recommend other good mysteries for fans of Fairview Felines?

    Really, almost all good books have some kind of mystery in them. My favorites? Holes, by Louis Sacher; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Mark Haddon; Funerals and Fly Fishing, by Mary Bartek; Chasing Vermeer, by Blue Balliet; The Sammy Keyes mysteries by Wendelin Van Draanen; and of course all the Sherlock Holmes books!

    Finally, I loved all the funny headlines sprinkled throughout the novel. Will you write a few headlines to describe:

     Your writing process:

    WRITER DANGLES BY THE SEAT OF HER PANTS TRYING TO TIE UP ENDING.

    Your work space:

    ARCHELOGIST DISCOVERS NOTES AND A DOZEN ‘TO-DO’ LISTS ON AUTHOR’S DESK DURING HISTORICAL DIG.

    Your favorite food:

    INDIAN RESTAURANT RUNS OUT OF TANDORI CHICKEN, NAAN, AND CHUTNEY WHENEVER AUTHOR VISITS.

    Your cats:

    POLICE CALLED FOR MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT RUCKUS; CATS CHASE TOILET PAPER ALL OVER HOME

     Your favorite hobby:

    WOMAN GETS INTO WORLD BOOK OF RECORDS FOR HOLE IN ONE WHILE STANDING IN TREE POSE AND READING A BOOK.

    Michele Corriel lives in Montana, where she writes and herds cats on a daily basis. She is also the author of Weird Rocks, a non-fiction picture picture book about the strange and wonderful world of rocks. To read more about Michele see her website www.michelecorriel.com

     

    Please leave a comment to win a copy of Michele Corriel’s novel Fairview Felines 

    Sydney Salter writes best with a cat or two napping on her desk. www.sydneysalter.com

     

     

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