The mission of Middle-Grade Mojo is to provide a refuge, a klatch, for established and aspiring middle grade authors. The purpose of the site is to share knowledge, inspire each other, and celebrate good news. Writing can be a lonely endeavor, but when you are part of a family, you are never alone.

The Mojo Crew

Lisa Lewis Tyre

Lisa Lewis Tyre grew up in a small town in Tennessee where the only form of entertainment was watching her crazy family, and even crazier neighbors. She figured out early on that not every child had a pet skunk, a dad that ran a bar in the front yard, or a neighbor that was so large his house had to be torn down to get him out.

What else could she do but write? Lisa’s debut middle grade novel, Last In a Long Line of Rebels, released September 29, 2015 from Nancy Paulsen Books. Her second novel, HOPE IN THE HOLLER, was released in 2018.

Currently living in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and daughter, Lisa’s still been known to spy on her neighbors.

Kim Zachman

Kim Zachman also grew up in a small town in Tennessee, but a different one than Lisa Tyre’s. She sold her first book at the age of six… to her grandmother for 10 cents. She’s never forgotten the rush that came with that literary success.

As a freelance writer, 150 of Kim’s articles and essays have appeared in more than 25 print and online publications. A few of years ago, she decided to give into her secret ambition to be a children’s writer. With the help of her agent, John Rudolph of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret, her book There’s No Ham in Hamburgers: Facts and Folklore About Our Favorite Foods released April 6, 2021 from Running Press Kids. Her second book There’s No Cream in Cream Soda: Facts and Folklore About Our Favorite Drinks releases July 2023.

Kim lives in Roswell, Georgia with her husband, two YA daughters and their mostly adorable dog. She’s a member of SCBWI and Atlanta Writer’s Club.

Debbie D’Aurelio

Debbie D’Aurelio grew up in Ocala, Florida, known for thoroughbred horses and love bug season which comes twice a year. Debbie has lived in five states along three coasts and visited many states in between. She enjoys finding out how people choose to work, live, and play and has been known to ask total strangers their life stories. She draws on these experiences and combines fact with fiction in her middle-grade stories. Currently, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and two children.

Debbie is represented by Essie White at Storm Literary Agency. Her debut is THE SECRET NOTEBOOK (Capstone, 2020) about the long lost notebook of inventor, Nikola Tesla, and the kids who have to save it from falling into the wrong hands.

L.S. Bridgers

L.S. Bridgers is an attorney and writer of middle grade fiction. She was born in the U.S. but raised in Rome Italy.

I find it gives me a unique way of looking at things. It probably explains why I love to write about magic so much. Magic is universal. But how we come to believe magic is real is individual. It’s that process that interest me. It tells us who we are and where we come from. L.S. Bridgers began writing when she was at Rice University and the continued while she was at the University of Georgia School of Law. She began to write for children after her children were born. She credits her experiences as a lawyer for teaching her how to write about heroes and villains and the endless energy of her sons for inspiring her imagination. L.S. Bridgers lives outside Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, three sons and dogs.

Sherry Ellis

Sherry Ellis is an award-winning author and professional musician who plays and teaches violin, viola, and piano.When she is not writing or engaged in musical activities, she can be found doing household chores, hiking, or exploring the world. Ellis has previously published Don’t Feed the Elephant, Ten Zany Birds, That Mama is a Grouch, That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN, and Bubba and Squirt’s Big Dig to China. Ellis, her husband, and their two children live in Atlanta, Georgia.

Nicole D. Collier, Guest Author

Nicole D. Collier, Ph.D., was born and raised just south of Atlanta, Georgia. After a short stint in journalism, she has spent the past two decades in education. First as an elementary school teacher, and now as a partner in an executive training, coaching and consulting firm.

Nicole writes for all ages, but her first love is middle grade contemporary fiction. Young people are trying to discern who they are vs. who they want to be, and how to bridge the gap between the two. Nicole’s stories are in that gap. In particular, she writes about the interior lives of Black girls as they seek their authentic selves.

A self-proclaimed ever-victorious woman, Nicole has been known to run, dance, and turn cartwheels on sunny days.

Just Right Jillian is her debut novel.


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