Tag Archives: Middle Grade Fiction

Books I’ve Recently Read And Enjoyed

I don’t often blog about what I’ve read, mostly because Goodreads has my list if anyone is interested. But, I realize some of my blog readers may not be part of Goodreads. So, here are a few books I’ve read recently and enjoyed. And although Halloween has passed, I’m still in the mood for a good MG or YA ghost story, so feel free to make suggestions in the comments.

Lockwood & Co. The Screaming Staircase

LOCKWOOD & CO. THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE: (Jonathan Stroud) I listened to the audio book of this, which had an older voice than the age of the character. This distracted me a little. And while I felt the story moved a little slow due to the writer being heavy with backstory, it was full of ghosts and young kids trying to get rid of them as their daily paid jobs, which made me think of Ghostbusters! In the end, I quite enjoyed the tale.

THE AWKWARD PATH TO GETTING LUCKY: A NOVEL: (Summer Heacock) What can I say? Sometimes I read more than MG and YA. Okay? Okay. So, this story is very adult and hysterically funny about a woman’s lady-parts gone wonky and in need of mending. She gets guidance from her friends and coworkers at a bakery! Yes, there are plenty of sweets in this story:-) But no, this isn’t an erotic novel with explicit sex. That’s for porn people. Geesh!

JACK AND THE GENIUSES: AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD: (Bill Nye) Yep, I’ve always been a science nerd. Whether it’s an invention or research for cures, I’m in! And when you throw brainiac kids in the mix doing the inventions and solving a missing case mystery, doubly better!

WONDER: (R.J. Palacio) It’s no wonder the book has been on NYT Bestselling list for two years and is being made into a movie. It has ALL THE FEELS! While this may be a story about a boy with a deformed face and will make you cry, it also makes you laugh OUT LOUD so many times! The main character seems to find the good in people most of the time and is more generous with his understanding of them than they deserve! This will tug at your heart, but you’ll be happy you read the story. I PROMISE!

THE ADVENTURER’S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES: (Wade Albert White)  The author is great at making the reader laugh, which is always a win. Orphans going on a dangerous quest, constant roadblocks, and unreliable characters make this story a fantastic read in a world of science and magic. Oh, and there is a cool dragon!

SAVAGE: DRAGONRIDER LEGACY 1: (Nicole Conway) While this suggests the first book of a new tale, it is really an extention of THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES and is another great story of Maldobar and Luntharda. I thought I’d miss the character of Jaevid who had been in the previous books (Okay, I kind of did!) but Reigh is introduced and I couldn’t help but fall in love with him and his magic, which he has to adapt to practically in the same manner as Jaevid had to with his. And for those that loved THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES as much as I did, there’s a sweet surprise at the end!

And there you have a quick view into what I’ve read lately. As you can see, my heart may be black in my writing, but I enjoy a range of genres and age groups when reading. Don’t forget to leave suggestions in the comments for some spooky reads for middle grade and young adult stories. Have a great day!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/Ya fiction.

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Encouragement for the Day!

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The difficulties of writing a novel can be tedious and more difficult than some people think. Writers don’t just pound out perfection in one sitting the first attempt. It can take days, weeks, months, or even years to get the first draft done, depending on other work obligations. Most writers have a day job not involving their writing career and have to squeeze writing in any free moment they can.

After the first draft is finished, comes the editing, and editing, and editing. A writer then sends manuscript to critique partners (CPs) or beta’s to help find plot holes, voice problems, or anything else they spot helpful. Hopefully, the writer has already caught most grammar and punctuation errors, but if not, CPs and beta’s can help with that too. And behold…more edits, and edits, and edits! If a writer is lucky, they’ll have funds to hire a professional editor to help with their manuscript, but this can get very expensive.

