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September Newsletter

The launch of a podcast, previews, and some exciting news!

It’s finally here! Months of planning, learning new technology (not my strong suit), scheduling guests, and figuring out equipment (definitely not my strong suit) is finally coming to fruition with the launch of the Middle Grade Matters podcast on September 18th. It’s a wish I’ve had for several years, but it took some stars aligning as well as some really deep breaths to get here.

I am so excited to bring you conversations with middle grade authors from debut authors to New York Times Bestsellers (yes, that’s happening!), and I’ve been deeply encouraged by the authors who’ve said “yes” to being interviewed for a brand new show, and by the writers and readers who have already followed the podcast, its socials, and signed up for this newsletter (thank you!).

My hope for this podcast is that it’s just the beginning, and that from it grows a community that is connected by a love of middle grade stories. And now, on to some news.

September 18th: Claire Swinarski

In our first episode, I talk with author Claire Swinarski about her latest middle grade book, What Happened to Rachel Riley. Rachel Riley was an Indie Bestseller, an ALA Notable Book, and it received starred reviews from BookPage, Booklist, and School Library Journal.

In this episode, Claire and I dive deep into topics addressed by the book including sexual harassment and standing up for what's right, and we talk about her writing career from how she got started, to finding an agent, to publishing her first book. Claire also shares valuable advice for new writers, including the following:

Also September 18th: Doan Phuong Nguyen

You’re hearing this here first! On September 18th, I’ll be dropping not just one but two episodes. In the second episode, I talk with author Doan Phuong Nguyen about her debut middle grade novel, Mèo and Bé, a story inspired by her family's experience living in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. We discuss the challenges of writing a story set during a time of incredible heartache and turmoil, and the importance of finding hope in these stories.

We also talk about her journey to publication, and her process for writing a book. Here’s a clip:

September 25th: Alysa Wishingrad and Laura Segal Stegman

We’ll round out September with Alysa Wishingrad, author of Between Monsters and Marvels, and Laura Segal Stegman, author of Ready or Not. These two episodes are packed with advice for writers. You're not going to want to miss! them!

I love hearing from other writers and readers. If you’d like to chat, my DMs on Instagram and Twitter are open, or you can send me an email here.

To support the Middle Grade Matters podcast, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and please follow us on Instagram and Twitter. These small gestures mean so very much!

Talk soon,


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