July 10, 2020– Have you read Unfrogged by Tamara Botting (cover art by Christopher Botting) yet? If you haven’t you should! Unfrogged is not your average fairytale and is perfect for middle-grade readers who love adventure. Here is an excerpt from the book, available at Pandamoniumpublishing.com/shop
The carriage lurched and shook as it worked its way over the dirt-packed road. Even though it was one of the best carriages in the kingdom, there was no escaping all of the dips and bumps. Meredith and Frog were well-cushioned, though; the inside of the carriage was, as Frog described it, “like being in a pillow.” Meredith looked out the window eagerly, hungry for a view of the world outside the castle walls. She didn’t realize before now how badly her shyness had crippled her ability to see the world around her; to go on a trip like this, even back to the first home she had known, was an adventure. …They stopped for lunch and gave the horses a rest. Meredith and Frog were happy for a chance to stretch their legs; Frog took a short, refreshing swim in a happily chattering brook. As Madame Lench and the guards were some distance away, Meredith dared to leave her silken stockings bunched into her shoes on the bank and dip her feet in the cool water.
Unfrogged was the second book ever published by Pandamonium Publishing House, and it’s still one of my most favourites! If you don’t have this book in your collection, you’re missing out on a wonderful story and thrilling adventure.
September 17, 2018– Middle-grade scripts are what I’m always looking for! There seems to be an infinite black hole in my line-up of offerings for this age group. My middle-grade submissions never close, so if you’re an MG writer, please submit! You can submit your query and one-page synopsis to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, let’s get inside the minds of our middle-grades, shall we? What is an MG reader? It’s a child between the ages of 8-12, and they seem to live in a world of conflict.
Middle-graders love their families, and they are fiercely loyal to them, but at the same time, they crave independence.
They want to fit in with friends and social groups at school, but they also want to be defined as unique, individual, and special.
They want to grow up, make choices, flex their independence, but they also want to be a kid, be safe, and are emotionally not mature enough to make tough decisions when faced with them.
At this age, MG’s are finding their place in the world and getting their feet wet in different situations; they don’t want to completely abandon their childhood, but they don’t want to be treated as kids all the time either. It’s truly a tough spot to be in, not only for them but also, in relating to them as a writer!
Here’s what you need to know to be a successful MG writer:
Tweens are focused on themselves, but they’re also focused on how others see them. Peer opinions are super important to them.
Heroes and parents aren’t perfect anymore. MG’s are starting to see them as humans with flaws and all.
Things are complex at this time in their lives, and they may be experiencing things for the first time in their lives, e.g., first kiss, first time they’ve been grounded, first time they’ve been in trouble at school, first fight with parents, etc.
If there is romance, make it innocent. Crushes are fine but don’t go too far beyond this.
To echo the above point, keep it PG and don’t go all the way to Young Adult writing with edgy themes and romantic scenes. There is a very LARGE line in the sand on this one. Keep it clean because the edgier you make your novel, the less chance it has to enter school libraries and conservative households.
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