Wendy Mass, Award-Winning Author, Visits Middlesex: A Writer To Idolize

Kiley L., staff writer

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Wendy Mass, an award-winning author, recently visited Middlesex Middle School on September 18th after her realistic fiction young adult novel Every Soul A Star was chosen as the seventh grade summer reading book. She taught a special writer’s workshop and was in the Middlesex library during study hall to sign copies of her award-winning novels.

Mass is the author of twenty four novels for young adults, including the Schneider Family Book Award-winner A Mango Shaped Space, the National Parental Publications Award-winner and Young Reader Award recipient Every Soul A Star, and the New York Times Best Selling Book The Candymakers.

Getting Started

Every great writer has a point in their life where they realize the love to write; a type of eureka moment, and Wendy Mass is no exception. “I wrote a short story when I was in fifth grade with my sisters, and it was about a cat that turned into a goat and… broke into the house next door” she told me (that made me laugh). “It’s a very strange story,” Mass said, but it is still important to her to this day.

Sticking To It

Writing is never easy, and anyone who writes knows that, but being told your work is not any good? That’s rough. Well, this is what Mass had to go through to get her work accepted by a publisher. “I had to go through a lot of rejection letters before my first one was published” says Mass, and that is why A Mango Shaped Space won her over as her favorite novel she has written, for it was the first book to be accepted. Mass said “It will always have a special place in my heart”, though The Candymakers gave her an excuse to eat plenty of candy for her research.

Tips For Young Writers

Writer’s block is a situation that all writers dread, but every single one of them comes down with the writing disease eventually. “One thing I find very helpful is to change your scenery.” Mass told me. “Go for a walk… bring a notebook with you and try to work through the problem while doing something else” was Mass’s advice for this ongoing problem.

Now, I know we always think our storyline is perfect and it is impossible to come up with a better idea, but Mass said that sometimes it actually is possible, believe it or not. “Writer’s block could be your story’s way of telling you it’s not going in the right direction,” Mass said. “Go around the block, instead of trying to go through it.”

“Read. Read, read, read.” That was Wendy Mass’s final piece of advice for young writers. “ Read everything you can get your hands on… The more books you read… the easier it will be to write your own.” She told me that is one of the best things for young writers to do to improve their writing skills, and if I were you, I would take it. She is an award-winning author, after all.