WNDMG Wednesday Submissions
It’s a WNDMG Wednesday call for submissions! This month we’re excited to tell you that we’re looking to expand our team. We’ve been a fixture on the Mixed-Up Files blog for two years now, providing readers with once-a-month posts designed to center diverse writers, books, and readers.
Now it’s time to grow! We’re eager to add more voices to those to contribute content for this important series.
Who Should Apply?
Do you love middle-grade books as much as we do? Are you a middle-grade book writer, librarian, or media specialist from an underrepresented or marginalized community? We’re eager to add your voice to the ongoing conversation about diversifying our bookshelves!
WNDMG Contributor Responsibilities
Posting: WNDMG is part of the Mixed-Up Files blog team, which means our contributors work together with the whole blog to keep us running. As a WNDMG contributor, we would ask you to post 2-3 times a year for the series, plus possibly 1-2 times a year for the blog as well.
We value original, quality posts on discussion-invoking topics about diversifying our bookshelves and the publishing industry, unique book lists, or author interviews.
((What don’t we do? Book reviews or self-published books.))
Promotion: We need dedicated new members who will commit to regularly promoting our blog via their own social media pages as well as our own. We also urge you to share the good news when our members have a launch or great news to share!
Blog Upkeep: We ask EACH Mixed-Up Files/WNDMG contributor to take at least one blog maintenance job. A few examples of these jobs (there are more!) are:
- Updating one of our social media pages
- Keeping our Oh MG! sidebar news updated
- Interview team (they rotate taking interview requests that come in…but Mixed-Up Files members are always welcome to coordinate interviews themselves!)
If you’re interested in joining us, click here to fill out an application.
Tip to help you prepare: Read some of our posts here: We Need Diverse Middle Grade. What would you like to see in this series? Use that to help you craft your submission sample.
Please spread the word to others who might be interested. If you applied a while back and would still like to join us, we’d be happy to receive a new application from you.
Applications will be open until December 1. We can’t wait to hear from you and will contact all applicants by mid December. If you have questions, we’re happy to answer them—leave a comment below.
Grab a warm drink and a cozy blanket. There are some great books waiting for you in our November New Releases List.
Looking for True by Tricia Springstubb
When two unlikely friends bond over shared compassion for a bereft but lovable dog, they learn what it truly means to find a sense of belonging and identity.
11-year-olds Gladys and Jude live in the same small, rust belt town, and go to the same school, but they are definitely not friends. Gladys is a tiny, eccentric, walking dictionary who doesn’t hesitate to express herself, while Jude likes to keep his thoughts and feelings to himself. But they both agree that a new dog in the neighborhood is being mistreated by its owner.
Gladys would like to do something to help while Jude is more resigned to the situation until the dog (who Gladys has named True Blue) disappears. They hatch a plan to find her and once they do, realize they have a problem: Gladys’s father is allergic and Jude’s mother hates dogs. There is no way they can bring her home. They hide True Blue in an abandoned house on the edge of town, but as their ties to the dog–and to one another–deepen, so does the impossibility of keeping such a big secret. Yet giving True up will break all three of their hearts.
Told in alternating voices set in a small, rust-belt town, True Blue is a story about family, identity, and finding friends in unexpected places.
Midnight at the Shelter by Nanci Turner Steveson
Written with a distinctively doggy voice, great humor, and plenty of heart, this novel from acclaimed author Nanci Turner Steveson is a perfect pick for readers looking for a touching animal story in the vein of Because of Winn-Dixie or Marley & Me.
Rescue dog MahDi is happy helping his human partner, “MomDoc,” with the important work at her vet clinic and the local animal shelter. The two of them make a good team, caring for the town’s pets and matchmaking rescue animals with the families who need them.
When the shelter is suddenly down a staff member, the animals have to deal with a new caretaker: Huck, an unpleasant man who seems to have no problem threatening the animals he’s supposed to care for. As more dogs crowd into the shelter than are going to new homes, MahDi begins to worry that if MomDoc isn’t around, there is no telling what Huck might do.
With three perfectly good legs, the heart of a true leader, and his pack mates by his side, MahDi is willing to risk everything to save his shelter-friends from an uncertain future.
