At our February monthly meeting we had a panel discussion about writing middle grade books. We heard from authors Mari Mancusi, Cory Putman Oakes, and Jo Whittemore. These ladies shared their thoughts on writing realistic and relatable characters for young readers.
Here are a few jems of wisdom they shared from their personal experience.
-You can't market directily to a middle grade reader. You have to go through the gatekeepers, which means librarians and parents. Librarians are a great resource and worth the effort to get to know.
-To learn how to write from a middle grade perspective, observe young kids in your life and see what interests them and how they think about themselves and their world.
-Don't talk down to your readers and don't try to preach to them or teach them a lesson.
-Make your middle grade characters relatable because the reader will naturally insert themselves into the story.
Writing for middle grade readers can be a rewarding experience and we appreciate Mari, Cory, and Jo for giving us a peek into their experience writing for this age group.