Ten Tips to Become a Better Writer

Most authors do not begin as excellent writers. It's a life-long process. Here are some tips to help you improve: Writing takes practice. To get in the habit of doing it, follow tips one and two: Find your writing space. Have a comfortable space without distractions that’s conducive to writing. Create a writing ritual. Set aside a specific time each day or week that is used only for writing.  Learn from others. Tips 3 through [...]

By |2020-09-02T08:05:28-04:00September 2nd, 2020|Mo Learning|0 Comments

Incorporating Research into Writing Juvenile Fiction

Our job as writers is to create believable and entertaining stories for our readers. This is true whether you’re writing for children or adults. Details about the setting — location, time period, and everything that goes with it — are what make the story realistic. Research is part of the process. Writers need a clear picture in their minds to build their imaginary worlds.   The trick is knowing how much information to include without [...]

By |2020-07-23T08:43:17-04:00July 23rd, 2020|Mo Learning|0 Comments

Tips for Writing Short Stories

  Short stories offer the opportunity to practice the craft of writing. They don’t take months or years to complete, and the sense of accomplishment once you finish is satisfying. Short stories also provide a chance to explore genres you might not otherwise try. Here are some tips if you would like to write your own: Figure out the basic plot. Short stories are usually 3,500 words or less, so you’ll need to make every [...]

By |2020-06-11T08:14:57-04:00June 11th, 2020|Mo Learning|0 Comments

How to Get Middle-Grade Students Excited about Reading

When kids are young, they are excited about books. Many even want to be authors when they grow up. I always chuckle during school visits when I ask the question, “Who wants to be an author when you grow up?” Inevitably, every hand goes up in the kindergarten and first-grade groups. As the grade number goes up, the hand numbers go down. Middle-schoolers rarely have ambitions to become an author. Sometimes that also means they [...]

By |2020-04-12T16:52:33-04:00March 26th, 2020|Mo Learning|0 Comments

Writing Historical Fiction for Young Readers

Writing historical fiction can be both rewarding and challenging at the same time. How do you write a story that captivates kids and teaches them a subject most have no interest in? The trick is to make the history lesson so subtle that readers are basically learning by osmosis. When I choose a setting or time period, I consider two things: What kids will be learning in school and what would work well for drama [...]

By |2020-04-22T12:35:08-04:00March 12th, 2020|Mo Learning|0 Comments

Nerdy or Not, Check out NFFest.com

Whether you’re nerdy or not, this fabulous free Nonfiction writing crash course organized by NF Chicks is worth your time. Every day in February, there’s a blog posted by an experienced nonfiction children’s writer. You might be thinking, “but I don’t write nonfiction,” and I say, “So what!” Every writer can benefit from Sophia Gholz’s post “Visual Storytelling” on February 7th or “What the Marketing Department Wished Nonfiction Writers Knew” on February 15th by Kerry [...]

By |2020-04-22T12:35:20-04:00February 21st, 2020|Mo Learning|1 Comment

What do Middle Schoolers WANT to Read? An Interview with a School Counselor.

Middle school students are assigned readings all the time, but when given a choice (and not distracted by other forms of electronic media) what books do they want to read? What speaks to them; inspires them; entertains them? Barbara Truluck is a middle school counselor and recipient of 2018 Middle School Counselor of the Year for Cobb County schools (the second largest school district in the state of Georgia). We asked her about the reading habits of [...]

By |2020-06-11T11:53:06-04:00March 8th, 2019|Mo Learning|0 Comments

From The Stacks: An Interview with Jennifer Lewis

Middle Grade Mafia reads a lot of books and we think we have  good taste in children’s literature, but what do we know? We’re adults. Children’s books are supposed to appeal to children. We wanted to know what kids like to read and why .From time to time, MGM will be interviewing the real experts in children’s literature…the media specialists. Our first “From the Stacks” interview is with Jennifer Lewis, the media specialist at Indian [...]

By |2020-04-09T21:34:59-04:00June 15th, 2016|Mo Learning|1 Comment
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