Find Your Middle Grade Voice
ABOUT THIS MINI-CLASSThe goal of this mini-class is to familiarize you with the voice in middle grade novels and how to accomplish a true-sounding, compelling voice that entices middle graders and captivates them until the end of a story.
Voice in general is the one thing an agent or editor can’t fix. It’s yours and yours alone. Middle grade voice is one of the hardest to nail. It often falls flat, is tinged with message and morals, or is immediately exposed by young readers as “phony”.
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN
- Examine the intricacies of middle grade life. We’ll find out where kids that age are on the growth scale and what their specific characteristics are.
- Consider the color of a middle grade voice. Like in singing, every voice has a specific color, and we will explore the sounds of this particular voice.
- Learn writing techniques and writing tools that can help you find and strengthen your middle-grade voice.
MEET YOUR INSTRUCTOR
Becoming an architect was Mina Witteman’s childhood dream, but all her designs invariably ended in words and stories. She dropped out and tried for a while to escape the pull of fiction, until she realized that, indeed, fiction is stronger than reality. Upon completion of the four-year course Writing Prose for Children at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and the Master Book Editing at the University of Amsterdam, her middle grade debut Deedee’s Revenge came out in 2005, soon followed by more novels and stories. Her latest middle grade series Boreas is praised by readers, teachers, and librarians alike. Its first book, Boreas and the Seven Seas, was the focus title for the 2019 Dutch National Children’s Book Week, an honor that brought the book to every classroom, library, and bookstore in the country. To date, Mina has seven middle grade novels out in the Netherlands, a Little Golden Book, and about forty short stories in magazines and anthologies.
Mina lives in Berkeley, California, and writes in English and Dutch. She works as an editor, a teacher of creative writing, and she mentors published and aspiring writers. In addition, Mina is the Director of Strategic Partnerships & Programming for Cinnamongirl, an Oakland-based organization that supports girls of color destined for greatness, for which she designed and developed the year-round writing program Write Your Story. Find out more at minawitteman.com.