Monday, March 3, 2014

Mid Grade Madness (Contest Detail) With Terrie Wolf from AKA Literary Management, LLC

 (Artwork provided by the amazing S.P. McConnell!)

What is a Middle Grade Novel?

I've been hunting on the web and in books to give you a great definition and I think this is a great one from Michael Stearns:

* “Middle grade novels tend to be shorter.”
* “Middle grade novels tend to have main characters who are the age of—or slightly older than—the target reader.”
* “Middle grade novels tend to be more outwardly focused: Their plot of events, of things happening to the character, is more important over the course of the book than what happens within the character.”
* “Middle grade novels tend to have a simpler vocabulary and a simpler sentence structure.”
* “Middle grade novels tend to have a single inciting element—the thing that sets the comfortable, given world a-kilter.”

If you would like to read the whole article, pop over HERE to do so.

How long should your MG Novel be??? 

Chuck Sambuchino (from Writer's Digest) has a wonderful post addressing manuscript lengths.

Middle grade is from 20,000 – 45,000, depending on the subject matter and age range. When writing a longer book that is aimed at 12-year-olds (and could maybe be considered “tween”), using the term “upper middle grade” is advisable. With upper middle grade, you can aim for 32,000 – 40,000 words. These are books that resemble young adult in matter and storytelling, but still tend to stick to MG themes and avoid hot-button, YA-acceptable themes such as sex, drugs and rock & roll.  You can stray a little over here but not much.
With a simpler middle grade idea (Football Hero, or Jenny Jones and the Cupcake Mystery), aim lower.  Shoot for 20,000 – 30,000 words.

You can read his entire article HERE.

I can feel you tapping your fingers on your desks...

  • What does Terrie want to see?
  • What are the rules?
  • When does the contest start?
  • How many winners?
  • What are the prizes?
  • Can you enter your MG in this contest and in another contest?  YES, no worries!

Terrie from AKA Literary Management, LLC would like to see:

  • fantasy that is exceedingly well written
  • historical fiction
  • contemporary
  • a tomboy story (not all girls should be ballerinas)
  • humorous stories 
  • wholesome stories
  • adventure stories
  • multi-cultural/cultural stories
  • modern western series
  • unique non-fiction
You can also pop back to this post to learn more about Terrie and her tastes.

The rules:

  • You will submit a pitch for an MG novel that is no more than 7 sentences in length. (Look HERE for an example of what a pitch is...Lucky you! You get more than one sentence!)
  • Instead of writing a query letter you are going to write 7 sentences about yourself and your writing journey.
  • Your MG novel should be polished and formatted correctly for submission. (Who might get a request for more pages!)
The Contest:

  • On March 6th, at 6 PM Central Standard Time you will be able to enter your pitch through a submission link on my blog.
  • You will get an automated reply, if your entry is in the first fifty-one entries, saying your entry was accepted. (Don't fret if you don't get in. When all the contests are complete submissions will reopen for MG, PB and YA manuscripts.)
  • On March 13th, we will announce the top ten pitches. 
  • The top ten pitches will then submit their first 7 pages through a link on my blog.
  • April the 7th the five winners will be announced on my blog.

The Prizes:

  • Each winner will receive a 30 minute phone call with Terrie. In addition to a critique of the first seven (7) pages originally entered into the contest, each winner will be encouraged to discuss their work in general, and will be invited to ask questions pertaining to their writing careers and the publishing industry. 

I don't know about you guys, but I'm feelin' pretty cool these days. Having the opportunity to help some fellow writers slide past the slush pile is a great feeling for me.  For those of you who have known me for years, you know I live for this kind of stuff.

Best wishes with perfecting your pitches, and I hope to see you back here on Thursday, March the 6th at 6 PM CST!

Tomorrow night at 7 PM CST there will be a Q and A at a Google event. #midgrademadness will last until 8:30 PM CST. Drop in and get to know more about MG writing, our Mid Grade Madness Contest and about Terrie! 


Donna McDine said...

Amazing opportunity! Can't wait to submit! Thanks for everything.


Lenny Lee* said...

WOW! another cool contest. i dont have anything mg thats all polished and shiny so ill just wish good luck to the ones who enter. it sooo nice of you and miss terrie to do this.:)
...hugs from lenny

Jemi Fraser said...

Wish I had an MG right now! Great contest :)

Donna McDine said...

Sharon, so I understand correctly. My submission should include a 7 sentence manuscript pitch, plus 7 sentences about myself and writing journey?


Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like an awesome contest. Will spread the word for you.

Theresa Milstein said...

Thanks, Terrie and Sharon, for organizing this contest. I'd better polish my pitch.

Robyn Campbell said...

I have known you for years and I do know you live for this kind of stuff. I'll be on the sidelines this go round. But what she's looking for is what I've got, before I started changing it to a YA. Contemporary, adventure, tomboy. GAH! Now I wonder if I made the right choice. *second guessing*

emaginette said...

This looks like a very exciting event. I'm not ready this time, but watch out next.

There will be a next, right?

Anna from Shout with Emaginette

Joanne Roberts said...

This was a helpful post, thanks. FYI, I can't get the link to Chuck's article to work.