How to Capture Middle Grade Voice With Tara Gilboy

Today’s guest is Tara Gilboy who holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, where she specialized in writing for children and young adults. Her middle grade novel, Unwritten, was published by Jolly Fish Press just this month. She teaches creative writing in San Diego Community College’s Continuing Education Program and for the PEN Writers in Prisons Program.

Tara joined me today to talk about selling her book without an agent, and how to process criticism from critique partners. Also Covered: exercises to help you capture middle grade voice, and how to find critique partners both online and in real life. And, can writing be taught or is it intuitive?  

Jessica Verdi On Writing About Hot-Button Issues

Today’s guest is Jessica Verdi, author of the YA contemporary novels My Life After Now, The Summer I Wasn’t Me, What You Left Behind, as well as And She Was. Jess received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School and is a freelance editor of romance, women’s fiction, chick lit, YA, and kid lit

Jessica joins host Mindy McGinnis to talk about querying a first novel, landing her agent, and breaking out of writing only one genre. Also covered: how Jessica handles hot button issues in her books, and the pushback that can come from writing about such topics, as well as the pros and cons of getting an MFA and why everyone needs an editor.

Write What You Know, How Contemporary Can Be A Good Fit For A First Time Novelist: An Interview with Abigail Johnson

Today’s guest is Abigail Johnson, author of the YA contemporary titles EVEN IF I FALL, THE FIRST TO KNOW and IF I FIX YOU. She became a tetraplegic after breaking her neck in a car accident when she was seventeen, but hasn’t let that stop her from bodysurfing in Mexico, and becoming a published author. Abigail speaks with host Mindy McGinnis about the process of getting an agent, how branding can limit your writing in some ways once you have a career,  the ease of world building when writing contemporary – not to be confused with the idea that writing YA is easy - and how Abigail’s accident shapes her unique perspective of life and people, and where to find her online.