Browsing the archives for the Giveaways category.

  • 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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  • Get Lucky!


    lucky meCindy Callaghan has visited The Mixed Up Files before, and she’s back with her newest bit of MG fun.

    From Indiebound:

    After breaking a chain letter, can superstitious Megan find a way to turn her luck around?
    Meghan McGlinchey is the most superstitious girl in her family–and probably in the entire state of Delaware. When she receives a chain letter from a stranger in Ireland, Meghan immediately passes it on, taking only a tiny shortcut in the directions.
    But after a disastrous day, made complete by losing the election for class president and embarrassing herself in front of the entire school, Meghan realizes that tiny shortcut was a big mistake. Thankfully, her family was already headed to Ireland on spring break, and Meghan makes it her mission to find the original sender and break her extremely unlucky streak.
    With the help of an eccentric cast of characters–and one very cute Irish boy–can Meghan figure out a way to stop her bad luck? Or is she cursed forever?


    Amie:  Tell us a little about your inspiration for LUCKY ME.

    Cindy:  Who doesn’t love an old fashioned curse?  Mixed with a bizarre family and the Irish countryside complete with thatched cottages and gothic castles…it’s like all my favorite things together in one story.  Truthfully, sometimes I have a story in my head and I write it.  In this case I had Meghan in my head:  a superstitious girl in a rigid environment.  I wrote her story and those were the places she took me.  It’s really all about Meghan. 

    Amie: I love when characters do that!  So, just between you, me and all our readers here at MUF, do you feel as though you have the luck o’the Irish?

    Cindy: I’m actually not Irish in my blood, but I fell in love with Ireland when I was there, except the smell of peat…yuck!  I’m not particularly superstitious, but I’m known to have more than a handful of good luck charms.  It’s the kind of token that makes you feel good.  For example, a bracelet I got on a special trip with my daughter.  A little figurine that I toss in my pocket some days, just in case I need its luck.  Maybe if I believe it’s lucky, it is. 

    Amie:  So. Jealous. *repeats chant “someday I will visit Ireland!”* We’re passionate about middle-grade books here at MUF, but why are you inspired to write for this age group?

    Cindy:  Maybe I’m still middle-grade at heart.  Seriously, a lot about me is totally immature.  My heart just seems to resonate to stories about tweens.  It’s an awesome time: old enough to do lots of fun stuff, but not too old as to have adult responsibilities (bleck, who wants that?)

    Amie: Last question. It’s vital to the survival of humankind, so choose carefully. Corned beef and hash? Or bangers and mash?  

    Cindy: CB & H!!

    Amie: *presses buzzer* Wrong. The correct answer was chocolate. We’ve all become zombies. The apocalypse has begun and now we know it was all because of corned beef and cabbage!

    Cindy Callaghan is the author of the middle-grade novels Just Add Magic (2010) and 2013’s Lost in London (Simon & Schuster). She is a full-time writer, animal advocate, and supermom. A native of New Jersey, Cindy lives, works, and writes in Wilmington, Delaware, with her family and numerous rescued pets. She loves hearing from fans, speaking at schools and conferences, and zip-lining.

    You can visit Cindy at: Facebook, Website &Twitter

    Meanwhile, leave a comment below for a chance to get lucky and win a copy of her new book!


    Cupcake Cousins Winner


    Congratulations, Kristen Kittscher! You are the winner of a signed hardcover copy of Cupcake Cousins by Kate Hannigan! We will be in touch soon. Thank you to all who commented!

    Kate H 2

    1 Comment

    Kami Kinard Interview and Giveaway!

    Authors, Giveaways, Interviews, Writing MG Series

    Welcome Kami Kinard back to the Mixed-up Files!

    Kami was last here in 2012 to discuss her debut, The Boy Project, which follows Kara McAllister’s quest to find a boyfriend following scientific principles. Kara is successful *spoiler alert* but finding a boyfriend isn’t necessarily the end of the story – for that, you have to find the right boyfriend.

