• From the Mixed-Up Files... > Authors > The New “For Writers” Page Has Arrived!
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    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 ...

    March 28, 2013: Big at Bologna

     This year at the Bologna Children's Book Fair, the focus has shifted to middle-grade.  “A lot of foreign publishers are cutting back on YA and are looking for middle-grade,” said agent Laura Langlie, according to Publisher's Weekly.  Lighly illustrated or stand-alone contemporary middle-grade fiction is getting the most attention.  Read more...


    March 10, 2013: Marching to New Titles

    Check out these titles releasing in March...


    March 5, 2013: Catch the BEA Buzz

    Titles for BEA's Editor Buzz panels have been announced.  The middle-grade titles selected are:

    A Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson

    Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

    The Fantastic Family Whipple by Matthew Ward

    Nick and Tesla's High-Voltages Danger Lab by Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

    The Tie Fetch by Amy Herrick

    For more Buzz books in other categories,


    February 20, 2013: Lunching at the MG Roundtable 

    Earlier this month, MG authors Jeanne Birdsall, Rebecca Stead, and N.D. Wilson shared insight about writing for the middle grades at an informal luncheon with librarians held in conjunction with the New York Public Library's Children's Literary Salon "Middle Grade: Surviving the Onslaught."

    Read about their thoughts...


    February 10, 2013: New Books to Love

    Check out these new titles releasing in February...


    January 28, 2013: Ivan Tops List of Winners

    The American Library Association today honored the best of the best from 2012, announcing the winners of the Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz awards, along with a host of other prestigious youth media awards, at their annual winter meeting in Seattle.

    The Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature went to The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Honor books were: Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz; Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin; and Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage.

    The Coretta Scott King Book Award went to Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney.

    The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award,which honors an author for his or her long-standing contributions to children’s literature, was presented to Katherine Paterson.

    The Pura Belpre Author Award, which honors a Latino author, went to Benjamin Alire Saenz for his novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, which was also named a Printz Honor book and won the Stonewall Book Award for its portrayal of the GLBT experience.

    For a complete list of winners…


    January 22, 2013: Biography Wins Sydney Taylor

    Louise Borden's His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg, a verse biography of the Swedish humanitarian, has won the Sydney Taylor Award in the middle-grade category. The award is given annually to books of the highest literary merit that highlight the Jewish experience. Aimee Lurie, chair of the awards committee, writes, "Louise Borden's well-researched biography will, without a doubt, inspire children to perform acts of kindness and speak out against oppression."

    For more...


    January 17, 2013: Erdrich Wins Second O'Dell

    Louise Erdrich is recipient of the 2013 Scott O'Dell Award for her historical novel Chickadee, the fourth book in herBirchbark House series. Roger Sutton,Horn Book editor and chair of the awards committee, says of Chickadee,"The book has humor and suspense (and disarmingly simple pencil illustrations by the author), providing a picture of 1860s Anishinabe life that is never didactic or exotic and is briskly detailed with the kind of information young readers enjoy." Erdrich also won the O'Dell Award in 2006 for The Game of Silence, the second book in theBirchbark series. 

    For more...


    January 15, 2013: After the Call

    Past Newbery winners Jack Gantos, Clare Vanderpool, Neil Gaiman, Rebecca Stead, and Laura Amy Schlitz talk about how winning the Newbery changed (or didn't change) their lives in this piece from Publishers Weekly...


    January 2, 2013: On the Big Screen

    One of our Mixed-up Files members may be headed to the movies! Jennifer Nielsen's fantasy adventure novel The False Prince is being adapted for Paramount Pictures by Bryan Cogman, story editor for HBO's Game of Thrones. For more...


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The New “For Writers” Page Has Arrived!

Authors, Writing MG Books

In 2009 I completed a young adult paranormal romance.  During those long days and nights of writing, revising, editing and rewriting, I learned one thing: the internet and blogosphere were filled with incredible resources for YA authors.  It was a godsend to a new writer!  I would have been lost without the plethora of information readily available at my fingertips.

[Hey, T.P. Jagger here, hijacking Amie’s stroll down memory lane! I worked with Amie to update the For Writers page, so I figured she wouldn’t mind if I interrupted her post. From here on out, if you see brackets and italics, that’s me, not Amie. Got it? Good. Pay attention so you don’t get confused.]

