Writing for Tweendom: Jamie Sumner on writing difficult topics and the glory of middle grade fiction

Writing for Tweendom: Jamie Sumner on writing difficult topics and the glory of middle grade fiction

Jess talks with author and journalist Jamie Sumner about all things middle grade fiction.

Jess here! Jamie Sumner and I talked over the summer about her middle grade books, mainly because I’m a fan. She does not shy away from difficult topics - substance use disorder, financial insecurity, physical disability, autism, and anxiety. She’s been on the show before (here’s her first interview) but I had to have her on to talk about her new book, Maid for It, out September 5, 2023.

Jamie’s website: https://jamie-sumner.com


Jamie: The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Jess: The Fires of Vesuvius by Mary Beard

Pompeii by Robert Harris

If your fall could use a little witchy reading fun, you should hop online or over to your favorite bookstore and order a copy of KJ’s latest, Playing the Witch Card. Think grown-up Gilmore Girls meets Practical Magic, with a family deck of troublesome Tarot cards stalking a new generation. You’ve listened to KJ talk about getting the work done—now go check out the result, and pick up a copy for a friend, too. Guaranteed fall vibe, no pumpkin spice necessary.

Bookshop.org Amazon Barnes&Noble Still North Books and Bar

Enrollment is now open for Author Accelerator’s new and improved fiction book coach certification program! Turn your love of reading into a career you love with a self-paced program you can access from anywhere. With more than 100 hours of training, videos, case studies, and worksheets, Author Accelerator’s program teaches you the key editorial skills, client-management strategies, and tools needed to help writers reach their goals and to help you start a thriving book coaching business.

I’ve been through this, and I can tell you that this is more than just an online course. You’ll take the skills you learn and apply them with real-life clients through three practicums designed to help you practice helping authors go from confusion to clarity with their novel idea. Yes, you work with real writers, yes it’s terribly nerve-wracking—but the author I worked with during one of my practicums just got a book deal with that project! This is real, kids. 

Learn more and enroll now at bookcoaches.com/podcast

More interested in nonfiction? The nonfiction certification program launches next month! Visit bookcoaches.com/podcast and sign up for their newsletter to stay in-the-know.

Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.