Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Joys of Writing for Middle Grade/Teen Readers

Guest Post: 5 Reasons I like Writing for Middle Grade/Teen Readers 
By Cheryl Carpinello

1. Being able to write the types of stories I loved to read as a kid.

As a kid, I devoured books: adventures, mysteries, fantasies, animal stories. As an adult, I still enjoy the same types of reading, but I don’t find myself getting ‘lost’ in the adult reads. And so I write the stories of my youth.  ex. The Harry Potter series

2. Knowing that kids lend themselves to imagination easier than adults.

Young readers, like adults, can be a difficult audience to write for. What I’ve found, though, is that they eagerly enter into the world of a book easier than adults. The innocence and imagination of young readers knows no limits at this age.  ex. The Hunger Games, The Twilight series

3. Helping young readers to see their world in a different way or from a different viewpoint.

Frequently, young readers only see their world from their own point of view. Try visiting a middle school or high school and seeing all the drama that goes on with the boys as well as the girls. Creating the types of characters that these readers can identify and empathize with, helps them to see their real-life situations differently.  ex. A Child Called It.

4. Understanding that while young readers enjoy stories, they are also looking for truths about themselves and life.

Being a hero isn’t easy. Sometimes heroes doubt themselves as well as those around them. Sometimes, heroes even fail, but they don’t give up. Young readers tend to think that they have to be perfect all the time, succeed all the time. As adults, we know that isn’t true or even possible.  ex. The Lord of the Rings

5. Getting letters/emails from young readers.

Young readers are not shy. One of the exciting reasons I enjoy writing for these ages is that they have no qualms about saying what they think. Kids may not always be tactful when expressing their feelings, but they are truthful. It is the truth about your writing that will make you a better writer. As a high school writing teacher, I always tried to couch my criticisms in a positive, but instructive manner. In a way, this is what young readers do also if we as writers listen.

About the Author: 
Although a retired teacher, Cheryl Carpinello still has a passion for working with kids. She regularly conducts Medieval Writing Workshops for local elementary/middle schools and the Colorado Girl Scouts. She is not the only one who loves Medieval Times and the King Arthur Legend. The kids thoroughly enjoy writing their own medieval stories complete with dragons, wizards, unicorns and knights!

She loves to travel and her other job is with a major airline. Her favorite trip was a two week visit to Egypt with her husband that included traveling by local train from one end of Egypt to the other.

Some of her favorite books include The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Once and Future King, and any by the duo Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
The World of Ink Network will be touring both of author Cheryl Carpinello’s Middle Grade Arthurian Legend books, The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table) published by MuseItUp Publishing and Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend published by Outskirts Press throughout January 2013.

Some stories become legend while some legends become stories!

You can find out more about Cheryl Carpinello, her books and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at

Follow Cheryl Carpinello at
Beyond today Educator
Carpinello’s Writing Pages

Publisher Website:


Virginia S Grenier said...

Thank you Cheryl for sharing your thoughts. Very interesting and inspiring.

Andrea Mack said...

All good reasons! I know as a kid, I felt books were almost like friends -- an escape when I felt lonely or wanted to be by myself. So I love the idea of creating another "mind space" where kids can hang out.

ccarpinello said...

Thank you, Virginia and the Utah Children's Writers for hosting me today! I am having so much fun doing World Of Ink's Tour. Am continually discovering new children/family friendly sites.

ccarpinello said...

Thanks for stopping by Andrea. There is something magical about kids and books!