Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers
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Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers

4.62 of 5 stars 4.62  ·  rating details  ·  80 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Captivate the hearts and minds of young adult readers! Writing for young adult (YA) and middle grade (MG) audiences isn't just kid's stuff anymore--it's kidlit! The YA and MG book markets are healthier and more robust than ever, and that means the competition is fiercer, too. In "Writing Irresistible Kidlit," literary agent Mary Kole shares her expertise on writing novels...more
ebook, 405 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by Writer's Digest Books
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Claire Caterer
I used to devour books on writing. Now I rarely pick one up, mostly because I realized I needed to spend more time doing the writing and less time reading about doing the writing. But I attended a lecture by Mary Kole at my local SCBWI chapter conference last fall and was intrigued enough to buy her book. And really, no matter where you are in your writing career, this book has lots to teach you.

Kole gives real-world examples of what she's talking about in terms of published YA/MG novels. She of...more
Most books for writers are written by writers, which makes sense of course. Writing Irresistible Kidlit is written by an agent. She offers an interesting perspective. For example, she includes several lists of clichés that she sees all the time in the slush pile (plot clichés, character clichés, opening scene clichés etc.)

And she has lots of tidbits of good advice, like:

"Never be satisfied with the level of conflict you've engineered. Always twist it, always find a way to make it worse... But...more
Timothy Pecoraro

Unlike many books of this type Mary Kole is not writing from the perspective of someone who writes. She wrote this book, of course, but she does not make her living as an author. Which is exactly what is necessary for a book such as this. Because you, as a perspective writer. Need to know what to do to get published. And it just so happens Mary, being a literary agent is in a position to let you in on some of the things people like her look for. This is an incredible book with lots of great adv...more
Kym Kettler-paddock
I have several books on writing children's literature, and this is among the best.

Mary Kole reviews the trends in children's books, and then goes into the nuts and bolts of what makes a successful novel. Unsurprisingly, these involve character and plot, but tailored to specific young adult and middle grade books.

She does not skim over the surface of these topics, but dives right down, even into subjects such as chapters, scenes and beats--topics usually found in plot and structure books.

Very use...more
Carie Juettner
If you've been within ten feet of me over the past two weeks, then you've most likely heard me talk about Writing Irresistible Kidlit. I'm pretty stingy with my five-star ratings, but I cannot say enough good things about this book.

In order to keep myself from rambling, here is what I loved about Mary Kole's writing guide in bullet form:

* Straightforward, To-the-Point Advice: I love reading books about writing. I've read many of the classics like On Writing, Writing Down the Bones, and Bird By B...more
Thank you, Mary Kole, for giving me some clear ideas at last about how to fix the plot and pacing in my current project! I am now officially looking forward to 2014.

Seriously, sometimes what you really need is a refresher in the basics, and this 101 on everything from plot to voice was very helpful. She gives specific examples from books and features picks from editors and others. Her advice is about both craft and market - from an "editing agent"'s perspective, which I found unique and helpful....more
Ashlee Willis
Ok ... THIS is an awesome book. There is advice here for any writer who is seeking to WRITE young adult or middle grade fiction. I emphasize "write" because so many books now focus on publishing, promoting, platform, marketing, pitching, etc., etc., ETC.!! This book, however, focuses solely on writing in its purest form - the CRAFT of writing. The advice is wonderful, thoughtful, and so clearly written that no writer could read this book and not walk away with something gained from it.

Kole does...more
Sandy Carlson
Mary Kole's WRITING IRRESISTIBLE KIDLIT plunges the same-old-same-old writers craft suggestions to a much deeper and more benefitial level. I've attended many conferences, classes, workshops, and have not found a better book on the craft of writing in a long time. Every page of my book has something highlighted in yellow! Kole also provides not only examples of good writing in each chapter, but writing exercises to do as well. I learned so much from this book. Thank you, Mary Kole!
Kole's informative book on crafting Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction is helpful. She gives plenty of examples for how to strengthen material and how to write for these specific age groups. She also offers examples from published material. While some of the examples are helpful, others are so specific to an author or type of book that they don't stretch to all types of genres in the areas of YA and MG. For example, there are very few snippets from fantasy or science fiction works.

Kole has yea...more
Teaches you without 'teaching' you, and gives a diverse range of examples to support the ideas. A book I will return to time and time again, I am sure.
Alan Gable
If I ever write anything that sells, it will be due in large part to this book.
I haven't read a lot of writing craft books myself lately, like reviewer Claire below. I picked up this one as I entered into writing a new genre to me. And I was shocked to find that not only does this provide guidance for MG and YA authors, but for all fiction. From an editor's viewpoint, and with many examples and excerpts, the book also contains definitions of most of the fictional elements I struggled as a new writer to get a grip on. A reference must-have.
Absolutely essential if you're thinking of writing MG or YA. This book is like a master class. I highly recommend reading it as you're getting started on your novel -- there were many times where Kole's discussions of what a good book should include lit inspiration in my head and sent me running to the computer.
This book has great advice on how to get started in writing Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction from the point of view of an literary agent and writer. The book is very thorough and I found the advice helpful. A very good resource!
One of the best books I've read to help with writing your own book. Obviously it's for writing for kids/young adults but the points she makes/examples she gives are probably relevant for all aspiring writers.. Loved it!
This is a good basic book about writing. If you are just beginning to write, it has some good information. I can see this being used in a high school creative writing course.
Yvonne Ventresca
Down-to-earth, useful, and practical. Lots of good examples from current novels.
Lindsay Johnson
Amazing book to read about writing kidslit. I use it every time I sit down to write.
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