When a writer thinks the project is  at it’s best, they send off to literary agents. Sometimes these turn into requests for more revisions, so there is more editing involved. Now, I’m not going to get into the difficulties of landing an agent, or how long it can take to get a publishers to agree to publish EVEN if you have an agent. But, let me say, it can take years of writing new manuscripts and rejection after rejection before getting an agent or a publisher. And even after getting an agent or publishing contract, guess what? There are MORE edits! The process is loooooong! Writer’s know what I’m talking about.

What happens sometimes is a writer can get discouraged after so many rejections. Sometimes they want to give up. But, giving up is the only certain way to make sure a writer doesn’t succeed. The key is to surround themselves with like-minded people. The writing community is very supportive with each other. When they fell discouraged, they should reach out! But no matter what they do, DON’T GIVE UP! Let me repeat that…

DON’T GIVE UP!!!!!!!

Keep writing words to weave into fabulous stories. People want to read them. And they shall, if writer’s keep trying!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Dear Lucky Agent Contest: Middle Grade Fiction

Chuck Sambuchino announced Writer’s Digest is hosting the 30th “Dear Lucky Agent Contest“. The agent judge is Caitie Flum from Liza Dawson Associates.

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She is now building her own list of clients. She graduated from Hofstra University in 2009 with a B.A. in English with a concentration in publishing studies. She interned at Hachette Book Group and Writers House. Caitie is looking for commercial and upmarket fiction with great characters and superb writing, especially historical fiction, mysteries/thrillers of all kinds, romance, and book club fiction. She is open to science fiction and fantasy that crosses over to a young adult market. She is also looking for middle grade and young adult projects. In nonfiction, she is looking for narrative nonfiction, especially history that’s impossible to put down, books on pop culture, theater, current events, women’s issues, and humor. But remember, this contest is for Middle Grade fiction only.

The contest is now live and runs through the end of January 31, 2017 (PST). There will be three winners! According to the website, they all get the same prize (which is different than prior contest). Top 3 winners each get: 1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work by your agent judge. 2) Their choice of any of Chuck’s two new books that came out in fall (the Guide to Literary Agents 2017 or the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market 2017).

Be sure to check out the submission guidelines and pay close attention to a few things you need to do in order to be eligible. And as always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

The Bent Agency Internship Opportunity

The Bent Agency

The Bent Agency has intern positions open for an adult fiction reader and for a young adult/middle grade reader.  To become an intern reader for the Bent Agency, you do not need to have any kind of publishing experience, but you should love to read and be familiar with all sorts of fiction in these categories.  In particular, it’s helpful to be familiar with the books on the New York Times bestseller list.

You do not need to live in New York since this is a remote internship. They do ask for a ten-hours-a-week commitment. Please note that it is unpaid. For details on qualifications and how to submit, go here.

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

HELP RAISE FUNDS FOR #EDITING

manuscript

Okay, I’ve thought about this for a long time and it wasn’t an easy decision to make. No one likes airing their troubles. NO ONE! So, without whining about my various trips to the hospital over the past few years, my car breaking down, my daughters car breaking down, I’ll move right along to my purpose.

I received revise and submits from two different agents a while back and have been sitting on top of them because I don’t have the funds to pay a professional editor. (And this could be golden, but I need to edit before they forget about me.) Then, I thought about my other writerly friends who have had troubles with tumors, lupus, chronic depression (yes, this IS a disease folks), houses burning down, and the list goes on-and-on-and-on of things that can strap any of us financially. So, my thoughts were wouldn’t it be great to not only pay for my edits but have some giveaways for other writers to pay for THEIR edits too? (Oh, you know it would be!)

While beta readers and critique partners are great, they aren’t always available or they just don’t mesh with your style. There are various reasons this doesn’t always work out. So, I created a GoFundMe account to help raise money for my manuscript THIS SCARY MANOR BLOWS (and my other two manuscripts), as well to have giveaways for other writers. So, if you’re feeling generous, please donate to the GoFundMe account. Even the tiniest of donations can help myself and other writers.

