Posted by: nancyisanders | August 24, 2011

Middle Grade Novel: The Decision

It all started with the decision to write a middle grade novel.

Why did I decide to land on this project?

For a couple of reasons.

One reason was I just read two books by Sid Fleischman. Jim Ugly and The Whipping Boy. I love the middle grade novel and these were examples at its best. Fleischman is the master of metaphors and similes and character names and character develpment and plot construction and humor for kids. I was so inspired to write like he writes that I just had to grab a blank notebook and get started with a middle grade novel of my own.

Another reason is because of the picture book market. My wonderful agent has been sending out my picture books all summer long and we’re both getting tired of hearing back from big publishers with the same old same old…”with the picture book market being as bad as it is, I’m afraid we can’t take this at this time…”

So, while my picture books continue to circulate, I thought I’d try my hand at writing a middle grade novel. THAT market isn’t quite so difficult right now.

So if you’re a picture book writer, why not come along with me on my journey? Try your hand at writing a middle grade novel. Who knows? Maybe this will be the manuscript that helps move your writing career to the next level.

At any rate, you’ll gain the experience and enjoy the joy. It’s a journey worth taking! I’m excited to launch out.


  1. I love a good journey …and good company.

    • Oh, it will be fun to have you along in the journey, Annalisa!

  2. I will have a try in french!
    I Have been quite sick for 10 month but I am feeling better and ready to go ahead with something I have never done! I must say that I do have an idea of the story I would like to write, something true that has been going on here but I have to admit, I don’t know how to start!! So I am all eyes and ears!!!!!!! 🙂

    • I love it Nicole! In French!!! I’m glad you’re feeling better and I’m exciting you’re going to give this a try. Hip hip hooray!

  3. Hi Nancy,

    I’m so glad that you are taking this journey. I will be right here with you. I’ve been trying to write my first MG novel too this summer. And I would love to have your company on your journey.

  4. I have had your blog saved, since the writing conference. Now I will have a reason to visit often. Your project sounds intriguing. I haven’t tried my hand at mg, but would love to find out how and I love your advice.

    • Marge, this is going to be such a fun exercise for you to try! MG novels are so much easier to get published than other books these days because kids love to read them all by themselves.

  5. Hey, Nancy! This is SO inspiring. I just picked up the book, The Whipping Boy. I’m going to follow you as much as I can (-: REALLY miss you!

    • Hi Sherri!!!! I’m so happy you’ll be following along. And I can hardly wait to hear what you think of all the fun wording in THE WHIPPING BOY. Get ready to laugh out loud!

      • I NEED to laugh out loud! Boy, do I! Hey, I’ll read it to Bob so we can both enjoy it. Two laughs are better than one ((-:

  6. planning on tuning in Nancy. it is hard to pass up an invite from you!

  7. I just finished up a project and was planning to dive into my middle grade that was recently resurrected (started it about 5 years ago.) I LOVE middle grade books and students.

    • Great to have you on board, Stephanie!

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