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Posted on June 17, 2014 | 12:53 p.m.

Authors to Lead ‘Writing for the Middle Grade Reader’ Workshop for Teens, Adults

Source: Carey McKinnon for the Solvang Library

Local authors Gwen Dandridge, Valerie Hobbs, Sherrie Petersen and Kimberley Troutte will offer writers their expertise and insights in "Writing for the Middle Grade Reader: A Workshop for Teens and Adults,” to be held from 1 to 3:30 p.m. this Saturday, June 21 at the Solvang Library, 1745 Mission Drive.

The authors will hold a short book signing from noon to 1 p.m. before the workshop.

The workshop is free and open to both teen and adult participants. Pre-registration is requested.

The focus of the session will be on the art and craft of writing for young readers known as “middle grade,” answering questions such as: What is the age range? How is “middle grade” different from “young adult”? How big is the middle grade genre in the publishing world? In small group sessions, the workshop leaders will also discuss finding inspiration for stories, using obstacles to help characters grow and how outlines can help overcome writers block.

Hobbs’ many award-winning novels for young people draw on her varied and rich life experience. Titles such as Sheep, recent sequel Wolf, The Last Best Days of Summer, Sonny’s War and others tap the core of human existence and resonate with readers. Troutte is a New York Times, USA Today and Amazon Top 100 bestselling author. Her book, Saving Miner’s Gulch, is the humorous adventure story of a miner forty-niner ghost who joins forces with two young brothers. Petersen‘s recently published Wish You Weren’t combines high energy and science with a depth of insight into a brother’s wants and fears. Dandridge’s original fantasy The Stone Lions is supported by the National Science Foundation and the recipient of the Awesome Indies Gold Seal of Excellence.

For more information or to register for the workshop, call 805.688.4214 or email [email protected].

Information about Santa Barbara Public Library System locations, hours, events and programs is available at This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Library of Santa Ynez Valley. All library programs are free and open to the public.

— Carey McKinnon is a branch supervisor for the Solvang Library.

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