And when you read the story on GoFundMe, you’ll notice that if I don’t get signed with the agents that requested the R&R’s, I’m going to spend some of the money on cover art and marketing to self publish. Which can always be an alternative route for those that will win the editing giveaways when I have them. After all, even literary agents recommend being hybrid authors. (For non-writer’s, this means to traditional publish and self publish.)

And lastly, for anyone wanting to know my writing style and if donating is worth it, I’ve decided to post my first chapter to THIS SCARY MANOR BLOWS. Go here to view it.

Please share this on twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, WordPress, and any other social media you may be on! Remember, this isn’t just for myself, I hope to pay this forward to other writers. It might just be YOU!

Thank you for reading and any donations that you contribute! And if you can’t contribute, then please-please, share on your social media accounts. Again, thank you!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

PASS OR PAGES CONTEST

PASSORPAGES

Operation Awesome is hosting one more Pass Or Pages contest before the holiday season. For this round, the category is for middle grade contemporary. Submissions will be open between November 7-9, 2016. This is an opportunity to get feedback from an agent on your query and first 250 words of you manuscript. Peeps, this is priceless! And as a possible bonus, the agent reserves the right to request your FULL.

There will be a form for submissions on Operation Awesome when the entry window opens. For complete rules and previous feedback reveals, go here. As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

The Manuscript Academy

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The creator of Manuscript Wish List, Jessica Sinsheimer, now brings her adoring fans The Manuscript Academy. How amazeballs is this? The website proclaims it had the writer’s need, comfort, and budget in mind when creating the academy. And oh, how true! A writer can watch classes, panels, and ask questions in the forums from the coziness of their home. Hooray, no traveling!

Faculty includes:

  • Laura Barbiea: Social media manager at Alloy Entertainment, a publishing arm of Warner Brothers Entertainment. Actress.
  • Regina Brooks: Founder and president of Serendipity Literary Agency LLC.
  • Linda Camacho: Literary agent at Prospect Agency.
  • Jalissa Corrie: Marketing & Publicity Assistant at LEE & LOW BOOKS.
  • Melissa Edwards: Literary agent at Stonesong.
  • Julie Falatko: Author of Snappsy the Alligator (Viking 2016) and other books.
  • Erica Finkel: Works at Abrams Books from picture books to young adult novels.
  • Ali FisherEditor at Tor/Forge Books in the children’s and young adult division.
  • Monica Odom: Literary agent at Bradford Literary Agency.
  • Megha Parekh: Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group.
  • Adriann Ranta Zurhellen: Literary agent at Foundry Literary + Media.
  • Chuck Sambuchino: Writer’s Digest Books edits the Guide to Literary Agents and managed the Guide to Literary Agents Blog. He is also an author of humor books.
  • Katharine Sands: Literary agent at Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency.
  • Amanda Shih: Assistant Editor at TarcherPerigee.
  • Jessica Sinsheimer: Associate Agent at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency and  known for #MSWL, ManuscriptWistList.com, #PubTalkTV
  • Stephanie Stein: Associate Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books.
  • Roseanne Wells: Literary agent at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

With that kind of line-up, how can you NOT sign up for this? For the Children’s conference: PB to YA starting November 5, 2016 the cost will be $179. Some of the things the academy promises is:

  •  Priority booking of one-on-one meetings
  • Submit your first page for a chance to be read to our panel
  • Craft and business classes
  • Forums and networking
  • Live literary events
  • Everything you’d learn at a conference–without leaving home

To learn about other conferences or to learn how to register, go to The Manuscript Academy.

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Peter Knapp MG & YA Critique Giveaway!

Peter Knapp

Since Peter Knapp returned to Park Literary & Media, he has decided to give critiques to all middle grade and young adult submissions received before Tuesday, August 16th at 5pm ET that follow his guidelines. NOTE: This is NOT open to queries or submissions he has previously seen. No exceptions.

Be prepared to paste the first three chapters of your manuscript with your query. In the subject line put “Query – Peter Knapp – August 2016 Feedback Giveaway – [category + genre of your book]” (for example, “Query – Peter Knapp –  August 2016 Feedback Giveaway – MG Historical”). Remember, this is only for COMPLETED manuscripts. To make sure your submission does not get deleted, be sure to follow Peter’s entire guidelines.