Controlled Burn Erin Soderberg Downing
From acclaimed middle-grade and chapter-book author, Erin Soderberg Downing, Controlled Burn is a story that blends family, friendship, fire, and the rocky path toward healing our deepest fears.
Twelve-year-old Maia’s parents say she’s lucky she noticed something as early as she did. Lucky to have smelled the smoke, lucky to have pulled her sister, Amelia, out of their burning house. But is it really “lucky” when Amelia’s stuck in the hospital, covered in burns? And is it “lucky” when Maia knows it was her candle, left unattended, that started the fire in the first place?
When she’s sent to spend the summer with her grandparents in Northern Minnesota while her sister heals, Maia discovers that her anxieties and demons are intent on following her wherever she goes…unless she can figure out how to overcome them. But what if she can’t? Maia barely knows her grandparents, she desperately misses her sister and home, and she’s not thrilled to be spending the summer with Grandpa Howard on his daily motorcycle rides out to the middle of the woods, where he spends all day keeping watch for forest fires. There are no kids her age in Gram and Pop’s small town at “the end of the road”–just the chatty nine-year-old neighbor who is intent on getting his Bear Scout badge at all costs, and a friendly, stray dog who’s been lurking around.
But Maia will soon learn that nature is a powerful teacher, and sometimes our greatest strengths show themselves when we have to be there for someone else. As she begins to figure out how to face her guilt and paralyzing fears, she’ll discover there’s a fine line between fear and adventure. And when danger strikes again, Maia must summon all her bravery and overcome her self-doubt if she wants to save those she loves most.
Morning Sun in Wuhan by Ying Chang Compestine
What was the pandemic of the century like at the start? This swift, gripping novel captures not only the uncertainty and panic when COVID first emerged in Wuhan, but also how a community banded together.
Weaving in the tastes and sounds of the historic city, Wuhan’s comforting and distinctive cuisine comes to life as the reader follows 13-year-old Mei who, through her love for cooking, makes a difference in her community. Written by an award-winning author originally from Wuhan.
Grieving the death of her mother and an outcast at school, thirteen-year-old Mei finds solace in cooking and computer games. When her friend’s grandmother falls ill, Mei seeks out her father, a doctor, for help, and discovers the hospital is overcrowded. As the virus spreads, Mei finds herself alone in a locked-down city trying to find a way to help.
Author Ying Chang Compestine draws on her own experiences growing up in Wuhan to illustrate that the darkest times can bring out the best in people, friendship can give one courage in frightening times, and most importantly, young people can make an impact on the world. Readers can follow Mei’s tantalizing recipes and cook them at home.
The Cool Code by Deirdre Langeland (Author) and Sarah Mai (Illustrator)
In this funny and heartfelt slice-of-life graphic novel for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Kayla Miller, when coding whiz Zoey goes from homeschooled to new school, she develops an app to help her make friends. Will the Cool Code help Zoey fit in? Or will it completely crash her social life?
In an attempt to fit in, Zoey develops an app called the Cool Code with a cute llama avatar that will tell her everything from what to say to what to wear based on pop culture algorithms she’s uploaded.
But when the app gives her ridiculous advice, awkwardness and hilarity ensues. With a few upgrades and a bit of debugging from the coding club, the app actually works–Zoey gets really popular . . . and gets her pulled in all kinds of directions, including away from her real friends.
Life’s most complicated choices. . . is there a code for that?
Operation Final Notice by Matthew Landis
Told in alternating points of view, this middle grade novel, following best friends Ronny and Jo, is about anxiety, being in over your head, and learning to accept help–even if you don’t know how to ask
Eight hundred seventy-eight dollars. That’s how much Ronny needs by January 4th to make to keep his family’s only car from getting repossessed. Since a workplace injury disabled his dad and forced the family to move from their home into the apartment complex across the street, Ronny’s been learning all sorts of things–like what letters marked with Final Notice means and that banks can take cars away for being behind on payments.
His best friend Josefina Ramos is also counting down until the start of January when her life could change forever–that’s when she has her big cello audition at the prestigious music academy Maple Hill. Except she can’t play a solo performance without something disastrous happening and no one seems to hear her when she talks about how nervous she is.
