The Tween Scene

I made some decisions about swirl and spark this week. (It’s had a bit of an identity crises lately.) I’ve gone around in circles trying to find my website/ blog’s place on-line. Do I target beginner writers, advanced writers, kid writers? Finding a unique niche is not an easy thing to do. I mean, there are like a million websites for writers and readers. And so many of them are amazing with tips on everything from writing craft, to querying, to publishing, to book reviews …just to name a few. There are some days where I really wonder what I have to offer.

And this is what I’ve come up with.

I started this website as a resource for young writers. At my core, I like to help people—especially kids. I want to guide them in ways I wasn’t guided when I first showed interest in writing. My writing journey is similar to so many others out there. If I can offer anything at all to kids just by answering questions, providing resources, or even offering positive encouragement, then I want to do that.

But what age group do I target? The kid age group is pretty broad. And though I love kids (and kid writers) of all ages. I’ve decided to focus on tweens. Many of you may hate that term. I actually love it. It’s like a special club for 8-12 year-olds! And since I write for this age group, it seems to make perfect sense.

Yet, my weekly blog is where I connect with other writers. That’s important to me—and fun! The friends I’ve made via this blog have made this journey so much better. Many a dark writing day has turned brighter because of my writing friends! So I want to keep my blog as it is, a place to connect with my fellow readers and writers. I mean most 12 year-olds aren’t really into blog reading anyway!

So that brings me to the rest of the website.

I’ll continue to beef up the Book Nooks. I think it’s an important resource for writers of all ages, parents, teachers, and librarians. I’m always looking for new books to read, so I have to guess I’m not the only one! (I’m on a roll now too, reading some fabulous new MG titles. You’ll see them all posted very soon!

I’ll continue with Critique Corner also. Though I’m going to stick to middle grade and young adult submissions. Due to the target age of this site, I feel this is the most appropriate way to proceed. I’m planning to have a round for middle grade writers next, and then a round for YA writers soon after that. Stay tuned for dates!

In an effort to reach more tweens, I’ve added a DOWNLOADS FOR TWEENS tab to the site. One is active, and I’m working on two addition downloads as well. Each download will pertain to writing, reading, and creative play for 8-12 year-olds. Reaching and interacting with kids has always been my strength and I want to get back to doing that. Besides, I’m hoping this will attract some additional interest in the SPOTLIGHT TWEENS tab too. I’d love to see many more stories by the fab 8-12 crowd!

So as you can see, not a whole lot about the site has changed. I guess it just helps me to clarify what it is I’m trying to accomplish, and where my focus should be! So… if you know any readers or writers between the ages of 8-12 who might like to take a peek at the site, please pass the word. And if you know any middle grade or YA writers who might be interested in our future critique rounds please let them know as well. And of course my weekly ramblings on blog are open to anyone with some time to kill, or just looking to connect with another writer!

As always, thanks for checking in! I’m off to read a few more chapters of Jen Malone and Gail Nall’s fabulous middle grade, You’re Invited. I’m halfway through and it’s totes amazing. Read the book and you’ll see why!

Happy Wednesday, Everyone! See you next week. 🙂

2 thoughts on “The Tween Scene

  1. Marcia Strykowski says:

    I found your interesting post via Twitter. I love to use the term tweens, as well, and I’ve long thought there should be a library category between juvenile and young adult for this important group of readers (and writers!). Great blog!

    • swirlandspark says:

      Hi Marcia! Thanks for stopping by the blog. 🙂 I agree. There definitely should be a middle grade category in all libraries. Finding the right books can be so overwhelming for kids-and for adults too!

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