    FC9780545575867Enter The Boy Problem. New this spring, Kami’s latest MG novel puts Kara’s bff, Tabitha Reddy, in the staring role as she looks for true love using symbols, predictions, math equations, and… cupcakes!

    Thanks for joining us, Kami. First of all, why did you choose to write the second book from Tabby’s perspective instead of Kara’s?

    It’s great to be here, thanks!

    I just felt like Kara’s story had come full circle. I didn’t think it’d be very believable for her to start another wacky project to find a boyfriend. Somehow, it seemed like that would take away from her credibility in book one. But it was important to my editor and I that Kara still have a big role in the second book.

    Which was easier to write – The Boy Project or The Boy Problem?

    It was much easier to write my first book, The Boy Project because I didn’t have any pre-set limits.  Usually a writer can create characters and settings that will help their plots move forward, but a lot of the characters and settings for The Boy Problem were already established! Puzzling in pieces of a new story with an old one can get pretty complicated.

    In addition to some new boys, The Boy Project introduced a strong new secondary character, Priyanka, who successfully befriends both Kara and Tabby without creating a problematic triangle. Pri is interesting, well-developed, and likeable.  Any chance she’ll be narrating the next book?

    Head Shots from Carpe Diem 003When I wrote my first novel, I thought it would be a stand-alone novel, so I didn’t really set things up for a second novel. I didn’t want to make that same mistake again. In Priyanka, I tried to create a unique character we’d want to spend more time with given the chance. So yes, I hope we get that chance to hear her narrate her own story!

    Me too! Any advice or suggestions for authors considering giving a secondary character in one of their books a starring role in the follow-up?

    Yes! I have given this a lot of thought. Plan for the future, even if you don’t think you need to! You may not anticipate your book being part of a series, but are you really going to turn your publisher down if offered a contract for another book? Of course not! Here are some ways for you to leave room for a second book.

    1. Think about the calendar. When will your story take place? I regretted setting The Boy Project at the end of the school year. This forced the next book to fall in the next year, so teachers changed, when it would have been nice to keep those established characters. (You might notice that The Boy Problem starts on the first day of school. I’m trainable!)

    2. Think about the calendar. Yes, I know I just said this, but I want you to think about it in a new way. How many days, weeks, or months will it take for the action to take place in your book? Some middle grade novels have fast moving plots that cover only a few days or weeks. These leave plenty of room for other books to follow with the same characters in the same school year. Smart.

    3. Think about the calendar. Is this getting old? Hopefully not, because, you have to do a lot of thinking about this or you will write yourself into a corner in a hurry.  What are your characters’ birthdays? How old will they be at the end of the story? What grade are they in? You don’t want your beloved characters to age out of the action too soon. I had intended for Kara, the main character of my first novel to be in eighth grade. But my publisher asked me to move her down to seventh. Thank goodness.

    4. Develop story-worthy secondary characters. (I regretted not giving Kara a younger sister or brother in The Boy Project.) Because I needed to use a character my readers were familiar with for the second book, so I really only left myself one choice. I love the way Tabbi evolved into a main character for The Boy Problem, but if I had planned ahead, I would have set her up for this better.

    Great advice, Kami!  Thanks for returning to the Mixed-Up Files.  Good luck with The Boy Problem!

    Thanks so much for interviewing me. It’s exciting to have another book on the shelves and I appreciate your being part of the celebration!

    To find out more visit Kami’s website and cool blog, Nerdy Chicks Rule.  You can also enter to win a hard cover edition of The Boy Project by following the Rafflecopter widget below. The winner will be announced on Thursday!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Yolanda Ridge is the author of Trouble in the Trees (Orca Book Publishers, 2011) and Road Block (Orca Book Publishers, 2012), Both stories follow irrepressible, rule bending Brianna Bridges – but her neighbour’s been begging for a book of his own!

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