Welcome to our channel surf, where we highlight our favorite writing, publishing, and/or book-related posts of the week by middle grade authors! Hit the pause button for a sec and check this out…

SurfingCrafting a Strong Beginning with a Young Narrator 

by Janice Hardy, author of The Healing Wars Trilogy

Of the many reasons Janice Hardy’s blog is the greatest thing since sliced harvati, her weekly “Real Life Diagnostics” column is at the top of the list. In this post, Janice examines a prologue from a 6 year old’s point of view and discusses common problems when it comes to starting a story with a particularly young narrator.

How’s the Weather in Your Middle Grade? 

by Dawn Lairamore, author of Ivy’s Ever After

Is it a bright and sunny day, or a dark and stormy night? Maybe a little frost? Clouds that threaten tornadoes? Acid rain? Dawn points out that weather is an oft-overlooked setting element that can really help set the mood of your story.

Dirty Secrets of an E-Book Buyer 

by Lehua Parker, author of Niuhi Shark Saga

Hallelujah, another e-book fan who isn’t ashamed to admit it! I’m with Lehua on this one – I, of course, love the feel of holding a paper book more than anything, but the convenience of the e-book can’t be denied.

How Long is Middle Grade Fiction?

by Hillary Homzie, author of The Hot List

Of course, genre always plays a role – fantasy and sci-fi stories tend to run longer than contemporary books, regardless of age level. But Hillary sees future middle grade books expanding, with both longer word counts and shorter novellas becoming more common.

The Cabinet of Curiosities

This super awesome, super creepy blog launched this week! Only follow it if you like short, macabre stories. Which, you know. Why wouldn’t you.

What’d I miss? Let me know if you caught any great middle grade posts this week!