Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Magical Middle Grade Mystery Tour

They do many wild and wonderful things over at From the Mixed-Up Files…of Middle-Grade Authors, a group blog of some very cool middle-grade writers. The latest is a Mixed-Up Middle-Grade Skype Tour.

The contest works like this: each season a group of five or more authors will set off in the Mixed-Up Middle-Grade Skype Tour Bus. You’ll have about a month to enter your class, club, or group to win a Skype visit from one of that season’s authors, along with a copy of their book, and more. For every retweet and/or Facebook reposting, you’ll get another entry. To increase your class or group’s chances, invite other adults- parents, teachers, or group members to leave comments at Each entry must be made in a separate comment. At the end of the month, a winner will be drawn for each Skype author visit. You’ll have six months from that date to schedule and conduct the visit. Authors and winners are paired randomly--you don’t enter to win a visit from a particular author. The winning entry will also receive a copy of the author’s book.

The first group of authors to hit the virtual highway has been announced. If you want to know more about any author, click on their name or enter it in the Amazon search box to the right, and you can see what books they have written.

Sydney Salter writes middle-grade and young adult fiction. She is the author of My Big Nose & Other Natural Disasters, Jungle Crossing, and Swoon At Your Own Risk. Sydney lives in Utah with her husband, two daughters, lazy cats, big hairy dogs, and a pair of quiet tortoises. When not writing, Sydney likes to read, think up adventures, experiment with new recipes, sample exotic chocolates, hike with her family and go to movies and rock concerts with her husband.

Greetings to all my readers! I was born and raised on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. When I was young, I wanted to be a mermaid (or a frog) when I grew up. Instead, I became a librarian and a writer. I now live in Park City, Utah with my husband, three dogs and two cats. I write for teens because I love their honesty and courage. I love the fact that teens ask all the big questions: Who am I? How do I want to be in this world? Can I make a difference? Some of my favorite authors who address these questions in their books for teens include: Chris Crutcher, Laurie Halse Anderson, Sarah Dessen, Pete Haughtman, E.L. Going, and Jerry Spinelli. Who are your favorite authors?

Applying for a job as a newspaper artist, Tom Angleberger was mistakenly assigned to cover local government meetings. Fifteen years and countless town council meetings later, he is still writing instead of drawing, currently as a columnist for the Roanoke Times in Roanoke, Virginia. He began work on his first book while in middle school. Tom is married to author-illustrator Cece Bell. They live in Christianburg, Virginia.

Kate Messner is the award-winning author of The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z, winner of the 2010 E.B. White Read-Aloud Medal, as well as Sugar and Ice (Walker/Bloomsbury, 2010), the Marty McGuire chapter book series with Scholastic (May 2011), SeaMonster's First Day, a picture book coming from Chronicle in Summer 2011, and Over and Under the Snow (Chronicle, Fall 2011). Kate is also a National Board Certified middle school English teacher.

Beverly Patt writes from her suburban Chicago home, which she shares with her high school sweetheart husband, four wonderful kids and faithful dog, Hally. Before becoming a writer, Bev worked as a Sick-Bird-Catcher, Waitress, Licorice Inspector, Family Counselor and Special Education teacher. HAVEN is her first novel. Close on it's heels is BEST FRIENDS FOREVER: A WW II SCRAPBOOK (Marshall Cavendish). BEST FRIENDS FOREVER: A WWII SCRAPBOOK received a starred review from SLJ and has been named to the Great Lakes, Great Books Spring 2010 List.

Hillary Homzie's background as a writer and performer of sketch comedy informs her novels for tweens, THE HOT LIST (Simon & Schuter/Mix) and THINGS ARE GONNA GET UGLY (Simon & Schuster/Mix). Her Aladdin chapter book series Alien Clones from Outer Space has been adapted as an animated TV series in Australia and may be shown in the US in the future. She lives in Napa, California with her family.

Hurry on over to From the Mixed-Up Files - Catch the Bus to enter your class, club, or group to win a Skype visit from one of these great authors. This round opened April 6th, so don't waste a minute!


  1. Thanks so much for posting the skype tour and spreading the word! Good luck to your husband's class, Raquel!

  2. That's an interesting contest, thanks for sharing.

    I'm starting up a 'Critiquing Crusaders' program, where participants in the Second Crusade can find other writers to exchange critiques with or form critiquing circles. If you're interested, come by The Kelworth Files to check it out!