• 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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  • Top 10 Deep (& Stolen) Thoughts about Writing

    Inspiration, Writing MG Books

    Thank God for group blogs. Otherwise, I’d have to act like I had some deep and insightful thing to write about way more than just once every three months. Of course, the problem is that eventually my three month reprieve ends, and my quandary returns:

    What the heck should my new MUF post be about?…

    This time around, I considered writing a post about creating effective settings, which is something I’ve been working on in my own writing lately. But then I decided that was way too much work because I am officially not an expert on creating effective settings. Dang.

    Then I considered flaunting my sagacity by discussing “objective correlative,” which is a literary device fellow-MUFer Jennifer Duddy Gill brought to my attention about a week ago. Then I realized that would be even more work than writing about setting because I don’t know squat about objective correlative except that Jennifer said I’m good at it even if I don’t know what it means. Double dang.

    That left me with nothing to say. And not having anything to say really sucks when you’re supposed to say something. So I decided to not really say anything at all. Instead, I’ll let other, much wiser folks have their say. Thus, I offer you the following TOP 10 DEEP (& STOLEN) THOUGHTS ABOUT WRITING:

    1. “The sinister thing about writing is that it starts off seeming so easy and ends up being so hard.” –L. Rust Hills
    1. “The challenge for a writer is to find ‘not the way to say it.’” –Milan Kundera
    1. “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” –E.L. Doctorow
    1. “You do not have a story until something goes wrong.” –Steven James (“Story Trumps Structure,” Writer’s Digest, February 2011, p. 37)
    1. “Good writing does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. . . . It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head—even if in the end you conclude that someone else’s head is not a place you’d really like to be.” –Malcolm Gladwell (What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures, p. xv)
    1. “The bigger the issue, the smaller you write. Remember that. You don’t write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid’s burnt socks lying on the road.” –Richard Price (quoted in What a Writer Needs by Ralph Fletcher, p. 49)
    1. “It is an intriguing fact that in order to make readers care about a character, however bad, however depraved, it is only necessary to make him love someone or even something. A dog will do, even a hamster will do.” –Ruth Rendell (“What to Pack in Your Fiction Tool Kit,” Writer’s Digest, December 2010,p. 21)
    1. “All of fiction is a practical joke—making people care, laugh, cry, or be nauseated or whatever by something which absolutely is not going on at all. It’s like saying, ‘Hey, your pants are on fire.’” –Kurt Vonnegut
    1. “It’s important to write every day. Just logging hours writing will make you a better writer. Or it will make you insane. Which sometimes makes you a better writer. It’s win-win.” –Justin Halpern (as interviewed in Writer’s Digest, September 2011)
    1. “Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every noon.”–Raymond Chandler

    There. Done. The MUF’s laziest most inspirational blog post ever is now complete. Laud my perspicacity. Revel in my insight. Bask in my writerly wisdom. Then feel free to share a favorite writing quote of your own while simultaneously resisting the urge to tell me to work harder on my posts.



    1. Gerri Lanier  •  Jan 16, 2013 @12:52 pm

      * Hey, believe it or not, you did say a lot! Appreciate your candidness, as well as your list of quotes that uplifted my morning. Here’s one of my favorites:

      “A writer is like a bean plant – he has his little day, and then gets all stringy.”
      -E.B. White

      T. P. Jagger Reply:

      I hadn’t read that E.B. White quote before, Gerri. Thanks so much for sharing it!

      -T. P. Jagger

    2. Hillary Homzie  •  Jan 16, 2013 @1:59 pm

      The throw up line is a new one. It made me smille.

    3. Janet Smart  •  Jan 16, 2013 @3:31 pm

      I can’t think of very many quotes at the moment, but one that comes to mind is:
      A professional writer is an amateur that didn’t quit. That’s what I’m trying to do.

      T. P. Jagger Reply:

      Amen, Janet–I’m with you on that one! Thanks for sharing. :)

      -T. P. Jagger

    4. tricia  •  Jan 16, 2013 @4:02 pm

      Some real gems here!

    5. Linda Andersen  •  Jan 16, 2013 @4:31 pm

      You are witty and so much fun. Entertain, I mean intertain us anytime.

    6. Linda Andersen  •  Jan 16, 2013 @4:34 pm

      OOPS, I meant to say, “Entertain, I mean enlighten us anytime.” Sorry for the goof. I need to stop while I’m ahead.

    7. Michele Weber Hurwitz  •  Jan 16, 2013 @5:54 pm

      Very amusing. And fun. Inspirational quotes are always reassuring that you’re not the only one in agony :)

    8. Greg Pattridge  •  Jan 16, 2013 @6:06 pm

      I love quotes and yours were a great collection to instill deeper thought. I can add one but only have “Anonymous” as the source:
      “When your manuscript flashes before your eyes, make sure you’ve got plenty to watch.”

    9. Deb  •  Jan 16, 2013 @6:10 pm

      You got my favorite in there. The one by E.L. Doctrow. Thanks for sharing!

      T. P. Jagger Reply:

      The E.L. Doctrow quotes is one of my favorites, too. Although at times it feels like one of my headlights is out.

      -T. P. Jagger