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

 

 

Pitch To Publication

Pitch to Publication

It’s almost time for Pitch To Publication hosted by Samantha Fountain. This contest is a golden ticket for the winners because not only do editors select manuscripts to edit, but there will be an agent round followed by a publisher round. It’s stretched over a few months for the winners, but when the contest comes to a close, a few might have agents as well as publishing deals!

The submission window will be on Saturday, March 5th 12:00pm EST to Sunday, March 6th 12:00pm EST. If you have questions, you can ask Samantha using the hashtag #P2P16 on twitter. The editors are listed on the website, along with what they are looking for. Samantha will also list the participating agents and publishers on the site, so stay tuned to her page!

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

IT HAS BEGUN: Pitch Wars Mentor Blog Hop

Woo-hoo! It’s that time of year again when mentors select a mentee to help them rework their entire manuscript for the agent round. This year Pitch Wars (hosted by the fabulous Brenda Drake) has 108 mentors to choose from to help make a writer’s story shine! But unlike past years, writers get to choose five mentors to submit instead of four. This is awesome!

Pitch Wars 2015

From today until submissions day (August 17), writers can peruse blogs of the participating mentors to see their wish list for entries and make sure they’d be a good match. Most of the mentors supply links to their twitter accounts too, where they can be stalked observed for social meshing. Also, a few beloved mentors said they don’t mind some questions via twitter or their blog, but be careful as to not be pitching to them. There are some other important dates when questions can be asked, such as #AskMentor on twitter (August 10), so be sure to check out Brenda’s blog. She has important dates and submission guidelines!

