Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Webinar: Q&A Panel Ask Us About It: Middle Grade Fiction

Date(s) - 05/13/2022
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Webinar: Q&A Ask Us About It: Middle Grade Fiction

90 minute Webinar

Friday, May 13, 2022, 6:30 PM Eastern/5:30 PM Central/4:30 PM Mountain/3:30 PM Pacific

  • SCBWI Members: $15
  • Non-members: $25

(includes live webinar and 30 days of recording access)

Optional Written Critique with Eric Bell following live webinar 

  • Manuscript critique (up to 10 pages): $70


Middle grade is the great between: it’s not quite edgy enough to be young adult, but it’s got more heft than a chapter book. It’s right in the middle, just like the age of its readers: not quite a teen, but not exactly into the same kid things they were when they read Dr. Seuss. What exactly is middle grade, and how do we write for this market? What makes the elusive but critical middle grade voice? Join this panel of celebrated middle grade authors as we discuss this unique age category and what makes it such a joy to write.


About the Panelists:

Eric Bell is the author of ALAN COLE IS NOT A COWARD (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, 2017) and ALAN COLE DOESN’T DANCE (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, 2018), two middle grade novels about a gay seventh grade boy dealing with bullies, crushes, the power of art, and coming out. The first book was nominated to the Rainbow Book List for GLBTQ Books for Children and Teens. The books have also been translated into multiple languages. Eric is also featured in the queer middle grade short story anthology THIS IS OUR RAINBOW: 16 STORIES OF HER, HIM, THEM, AND US (Knopf). Eric is a teacher of writing classes, a virtual workshop leader, a freelance editor and writing coach, and an employee at a library. He lives and writes in Pennsylvania.



Janae Marks is an author of middle grade novels. Her debut From the Desk of Zoe Washington is an indie bestseller and was named a Best Book of the Year by Parents Magazine, Book Riot, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Chicago Public Library and the Boston Globe. Her second novel is A Soft Place to Land. She has an MFA in Writing for Children from The New School, and lives in Connecticut with her family. Learn more at







Maleeha Siddiqui is an American writer of Pakistani descent who loves to tell unapologetically Muslim stories for all ages. Her debut novel, BARAKAH BEATS (Scholastic), was an SLJ and NYPL Best Book of the Year, a JLG Gold Standard Selection, an Indie’s Introduce Summer/Fall 2021 Pick, and an Indie Next November/December 2021 Pick. By day, Maleeha works as a regulatory affairs professional in the biotech industry. She grew up and continues to reside with her family in Virginia. When she’s not working, reading, or writing, she likes to try new food and snuggle cats.



To register, fill out the form below. SCBWI members MUST be logged in to get the discounted rate. Registration for the webinar and critiques will close on May 11th, 2022.

International members only: If our payment system isn’t processing your credit card or PayPal payment, email to request an alternate method of payment. Please include your name and address in your request.

A recording of the webinar will be available for 30 days after the live event. The recording will be for registered attendees only, so if you can’t make the live event, you can register to view the recording.

Access information for the live webinar will be sent on the morning of the webinar and access information for the recording will be sent out the following day. Those who purchase critiques will receive submission instructions via email on the day after the live webinar.

NOTE: There are a limited number of critiques available. Please do not sign up for coveted and limited critique slots if you are unable to make the deadlines outlined. We will be unable to issue refunds for missed deadlines.