Author Archives: Chuck Mall

About Chuck Mall

Author of middle-grade fiction. Mizzou grad. Former writer for men's fitness magazines. Book "The Owl Motel: And Other Places Where You Are Not Welcome" available on Amazon. Avid cook and gardener.

A Dose of Encouragement

All of these scenarios about writers exist: * Someone wrote a first novel that sold well and made them famous. But after that success, none of his other books did well. * Someone wrote for 25 years, completing several manuscripts … Continue reading

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This is Why Agents Send Form Letters

And I Can’t Blame Them My friend called me after the writing seminar, on the verge of tears: “You won’t believe what happened at Words in the Woods!”  “What?” I gasped. I dunno–when I hear “the woods” I automatically think … Continue reading

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The 1000-Page Year

I’m Exhausted and Crabby Sometimes I think the universe put me in a rural place and made a pandemic just so this could happen. Then I think how narcissistic and inherently dumb that thought truly is. Then I think one … Continue reading

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Easy & Fun Writers’ Education

A Gift from the Pandemic First, a list. After the list, why it’s included. Most important: I saved this list for you. Kira-Kira – Cynthia Kadohata (2004)  The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane – Kate O’Shaughnessy (2020)   Holes – Louis … Continue reading

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Way Back in the Wayback Machine

To write kidlit, you need to mine your own past and reflect Continue reading

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Throwing Out the Misdirection

I am going to publicly embarrass myself. I decided to be a writer in elementary school, and by the time I was in high school, I was prolific. There was no emotion or reality in my fiction, though. Being a … Continue reading

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Imbue Your Work with Love

The secret to writing well lies with experience, and another “magic” ingredient you didn’t know. Continue reading

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Book Review

Oddball entry: my reviews are on Amazon and Goodreads, but this one deserves a place in my space. Hope is a Ferris Wheel by Robin Herrera I’m a bit late to the game on reading this 2014 MG novel, but … Continue reading

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3 Hot Tips to Make Your Middle-Grade Novel Saleable

If you’ve been studying writing awhile, you’re well-versed on how to create a character, how to structure a plot, and how to find the novel’s “voice” (by far the hardest thing). But did you know these three extras that really … Continue reading

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Middle-Grade Book Know-How

Write Well, Learn the Genre, and Learn Advanced Techniques I can’t tell whether I’m writing a middle-grade book, a chapter book, or a YA. Have you ever thought about this? I’ve heard it at writers conferences and critique groups for … Continue reading

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