Middle Grade Magic: 4 Weeks to a Cracking 1st Chapter

The deepest secret in our heart of hearts is that we are writing because we love the world. Natalie Goldberg

Here at girl and duck we’re writing a story together, you and I.

It’s a compelling story.

A heroic story.

It’s a story full of tests, ordeals, rewards and elixirs.

Together we’re facing tricksters, shapeshifters, gatekeepers and our own murky shadows.

This is the story of your creative writing journey and Middle Grade Magic is your next exciting chapter!



If you’ve completed my Junior Fiction course, or if you’re a member of my Scribbles Academy, or even if you’re just floating about on the Duck Pond, you know me well by now.

I’m your mentor.

In this, your own, personal, beloved Hero’s Journey, I’m your Yoda.


Scratch that.

I’m your Gandalf.



Would somebody PLEASE write a memorable female mentor?!

The Call to Adventure

I’m not going to write a long sales page telling you how I understand your pain points. Of course I know your pain points. I’m a writer, too!

Frustration, self-doubt, confusion, despair. Fun times!

I’m not going to tell you that I have all the answers, either. Or show you all my medals so you know  I’m qualified to teach you.

The thing is,  you probably already ‘know, like and trust me’ because we’ve been working together for ages!


Either that or a trusted friend sent you here.

Or, um, you just stumbled out of your ‘ordinary world’ into this world, my world, and  are now the LUCKIEST emerging middle grade author in the universe!


But seriously.

I LOVE middle grade fiction.

I love reading it but more than that.

I love WRITING it.


Because this is where you can really let your imagination soar and, at the same time, push some literary boundaries (yours and the reader’s).

In middle grade fiction, you can really get down and WRITE some deep, sophisticated shizzle.

Or some highly commercial, hot-buttered popcorn if that’s your calling. Yum!

Either way, middle grade fiction is Writing with a capital W.


Middle Grade Magic

In this short, tightly focused e-course, I’m going to help you lift your MG game!

I’m not going to teach you how write a book. That would be ridiculous. Who could teach that in four weeks? No seriously. Who?

What I am going to do is help you create a cracking opening chapter.

An experimental chapter that will take you out of your comfort zone and get you writing with vigour and enthusiasm.

A chapter that will have you thinking about creative writing and storytelling with renewed insight and clarity.

I’ll explain the significance of Chapter One, too — I didn’t structure this course randomly, you know. It’s not subtitled 4 weeks to Cracking 1st Chapter, for nothing.

You’re going to have to do some verk. Not too much. But you will be required to, erm, write.

I want you to have something tangible at the end of this course. Something to ponder. Something hold up to the light and consider.

Something to feel proud of.

We’ll explore perspective.

And point of view.



Nerd alert! Using an extract from one of my own middle grade novels, I’ve also created a unique exercise in textual analysis. This exercise will help you grasp, once and for all, the old adage, ‘show don’t tell’. You’ve gotta nail this if you’re writing a novel. And this exercise is almost guaranteed to give you a massive ah-ha moment!

You’ll probably write and thank me later.

Maybe send me flowers…


Enough said.

Join me for this course and together we’ll meet some quirky new characters, toss some literary sparkles in the air and write some truly enchanting words.


Course contents:

  • One weekly video tutorial delivered by email every Monday for four weeks

  • A variety of downloadable PDFs to add to your reference material

  • Exercises to expand your knowledge and your imagination

  • Pop-up Middle Grade Magic Facebook group

  • One live coaching call at the beginning of Week Four. This is a Facebook live Q and A where I invite you to grill me! Throw all your middle grade woes and wins straight at me, baby! It’ll be fun!

Course Dates

  • Course starts: Monday February 24, 2020.

  • Cart opens: Wednesday February 19, 2020, 7am AEDST

  • Cart closes: Saturday February 22, 2020, 5pm AEDST

  • Live Call: Monday March 16, 2020. 7.30pm AEDST



Middle Grade Magic