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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 Happy-Go-Lucky Giveaway

    Authors, Giveaways, Writing MG Books

     

    junction

    Debut middle grade author Holly Schindler is here to brighten up these dreary, mid-winter days with a novel full of sunshine and hope. She dropped by The Files to give us this peek into how the book came to be:

    HOW FRUSTRATION AND DISAPPOINTMENT BECAME A PUBLICATION OR: THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY 

    When I wrote the first draft of THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, I was—if I’m to be honest—a little heartbroken.  Tired.  Disappointed.  Frustrated…And more determined than ever.

    Four years earlier, in the spring of ’01, I’d graduated with my master’s.  I was encouraged to stay home and devote full-time attention to getting my writing career off the ground.  I’d published short work previously—fiction, poetry, and lit critique.  I thought for sure that the only thing standing between me and a full-time writing career was the time it would take to get a book on the page.

    But there I was, four years into it.  I hadn’t had much in the way of nibbles or “good” rejections—agents and editors offering some advice with their “no.”  I was still getting form rejections.  I had friends from college who were wrapping up PhDs, moving on with their lives, and there I was, still banging my head against the wall.

    I won’t lie—it was a bad time.  The kind of bad time when you have to look yourself in the mirror, figure out what you want, what you’re doing.  At the end of some soul-searching, I knew I could never give up on writing.  It was my lifelong dream—and truly the love of my life.

    So I put my rear in the chair.  I needed to get back to work—which also meant that I needed a new story.  A new direction.  As I brainstormed, I saw a man’s face—Grampa Gus’s face.  And I heard a voice—the voice of a little girl talking about her grandfather.  As the story took shape, it became the tale of a young girl finding her way as a folk artist—and standing up for her art, when her hometown declares what she’s created isn’t art at all, but junk.

    In a lot of respects, that book is me standing up for my own art.  Me saying I wasn’t going to back down form a life writing.  While I have never written specifically about events or people in my own life, I do think that coming up with a fictional situation and characters that allow you to work through your own hopes and fears can absolutely be a powerful tool—important for you as an artist, and also good for the mental health!  Sometimes, it makes for the most honest work you can produce.

    Readers can contact me through my website, hollyschindler.com, or through this site specially created for MG readers: hollyschindlermiddles.weebly.com. I’m devoting a page on the site to reviews from young readers themselves!  Be sure to send your young reader’s review through the Contact Me page.

    Thanks for spreading the sunshine and inspiration, Holly!

    Giveaway: One winner will choose between 1) a signed bookplate and bookmark and 2) a free Skype visit. Leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing. 

    lucky

     

    6 Comments

    6 Comments

    1. Shari Green  •  Feb 11, 2014 @11:11 am

      I love this story of disappointment and determination! Esp loved this: “coming up with a fictional situation and characters that allow you to work through your own hopes and fears can absolutely be a powerful tool”…thank you for sharing this. :)

    2. JenP  •  Feb 11, 2014 @1:55 pm

      This sounds so lovely.

    3. What a heartfelt post. How “lucky” the readers are!

      It’s exciting to see THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY mentioned here and on other middle grade websites.

      Thank you.

    4. My King  •  Feb 11, 2014 @5:40 pm

      This story sounds like an intriguing read.

    5. Greg Pattridge  •  Feb 11, 2014 @6:38 pm

      Great looking cover. Holly has given us an important lesson about determination. Best of luck on your debut.

    6. PragmaticMom  •  Feb 13, 2014 @8:29 pm

      I’d love to win the Skype visit!