Melanie Crowder: Upper Middle Grade Vs. Young Adult

Today’s guest is Melanie Crowder, author of multiple YA and Middle Grade books, and a fellow 2013 debut. Melanie joins host Mindy McGinnis to talk about the pain of rejection, and how to view it as a learning experience that can help you become stronger, the fuzzy area of writing for upper middle grade versus writing YA, and tackling tougher subjects for that audience. Also covered: the power of writing for youth who are ready to change the world, the ability of SciFi and Fantasy to be more subversive than their counterparts, how difficult life can be for today’s youth, and why it’s important to tell their stories.

Tiffany Jackson: Setting Writing Goals

Mindy McGinnis welcomes Tiffany Jackson, author of ALLEGEDLY. Tiffany talks about setting goals while in the query trenches, and how skills developed working in TV crossed over to writing fiction for Tiffany. She also shares about how a hurricane made her go unplugged and provided the backdrop she needed to produce that first book, and how interviewing girls in the juvenile justice system helped shape Allegedly.

Tara Dairman: Pros of Writing Contests

Today's guest is Tara Dairman whose debut novel All Four Stars, about an 11 y/o restaurant critic moonlighting for New York’s biggest newspaper was published in 2014, followed by The Stars of Summer and Stars So Sweet in 2015 and 2016. A new standalone middle-grade novel, The Great Hibernation, will hit the shelves on September 12.

Tara joined me to talk about how a contest helped her gain an invitation to query a closed agency, how to navigate social media when your target audience may not be there, and the question of who you write for when you write middle grade – the kids, or the gatekeepers?