And here are your mentors…

1. Kes Trester (co- mentoring with Jennifer Hawkins) YA 37. Emmie Mears Adult 73. Katie Bucklein YA & NA
2. Mindy McGinnis (co- mentoring with Kate Karyus Quinn) YA 38. Lori Goldstein (co- mentoring with Chelsea Bobulski) YA 74. Kevin A Springer MG
3. N.K. Traver YA 39. Jennifer Hawkins (co- mentoring with Kes Trester) YA 75. Brianna Shrum YA
4. Kristin B. Wright Adult 40. Elizabeth Briggs YA & NA 76. Kate Karyus Quinn (co- mentoring with Mindy McGinnis) YA
5. Laura Heffernan Adult 41. Ron Walters (co- mentoring with Meredith McCardle) YA 77. Kim Graff YA
6. Mary Ann Marlowe Adult 42. Fiona McLaren (co- mentoring with Dionne McCulloch) MG 78. Emily Martin YA
7. Joy McCullough- Carranza MG 43. S.M. Johnston (co- mentoring with Stacey Nash) YA & NA 79. Trisha Leaver (co- mentoring with Jenni Walsh) YA
8. Lisa Lewis- Tyre MG 44. Max Wirestone Adult 80. Kim Long MG
9. Jenni L. Walsh (co- mentoring with Trisha Leaver) YA 45. Jaye Robin Brown YA 81. Catherine Scully MG
10. Sarah Glenn Marsh YA 46. Molly Lee YA 82. Stacey Trombley YA
11. Julie C. Dao MG 47. Rachel Lynn Solomon YA 83. Stephanie Scott (co- mentoring with Valerie Cole) YA
12. Kellye Garrett Adult 48. J.C. Nelson NA & Adult 84. Valerie Cole (co- mentoring with Stephanie Scott) YA
13. K.T. Hanna Adult 49. Holly Faur Adult 85. Lizzy Charles YA
14. Jessie Devine YA 50. Sonia Hartl Adult 86. Dannie Morin (co- mentoring with Alexandra Alessandri) YA
15. Rosalyn Eves YA 51. Natasha Raulerson Adult 87. Kate Foster MG
16. Jami Nord Adult 52. Marty Mayberry YA 88. Elly Blake MG
17. Samantha Joyce YA & NA 53. J.C. Davis MG 89. Julie Sondra Decker YA & NA
18. Helene Dunbar YA 54. Rebecca Wells MG 90. Lady Lioness NA & Adult
19. Jenna Lehne MG 55. Michelle Hauck Adult 91. Susan Gray Foster (co- mentoring with Monica Bustamante Wagner_ YA & NA
20. Linsey Miller YA 56. Tabitha Martin YA 92. Kelly Calabrese YA
21. Jessica Vitalis MG 57. Rebecca Petruck MG 93. Sarah Nicolas YA
22. Stacey Graham MG 58. Sarah Henning Adult 94. Kelly Siskind NA & Adult
23. Dan Koboldt Adult 59. Alex White Adult 95. Roselle Kaes Adult
24. Brighton Walsh NA & Adult 60. Jeanmarie Anaya YA 96. Monica Bustamante Wagner (co- mentoring with Susan Gray Foster) YA
25. Kate Brauning YA & NA 61. Laura Salters YA 97. Renee Ahdieh (co- mentoring with Traci Chee) YA
26. Lisa Maxwell YA 62. Wade Albert White MG 98. Traci Chee (co- mentoring with Renee Ahdieh) YA
27. Wendy Spinale YA 63. Brooks Benjamin MG 99. Janet B. Taylor (co- mentoring with Kathryn Purdie & Shannon Parker YA
28. Sarah Cannon MG 64. Margarita Montimore Adult 100. Jessie Humphries (co- mentoring with Mara Rae) YA
29. L.L. McKinney YA 65. Megan Grimit YA 101. Lynnette Labelle Adult
30. Juliana Brandt MG 66. Charlie Holmberg NA & Adult 102. Erica M. Chapman YA
31. Scarlett Cole Adult 67. Diana Gallager YA & NA 103. Summer Spence YA
32. Hayley Stone Adult 68. Stefanie Wass MG 104. Marieke Nijkamp YA
33. Jennifer Blackwood YA & NA 69. Tamara Mataya Adult 105. Meredith McCardle (co- mentoring with Ron Walters) YA
34. Kendra Young MG 70. Rebecca Sky YA & NA 106. Thomas Torre MG
35. S.P. McConnell NA & Adult 71. Kara Seal MG 107. Phil Stamper YA
36. Nikki Roberti YA 72. Lee Gjertsen Malone MG 108. J.A. Souders YA

While I helped by stating the age category each mentor is requesting, READ THEIR BIO’s to make sure they rep your genre! And before I let you go, here is a peak of some of the participating agents this year! (And Brenda has said more will be coming!)

  • Louise Fury – The Bent Agency
  • Melissa Edwards – Aaron Priest Agency
  • Alexandra Machinist – ICM Partners
  • Saba Sulaiman – Talcott Notch
  • Laura Biagi – Jean V. Naggar
  • Claire Anderson Wheeler – Regal Literary
  • Stefanie Lieberman – Janklow & Nesbit Associates
  • Carrie Prestritto – Prospect Agency
  • Melissa Nasson – Ruben Pfeffer Content
  • Uwe Stender/ Brent Taylor – TriadaUS
  • The New Leaf Literary Agents – Suzie Townsend, Pete Knapp
  • Molly Glick – Foundry Literary
  • Kitty Walker – Eve White Literary Group
  • Moe Ferrera – Booksends
  • Margaret Bail – Inklings Literary Agency
  • Julia Weber – J.A. Weber Literaturagentur GmbH
  • Rachel Brooks – L. Perkins Agency
  • Leon Husock – L. Perkins Agency
  • Christa Heschke – McIntosh & Otis
  • Stacey Donaghy – Donaghy Literary Group
  • Taylor Haggerty – Waxman Leavell Literary Agency
  • Emmanuelle Morgen – Stonesong
  • Amy Cloughley – Kimberley Cameron & Association
  • Brianne Johnson – Writers House
  • And more to come!

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and Writer of MG/YA fiction