How do you get published?
That is the big overarching question for all authors, and it’s no different for those of us who write middle grade. You have an amazing story that you want to tell the world.
HOW do you get that idea onto paper and into the hands of kids who will love it?
I have the answer!
There are no shortcuts in writing great children’s literature. Just like any other profession it takes time and practice to learn how to be a great writer. But one great way to shorten the journey is to study with experts. Just like an engineer or accountant needs to go to school to learn from other professionals, a writer needs to take lessons from master writers.
Fortunately, with today’s technology, it doesn’t always mean you must give up your day job and enter an MFA program. There are some great online courses available for middle grade minded writers. And if you can spare the time and resources there are also some short onsite retreats and workshops that allow you to network with other authors and writing professionals.
You don’t have the time? Writing is a skill that must be developed over time with practice. You will get better FASTER with a teacher. You will SAVE TIME by taking a class.
No money? Yup. I understand that. But there are some free courses available and many low-cost classes, AND several places provide scholarships. As for retreats and onsite workshops – they are still way less expensive than paying for college.
The truth is – a serious writer needs to budget time and money for professional development. You owe it to yourself and your writing career.
Take a look at the list I have compiled of great learning opportunities for 2020. Which one will you choose to help your writing career flourish?
How to Write MG and YA that sells – online ½ day class with prolific author Jessica Burkhart. This class is great for new authors who want to learn more about the craft and will include topics such as outlining, creating characters, and strong chapter endings. Sponsored by the Writing Barn. January 11.
Middle Grade and YA Novel Mentorship – Opportunity to work with Sarah McCabe, associate editor at Simon and Schuster on a novel project. Zoom meeting format limited to 16 applicants with one-on-one feed back and written notes. Applications open October 20. Class – November 12- March 1
WOW – Writing Middle Grade and YA fiction – six-week online course for authors who are ready to start a new project. Includes a critique of the first two chapters of your novel. Start Date – January 21, 2020 or March 31, 2020.
Save the Cat! Writes a Novel with Jessica Brody – online 2.5-hour workshop that walks authors through the renowned SAVE THE CAT story structure. Learn how to create compelling character arcs and unputdownable novels.
Writing the Middle Grade Book – Learn how to create characters kids can relate to, develop a strong plot, and the keys to successful revision. Eight session online course. Open for enrollment any time.
Children’s Books 101: Writing for the Right Age Group – an introduction to the children’s book market and how to write for different ages, including middle grade. Online 10-day course with lessons delivered to your email box -for FREE!
DIY MFA – This FREE program gives you all the books and information that you need to chart your own study course. You will also be able to connect with other writers who are working to hone their writing skills.
In Person Workshops and Retreats
Getting to Know Your Novel – Online course plus onsite retreat – February – May 2020 Highlights Foundation – work with veteran authors Sarah Aronson, Tiffany D. Jackson and Melanie J. Fishbane to make your children’s novel a kidlit masterpiece. Includes online class sessions, individual support a 50-page critique and a retreat at the Highlights Foundation May 30 – June 3.
VCFA Writing Novels for Young People Retreat – Montpelier, VT – a retreat for experienced writers who want to take their manuscript to the next level. March 27-29, 2020.
Big Sur Children’s Writing Workshop – North Falmouth, MA – A chance to be mentored by two industry professionals, receive one-on-one feedback, and learn from the best in the industry. Sponsored by the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. May 8-10, 2020.
Whale Rock Literary Workshops – Concord, MA - Work with renowned professionals Gary Schmidt and Patti Lee Gauch during a week of craft classes, mentoring sessions and, workshops. May 31-June 6.
From Premise to Pitch – Highlights Foundation – Work with literary agents Jennie Dunham and Gina Maccoby to get your novel ready to pitch to agents and editors. This workshop includes individual critiques and hands-on-exercises. May 7-10.