Middle Grade Ninja is available on Soundcloud, Stitcher, itunes, Podbean, Podblaster, RadioPublic, blubrry, Listen Notes, Google Play, and many other fine locations.
Editor and former literary agent Mary Kole and I discuss her career in publishing and her approach to editing. She shares many tips for how to create memorable characters, how to improve a story's pacing, how best to market a book, and all sorts of other invaluable advice for writers. You'll want to revisit this episode a few times and take notes as it's packed with great content. And do not forget to check out KidLit.com, MaryKole.com, and purchase your copy of Mary's excellent book on craft, Writing Irresistible Kidlit.
As promised in the show, here is the text of the kind rejection I recieved from Mary back in 2010: "Thank you so much for the opportunity to read BANNEKER BONES. Unfortunately, this is a pass for me. The writing here is good and the premise is fun and interesting but I'm having a hard time imagining how to pitch or sell this in today's market. The voice just isn't 100% there for me, and it really has to shine for me to take something on. You've obviously a very skilled writer and I know I'll be kicking myself, but I'm not connecting to the material enough to be the best advocate for it in the marketplace, and you deserve nothing less. I'm sure another agent will feel differently and I look forward to reading about your many successes. You're plugged in and getting there, I can tell, but you're not quite there yet."
Makes sure you check out Mary's original interview when she faced the 7 Questions.
And now, enjoy the fifth episode of Middle Grade Ninja:
Mary Kole worked as a literary agent for Andrea Brown Literary Agency in California and as senior literary manager for Movable Type in New York before leaving agenting behind to become a full-time book editor. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco and has worked with authors at all stages of development and expertise.
Although Mary Kole specializes in children’s literature (she is the author of Writing Irresistible Kidlit from Writer’s Digest Books), she offers independent manuscript consulting and editing for all genres through Mary Kole Editorial. Her services range from phone consultations and manuscript brainstorming sessions to full manuscript edit and review. She leads webinars on the craft of writing for Writer’s Digest and speaks regularly at conferences nationwide.
Writing for young adult (YA) and middle grade (MG) audiences isn't just "kid's stuff" anymore--it's kidlit! The YA and MG book markets are healthier and more robust than ever, and that means the competition is fiercer, too. In Writing Irresistible Kidlit, literary agent Mary Kole shares her expertise on writing novels for young adult and middle grade readers and teaches you how to:
- Recognize the differences between middle grade and young adult audiences and how it impacts your writing.
- Tailor your manuscript's tone, length, and content to your readership.
- Avoid common mistakes and cliches that are prevalent in YA and MG fiction, in respect to characters, story ideas, plot structure and more.
- Develop themes and ideas in your novel that will strike emotional chords.
Mary Kole's candid commentary and insightful observations, as well as a collection of book excerpts and personal insights from bestselling authors and editors who specialize in the children's book market, are invaluable tools for your kidlit career.
If you want the skills, techniques, and know-how you need to craft memorable stories for teens and tweens, Writing Irresistible Kidlit can give them to you.
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