10 articles for MG and YA genre authors to read this month: March

1024 512 Siobhan O'Brien Holmes

Happy March, lovely authors! Here’s my monthly round-up of interesting, useful or just plain fun articles from around the internet that I think writers of middle grade and YA genre fiction might get a kick out of.

Pluckley: The 15 horrifying ghosts and chilling nightly screams in Kent’s most haunted village

I’ve been researching setting for my own middle grade novel this week and I love this list of the many, many terrifying things reportedly going on in Pluckley. Red lady in the graveyard – that feels like a middle grade horror waiting to be written.

When is The Society season 2 released on Netflix? Cast, plot and season 1 ending explained

YA fans will love The Society, a dark mystery series following a town of teenagers whose parents go missing without a trace overnight. I’m so pleased to hear the second season is on its way after being paused due to the pandemic!

The 2021 Summer Scares Horror Winners are Here

I eagerly await this list every year. It’s led me to some incredible novels in the past, including Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics which is one of the best horror stories I’ve ever read. Go check out this year’s middle grade and YA recommendations.

Ridding Your Monsters of Ableism

Do the monsters in your novel reinforce harmful stereotypes about disability? This is a really fascinating take on how monsters in films and novels can promote ableism, and there’s lots of debate in the comments section, too.

How Ghosts Work

Can supernatural phenomenon like cold spots and off-the-chart radiation readings always be explained scientifically, and is it dangerous to believe they can’t?

100 Must-Read YA Books with Little or No Romance

I gave a talk last week to a writing group and one attendee asked if it’s okay to write YA with no romance. Yes, it absolutely is! It can be really hard to find love-free young adult novels because it’s often such a huge theme across the category, but here’s a huge list of stories that don’t heavily feature romantic relationships.

Copyright – can someone steal my idea?

A client asked me recently what protection he had if somebody stole his manuscript, and this is a really great article from Writers & Artists on how copyright law works for authors.

The Thames: Uncertain Depths in Horror Cinema

I loved this article on how the River Thames has been used in horror films, often featuring as a driving force in the narrative with a life of its own. Some inspiration here for authors setting their spooky stories in London, perhaps?

Building Game Townscaper on Steam

Authors are using this cute experimental town building game to map out their fictional story worlds and I am desperate to try it! ‘Pick colors from the palette, plop down colored blocks of house on the irregular grid, and watch Townscaper’s underlying algorithm automatically turn those blocks into cute little houses, arches, stairways, bridges and lush backyards, depending on their configuration.’

Creative Secrets: Maisie Chan

I love reading about authors’ workspaces and creative routines so this series on SCBWI UK’s Words and Pictures blog is a firm favourite of mine.

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Siobhan O'Brien Holmes

Siobhan O'Brien Holmes is a developmental editor working with middle grade and YA authors. She specialises in speculative and genre fiction, particularly horror, fantasy, mystery, sci-fi and anything with a dash of magic or macabre. She is a member of the SfEP, EFA, ACES, British Fantasy Society, Horror Writers Association and SCBWI. She has an MA in Novel Writing and an MA in Children's Literature.

All stories by: Siobhan O'Brien Holmes

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