Box of ChocolatesAhem.  Now…back to what I was saying.  But then I decided to write a middle-grade book and suddenly that wonderful online world of sweets and goodies became nothing but an empty heart-shaped box of chocolates, complete with wadded up paper cups.

[I don’t care WHAT anyone says—I was NOT the one who ate all the chocolates!...Oh, Amie was just using a metaphor? In that case…missing chocolates? What chocolates? I know NOTHING about any chocolates. And I especially don’t know anything about missing chocolates with creamy mint filling that tingles as it hits your tongue….]

And all this time I thought my puppy had eaten those York Peppermint patties!  Anyway, never before had I been so hard pressed to find any information to help me.  I was stuck!  I didn’t know where to go or what to do.

[Did you try getting more chocolate?]

No, I didn’t try more chocolate, but I’m sure if I had it would have helped! I suddenly felt very alone in my writing endeavors and wondered, with every word I typed, if my MG manuscript was any good. How would I ever know if I was doing this whole MG thing correctly?

Then Elissa—who at the time was barely an online acquaintance—put out an open call to MG writers.

[She did not offer chocolate, but we have since forgiven her.]

Maybe you’ve forgiven her…. ;)  She was looking to create a site specifically geared toward those people who loved middle-grade books—whether it be writing them, reading them, or anything in between!

*Insert chorus of angels*

Chorus of Angels

I’d just found what I needed as a writer.  Not only was it a resource I could use, but it was one I could be actively engaged in!  What better way to learn about something than to be involved!

During my time working, blogging, and being involved with this Mixed-Up crew, I’ve learned so much.  I’ve grown as a writer…

[I haven’t grown since I was fifteen. But I suppose that's unrelated.]

…and have found beneficial resources throughout the blogosphere.  Middle-grade books have impacted my life in a way no other books ever have—and now I get to share that with an audience as an author!  But I couldn’t have done any of it without learning from some of the best.  I also know that the best gifts in life are those that are shared.

[Like boxes of chocolate.]

Sorry T.P. – chocolates are never for sharing!  Unless you’re sharing with me, then fork it over!

So now, almost two years after we launched, I’ve had the privilege of working on the For Writers page with my Mixed-Up Files cohort T.P. Jagger.


Yes, you will henceforth and forever be known as Italicized-Bracket-Man.  In fact I double dog dare you to sign all your posts that way!  Anyway we’re paying it forward a bit.  T.P. has got the mooo-ooovves for writing when it comes to creating awesome pages.

[massive overstatement]

So thanks to him,

[mostly Amie]

we’ve created quite the resource for you.

So stop by the For Writers page and see what we’re all about.

I promise I won’t dance, but T.P. will gladly show you his mooo-ooovves!

Mick Jagger[I am living proof that a certain last name does not give an individual the right to claim to have "moves like Jagger." The last time I busted a move, it was more like the other way around—I moved . . . and I busted. Well, at the very least I pulled a muscle. Severely. I now stick to writing.]

C’mon T.P. don’t be so modest!



  1. Angelina C. Hansen  •  Sep 15, 2012 @7:13 am


  2. Tracy Abell  •  Sep 15, 2012 @11:52 am

    This is a wonderful resource. Thank you, Amie and T.P., for gathering all this info in one place. A true gift to all middle-grade writers!

    Here’s a box of chocolates for each of you………..

  3. Michelle Schusterman  •  Sep 15, 2012 @5:35 pm


  4. Linda Andersen  •  Sep 16, 2012 @6:07 am

    From the Mixed-Up Files has done it now! A page for writers is like a writer’s handbook at no cost to readers. We love you, blog group members. This is fantastic. Thank you! No more looking back for posts when needed for reference. It’s all organized for us. You’re the best!

  5. Sheela Chari  •  Sep 16, 2012 @7:13 am

    Hurray! Looks great!

  6. Marilee Haynes  •  Sep 16, 2012 @7:39 pm

    The new page is simply outstanding – the organization is so easy to understand and makes the information easy to find.
    Thank you very much!!