Oh MG News

We’re Looking For a Few New Mixed-Up Files Members!

graphic of MUF contributor books includes a heart in center with words MG Rocks

We’d love to add some new members to our blog who love middle-grade books as much as we do.

Who Should Apply to Be a Member?

*Writers or illustrators with a passion for middle grade books!
*Media specialists who can share helpful posts for teachers, parents, media specialists, etc.

***We’re strongly committed to diversity in publishing. If you’re a writer of color or other underrepresented voice, please apply!*** 

 

What’s It Like to Be a Member of The Mixed-Up Files Blog?

*Members have scheduled posting dates about 5 – 7 times a year (but are welcome to add extra posts). We love having original, quality posts that can include discussion-invoking topics about the changing market, unique book lists, interviews…pretty much anything middle-grade related.

*We need dedicated new members who will join our behind-the-scenes discussions and help promote our blog via their own social media pages, too.

*We’re a supportive community who loves spreading the word about amazing middle grade books. We also enjoy celebrating when our members have a launch or great news to share!

*Each Mixed-Up member has at least one job. Examples of jobs are:

  • Posting New Releases (several members rotate doing this monthly post)
  • Contributing to WNDMG (We Need Diverse Middle Grade). A team rotates this monthly post.
  • Updating one of our social media pages
  • Monthly Editor/Agent Spotlights (a team of at least 2 post these)
  • 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 through a bunch of our posts in several categories you’re interested in, like author interviews, We Need Diverse Middle Grade, Editor/Agent Spotlight, etc. We love posting interviews and unique book lists, but don’t post reviews. We also focus on traditionally published books with publishers on the SCBWI PAL list.

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.

Banned Books Week 2022

Banned Book Week logo featuring an open red book with yellow banner across the middle. Text on banner reads "Banned Books Week."

Banned Book Week logo featuring an open red book with yellow banner across the middle. Text on banner reads "Banned Books Week."

 

Banned Books Week 2022

Banned Books Week 2022 (September 18-24) hosts its first event today with a conversation on youth activism, led by Banned Books Week Honorary Chair Cameron Samuels. The Kids Are Alright will talk about ways young people can fight censorship.

Promotional slide for banned book week including the title: The Kids Are Alright: Youth Activism on Fighting Censorship, along with photos of each presenter at event

Organizers have planned additional, free speaker events through September 24, including a discussion on Wednesday with YA and MG authors Angie Thomas and Jerry Craft. They will all be available live on Facebook–just join the Banned Books Week Facebook page to view the event.

In addition to these Facebook events, a slew of libraries, bookstores, universities, and other organizations are hosting local events. You can find that calendar here.

To be part of the national conversation, use these hashtags: #BannedBooksWeek, #FReadom, #Freethebooks

((For more on banned books, read this archived MUF post and this one from WNDMG Wednesday))

PEN America has cataloged 2532 book bans across 32 states during the 2021-22 school year, affecting 1,648 unique book titles. (see the index here) The study findings are in line with those released by the ALA. According to PEN America (direct quote, edited for format):

  • “674 banned titles (41 percent) explicitly address LGBTQ+ themes or have protagonists or prominent secondary characters who are LGBTQ+;
  • 659 banned titles (40 percent) feature protagonists or prominent secondary characters of color;
  • 338 banned titles (21 percent) directly address issues of race and racism.”

Source: PEN America study

KIDLIT UNITES AGAINST BOOK BANNING

We Need Diverse MG Logo hands holding reading globe with stars and spirals floating around

Kidlit Unites Against Book Banning

More than 13,000 MG and YA authors and illustrators have signed a letter condemning the current wave of book banning. The letter, written by Newbery Honor author Christina Soontornvat,  calls on Congress, state leaders, and school boards to act now to protect students and their right to access a diverse selection of books.

“This current wave of book suppression follows hard-won gains made by authors whose voices
have long been underrepresented in publishing.” (From Soontornvat letter)

Demonstrating the resonance of this message with children’s book creators, most of the thousands of signatures on this letter were gathered in under 48 hours. The letter is now posted on diversebooks.org and includes signatures from a handful of contributors from our blog here at From the Mixed-Up Files … of Middle-Grade Authors.

 

badge logo for We Need Diverse Books - text with pink brush marks at top and botto

“When books are removed or flagged as inappropriate, it sends the message that the people in
them are somehow inappropriate. It is a dehumanizing form of erasure …. At a time when our country is experiencing an alarming rise in hate crimes, we should be searching for ways to increase empathy and
compassion at every turn.” (From Soontornvat letter)

We Need Diverse MG Logo hands holding reading globe with stars and spirals floating around

Illustration by: Aixa Perez-Prado

On May 18, Soontornvat sent the signed letter to the House Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, which is investigating book banning in schools. On Thursday, the subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over civil rights and equal protection laws, held its second hearing on the subject and formally introduced the letter into its record.

((Interested in reading more on the fight against book banning? Click here.))

((Want a list of banned books you can support? Click here.))