Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 30, 2016

Five Authors Sticking Together – #MGGetsReal

A reminder from Joyce Moyer Hostetter that there is strength in numbers. Here’s Joyce sharing what her group is doing.

TEACHERS AND LIBRARIANS PLEASE NOTE: Deadline – August 31 for 5 book giveaway (See Below)

Middle Grade Authors Collaborating 

… no matter how old you are – when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together. (Robert Fulghum) 

Sticking together. That’s what #MGGetsReal is all about – five authors of middle grade novels going out into the world to inform teachers and librarians about our books that deal with tough topics.

The Five of Us:


I believe the two Shannons got us started. We began with a series of emails – first, we brainstormed ideas and eventually committed ourselves to the following:

  • Develop a unique hashtag for the effort #MGGetsReal.
  • Read & review each other’s books
  • Guest blog for major blogs in a way that highlights all 5 books
  • Post to social media 3x weekly in August
  • Develop “group ads” for social media.
  • Tweet & Retweet, using the hashtag  #MGGetsReal.
  • Seek to engage teachers/librarians.
  • Feature other writers on our own blogs if applicable.
  • Develop a 5 book giveaway for teachers and school librarians. Enter at Blogger link below. Deadline – August 31.

That was the beginning. But the plan took on a life of its own as we came up with pages at Pinterest, Facebook, and Blogger. We developed a video, photo memes, and a newsletter. Several of the authors were terrific at putting together articles that each of us could share with our respective contacts. And some in the group had impressive connections in the kid lit and educational world.

We learned the power of teamwork. None of us is skilled at everything we’re doing. But, with each contributing our particular strength, we were able to accomplish much more than any of us could alone.

And in the process we fell in love with each other’s stories.


WHAT FLOWERS REMEMBER by Shannon Wiersbitzky is the tender story of a girl who helps her surrogate grandfather as he faces Alzheimer’s.

RUBY LEE AND ME by Shannon Hitchcock tells the story of a close friendship strained by racial integration in the schools.

In my book, COMFORT, a 14 year old girl adjusts to physical disabilities and to life with a father suffering from war trauma.

THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM by Kathleen Burkinshaw reveals family secrets and recounts the bombing of Hiroshima in the last year of WWII.

JUST A DROP OF WATER by Kerry O’Malley Cerra addresses fear and discrimination in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

As August winds down and school starts up we don’t yet know how successful we’ve been in reaching teachers, librarians, and ultimately their students. But we are receiving invitations to guest blog on various sites, a university professor is incorporating our books into her curriculum, and we’re making plans to present at school and library conferences.

Aim Final Final

Meanwhile, I’ve been kicked out of my blogging lethargy, experienced the power of branding & online relationships, and felt the support of four other amazing authors & their circles of friends.

All this comes just in time for the release of AIM, my forthcoming book, which is a prequel to BLUE, which is a prequel to COMFORT.

Thanks so much to Shannon Wiersbitzky, Shannon Hitchcock, Kerry O’Malley Cerra and Kathleen Burkinshaw for jolting me into high gear.

And, thank you, Kathy, for hosting me here. The truth is, you actually kick-started my online author presence when you presented at the Highlights “Author in the Spotlight” workshop. I’ve been scrambling to keep up ever since!

My pleasure Joyce. Wishing you and your group much success!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thanks so much for starting this blog. I wish you lots of success. Children need to enjoy reading again, rather than being stuck on iPad games all day. I’ve been on this crusade while working in a school library while we lived in Botswana. Here in the UK, I’ve not been as involved as I would like to be.


  2. great covers !!! love the cherry blossom falling….


  3. Really loved hearing how the group came together.


  4. Kathy, thank you so much for interviewing Joyce and highlighting #MGGetsReal. I was extremely lucky and grateful as a debut author to be invited to participate in this fantastic marketing idea with four talented, seasoned authors. I learned so much in this short period of time and gained new friends as well!


  5. Kathleen,

    Congratulations on your book. I wish you lots of success. It was my pleasure to show you off. Keep in touch.



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