As the countdown to the new year rolls ahead, Ronny and Jo learn what can happen to best-laid plans and how to depend on one another and their community when things get tough.
Daisy Woodworm Changes the World by Melissa Hart
Thirteen-year-old Daisy Woodward loves insects, running track, and hanging out with her older brother, Sorrel, who has Down syndrome and adores men’s fashion. When her social studies teacher assigns each student an oral report and project to change the world for the better, Daisy fears the class bully–who calls her Woodworm–will make fun of her lisp. Still, she decides to help Sorrel fulfill his dream of becoming a YouTube fashion celebrity despite their parents’ refusal to allow him on social media.
With the help of her best friend, Poppy, and Miguel–the most popular boy in school and her former enemy–Daisy launches Sorrel’s publicity campaign. But catastrophe strikes when her parents discover him online along with hateful comments from a cyberbully. If Daisy has any hope of changing the world, she’ll have to regain her family’s trust and face her fears of public speaking to find her own unique and powerful voice.
Daisy Woodworm Changes the World includes an author’s note and additional resources.
Heart Finds by Jaime Berry
A heartwarming novel about a girl who must learn to let go of the past and embrace the future, perfect for fans of Kate DiCamillo and Barbara O’Connor.
Eleven-year-old Mabel Cunningham is a quiet loner who only feels free to be herself when she’s “extreme treasure hunting” with her grampa–much to her perfectionist mother’s disapproval. Nothing excites Mabel more than discovering a heart find, an item that calls to her heart, and the maybes that come along with it.
But when her friendships start to crumble and her grampa suffers a stroke, Mabel quickly learns that real-life maybes are harder to handle than imagined ones. Desperate to change things back to the way they were, Mabel devises a plan that she believes will fix everything. Except bringing her plan to fruition means lying to her grampa and disappointing her mother.
Will Mabel learn that letting go of the past doesn’t mean letting go of her grampa and that embracing the future might be one of her most important heart finds yet?
The Secrets of Stone Creek by Briana McDonald
The Hardy Boys meets We Dream of Space in this tender middle grade adventure about a girl with the heart of an explorer who discovers more than she bargained for with her two brothers over the course of one fateful week.
Finley Walsh and her best friend Sophie were adventurers, like the ones they grew up reading about in 100 of the World’s Greatest Female Adventurers–that is, until Sophie found new friends. Between losing her best friend and feeling overlooked by her mother and older brother, Finley is determined to prove herself by becoming a great adventurer like the ones in her book.
The perfect opportunity comes when she and her brothers stay with an estranged relative in Stone Creek, a remote tourist town dedicated to the legend of a local adventurer who went missing two decades before. Finley knows that if she finds the missing woman, she’ll not only be able to prove herself to Sophie and her family, but also be able to meet a real, live adventurer just like her.
Finley convinces her brothers to join her in her rescue mission. But as they delve deeper into Stone Creek’s painful past, it becomes harder to know who they can trust–including each other–and they realize some places are better left unexplored.
Dad’s Girlfriend and Other Anxieties by Kellye Crocker
Anxiety has always made Ava avoid the slightest risk, but plunging headfirst into danger might be just what she needs.
Dad hasn’t even been dating his new girlfriend that long, so Ava is sure that nothing has to change in her life. That is, until the day after sixth grade ends, when Dad whisks her away on vacation to meet The Girlfriend and her daughter in terrifying Colorado, where even the squirrels can kill you! Managing her anxiety, avoiding altitude sickness, and surviving the mountains might take all of Ava’s strength, but at least this trip will only last two weeks. Right?
Sisters in Delft by Nika Teran
“Antonia felt a pull, and that tingling in her bones she’d experienced before. She approached to read the letters on the golden-colored plate: Johannes Vermeer: The View of Delft.”
While on a visit to The Cloisters in New York City, Antonia and her little sister get pulled into a painting and land in the Dutch city of Delft in 1647. Will Antonia outwit two ancient spirits, keep her wayward sister safe, and find the way back home?
Sisters in Delft is about friendship, sisterhood, and mysterious worlds that lie just beyond our reach.
See anything in our November New Releases you can’t wait to curl up with? Let us know in the comments.