Welcome to Wolf School! An intro to my 2022 blog mission

1024 576 Writer and the Wolf Editorial

After blogging at Writer and the Wolf for a couple of years, I’ve decided to change direction a little for 2022 and I’m really excited about it! Instead of focusing blog posts on how to write middle grade and YA, I’ll be talking about how to read middle grade and YA as a writer.

The number one piece of advice I can give any writer is to READ. Read a lot, read widely, read analytically, read thoughtfully, read your genre, read other genres, read children’s books, read teen books, read adult books, read fiction, read non-fiction, read novels, read short stories, read restaurant reviews, read book reviews, read the newspaper, read blogs.

Where do you start?

Okay, that’s a lot of reading. So where do you start? Well, I said my golden rule for any writer is to read, but my golden rule for middle grade and YA writers is to read recently published middle grade and YA books!

But don’t just read. Annotate, make notes, ask questions, make lists, compare, contrast, interrogate, discuss, wonder, criticise, dissect. You can learn so much from digging into every novel you read and asking whether it works, why it works, how it was put together, what choices the author made.

I hope the Wolf School blog will help you become a better writer by becoming a better reader (and, because I’m an enormous TV and film nerd, a better watcher, too).


Thanks so much for reading, lovely writer! Want empowering, feel-good writing chat and fairy dust in your inbox? Plus receive a PDF of my recommended writing craft books for children’s and YA writers (including go-to genre guides and Children’s Lit MA reading list) AND £20 Wolf Credit to spend with me! Sign up today!

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