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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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  • The 13th Sign Blog Tour!

    Book Lists

    Welcome to DAY PISCES of 13 Days of THE 13TH SIGN Preorder Contest! PISCES is traditionally considered to be the twelfth sign of the zodiac. PISCES characteristics include: intuitive, adaptable, romantic, self-pitying, illogical, and vivacious.

    (Want to learn more about your 12-sign horoscope, your 13-sign horoscope, and which horoscope sign you ACT like? Take THE 13TH SIGN quiz!)

    From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors is happy to host Day Thirteen of this contest! The Grande Finale!

    But before we get to the contest, we must introduce our guest, Kristin Tubb!  What better way to introduce her than with an interview!

    Me:  What inspires you most when you write?  A nice slice of chocolate cake to get the creative juices flowing or a mountain lion chasing you to get your adrenaline pumping?

    Kristin:  Ha! Coffee plays a very large role in my writing process, and I love looking at paintings and photographs and maps for inspiration. (Pinterest is my latest time-suck, but at least I’m pinning with a goal! Here’s THE 13TH SIGN board: http://pinterest.com/kristintubb/the-13th-sign/)  But when it comes to hammering out a scene, I have to get moving. Some of my best ideas come while on a hike or blowing bubbles for my dogs (yes, you read that right J). The voice recorder on my phone is full of scene and story ideas so I can get to work right away when back at a keyboard.

    Me: Oh man. I LOVE Pinterest.  Talk about a time suck….try a black hole!  Where do you do your writing?  A desk? A cafe? A smelly slimy bog? A beautiful ice castle?

    Kristin:  It differs book to book and with each season of this ever-changing life. When my kids were younger, I wrote mostly in libraries. I write at home, now, unless I have a pressing deadline, and then it’s offsite I go (and away from laundry/dishes/pet messes/ringing phones).  I sure would love one of those ice castles, though. Without internet, please. WITH an espresso machine, please.

    Me:  I’m so glad I’m not alone in that.  House chores constantly call to me when I’m writing. What is your most favoritest book of all time?

    Kristin:  A Wrinkle In Time. In sixth grade, I interviewed Madeline L’Engle by telephone. (I KNOW, RIGHT?!) She told me I, too, could be a writer if I just kept reading. So Wrinkle is my favorite book for many, many reasons.

    Me:  No. Way.  Me too!  Well, everything except the interview part….and the career in writing….and the….so yeah, I read the book.  It was my favorite.  Do you have any writing rituals?

    Kristin:  I wish I had some tried-and-true rituals! I’ve found that these differ from story to story as well. The one thing I’ve done for every book is to keep a vocabulary list – a list of words that “sound” like that story to me. So for THE 13TH SIGN, the list included words like “vibrate” and “plipped” and “feisty.” For some reason, doing this really seems to help me find the tone and voice of the story.

    Me:  What a cool technique!  I’ll have to try that!  Thanks for suffering through my questions, Kristin!

    Kristin:  Thank you, Amie, and all the Mixed-Up Files Authors!

    Now….on to the part you’ve all been waiting for!

    So. What is this contest all about?

    If you preorder a copy of THE 13TH SIGN by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb, you will be entered into a contest! Where you can WIN THINGS! And there are new prizes every day!

    And. EVERY preorder will be *matched* by a $1.00 donation to RIF, a literacy program committed to placing books in the hands of kids who need them most.

    About the book:

    What if there was a 13th zodiac sign?

    You’re no longer Sagittarius, but Ophiuchus, the healer, the 13th sign.

    Your personality has changed. So has your mom’s and your best friend’s.

    What about the rest of the world?

    What if you were the one who accidentally unlocked the 13th sign, causing this world-altering change, and infuriating the other 12 signs?

    Jalen did it, and now she must use every ounce of her strength and cunning to send the signs back where they belong. Lives, including her own, depend upon it.

    What can I win TODAY?

    If you preorder THE 13TH SIGN today, Wednesday, December 5, you could win:

    -zodiac charm – sign of your choice

    -signed THE 13TH SIGN swag

    -glow-in-the-dark star stickers

    -signed paperback of AUTUMN WINIFRED OLIVER DOES THINGS DIFFERENT by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb

    -a 13th SIGN tshirt

    How do I enter?

    Preorder THE 13TH SIGN! You can preorder it through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, or through your local independent bookstore. Then email your receipt TO KRISTIN at ktubb@comcast.net. You will be entered into that day’s drawing, the grand prize drawing, and your purchase will be *matched* by a $1.00 donation to RIF!

    Are there other ways to enter the contest?

    Yep!  You can be entered into the daily prize drawings by doing one or more of the following:

    -Each preorder of THE 13TH SIGN = 10 entries into grand prize drawing and 10 entries into that day’s drawing

    - Each person who blogs about the contest = 10 entries into that day’s drawing

    -Each person who changes Twitter or Facebook avatar to cover = 5 entries into that day’s drawing (for each day it is present)

    -Each Tweet or Facebook status mention of the book and contest = 2 entries for that day’s drawing (must include hashtag #the13thsign)

    -Each RT of book and/or contest = 1 entry for that day’s drawing

    BUT. You have to preorder THE 13TH SIGN to enter to win the grand prize and to have your purchase matched with a RIF donation.

    ALSO. To make sure you get the correct amount of entries, please let Kristin know if you’ve done any of the above! You can email her at ktubb@comcast.net with everything you’ve done to enter.

    What is the grand prize?

    A Nexus 7 ereader! BOOM. The grand prize winner will be announced on Kristin’s blog on Friday, December 7. 

    How long does the preorder contest last?

    13 days total! You can visit these other blogs for each day’s prizes:

    DAY ARIES: The Book Vortex

    DAY TAURUS:  The Housework Can Wait

    DAY GEMINI:  Magnet 4 Books

    DAY CANCER:  Abby the Librarian

    DAY LEO:  Mother Daughter Book Club

    DAY VIRGO: S. R. Johannes/Market My Words

    DAY LIBRA: Elizabeth O. Dulemba

    DAY SCORPIO:  Citrus Reads

    DAY OPHIUCHUS: Young Adult Books Central

    DAY SAGITTARIUS: Bloggers [heart] Books

    DAY CAPRICORN: – Middle Grade Mafioso

    DAY AQUARIUS: Smack Dab in the Middle

    DAY PISCES: From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors

    Good luck! And don’t forget to take THE 13TH SIGN quiz!

     

    Kristin O’Donnell Tubb is the author of Selling Hope (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan 2010), Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different (Delacorte/Yearling/Random House 2008) and the forthcoming The 13th Sign (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan January 2013). She can be found far too often on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/kristin.tubb ) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ktubb). Oh, and she has a website, too: www.kristintubb.com

    WOW! Talk about awesomeness!  So what are you still doing here??!  Go.  Enter!

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