Writing books for middle and high schoolers takes empathy, insight, relatable characters, humor, a dash of drama, and a whole lot more. Learn from these authors of fiction for tweens and teens as they discuss the full recipe for writing with this age group in mind.
Molly McCaffrey is the Pushcart-Prize nominated author of How to Survive Graduate School & Other Disasters and You Belong to Us. Since earning her PhD, her work has appeared everywhere from The Independent to The Vestal Review. She lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Author + Speaker Lineup
Author + Speaker Lineup
Mariama J. Lockington is an adoptee, author, and nonprofit educator. She has been telling stories and making her own books since the second grade, when she wore shortalls and flower leggings every day to school.
In this lyrical coming-of-age story about family, sisterhood, music, race, and identity, Mariama J. Lockington draws on some of the emotional truths from her own experiences growing up with an adoptive white family. I am a girl but most days I feel like a question mark. Makeda June Kirkland is eleven years old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out.
Ismée Williams is a pediatric cardiologist by day and an accomplished author by night. Her first book with Abrams, Water in May, was released in 2017 to critical acclaim. She lives in New York City.
Alex is a baseball player. A great one. His papi is pushing him to go pro, but Alex maybe wants to be a poet. Not that Papi would understand or allow that. Isa is a dancer. She’d love to go pro, if only her Havana-born mom weren’t dead set against it…just like she’s dead set against her daughter falling for a Latino.
Jason is an army brat who grew up moving around a total of seven times on military bases from Germany to Fort Knox, Kentucky, and made friends by writing stories starring the kids in each new school. In his free time Jason can be found enjoying 1980’s music and popular culture, watching Marvel movies, and is working on visiting all the MLB baseball stadiums.
Sixth-grader Brad makes the mistake of drawing instead of paying attention in class. When Brad’s parents ground him from drawing, his bratty little brother Daley rubs it in. Later that night, Brad is surprised when a mysterious crow delivers a pen to his bedroom window.
Greg Howard was born and raised in the South Carolina Lowcountry, where his love of words and stories blossomed at a young age. Originally set on becoming a songwriter, Greg followed that dream to the bright lights of Nashville, Tennessee, and spent years producing the music of others before eventually returning to his childhood passion of writing stories.
In this heartfelt and hilarious new novel from Greg Howard, an enterprising boy starts his own junior talent agency and signs a thirteen-year-old aspiring drag queen as his first client. Twelve-year-old Mikey Pruitt–president, founder, and CEO of Anything, Inc.–has always been an entrepreneur at heart. Inspired by his grandfather Pap Pruitt, who successfully ran all sorts of businesses from a car wash to a roadside peanut stand, Mikey is still looking for his million-dollar idea.