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About a month ago I delivered the final re-writes of a new collection of stories for ninth-graders to the Swedish publishers Natur och Kultur. This is the third book in this particular series I’ve worked on, and it’s been a demanding but rewarding commission.

As I’ve said before, writing for young people in short formats is not the most glamorous work an author can do.  Nonetheless, young people need tightly crafted stories that will help them learn about the world and their role in it –– while at the same time helping them develop as readers and people.  I believe young people have an even greater need than adults for skilfully written stories, so to me the format is far less important than doing work with the potential to help shape the next generation of thinkers.

In addition, I’ve also had a great time working with my editors on the project.  While it’s true that authors and editors sometimes have opposing interests, while working on six books for this publisher, I’ve come to understand that the editorial discussions we’ve had over structure, linguistics, and subjects have always produced stronger books.

The book goes to press in the spring of 2017, and its title sounds to me like a science-fiction novel: Wings 9.

This summer and fall I’ll be writing fiction and articles for Swedish publisher Natur och Kultur for their Wings middle school reader series.  This book will be directed at ninth graders, revamping the concept quite a bit from the way the books have been done in the past –– while still retaining the mark of quality that has been the highlight of this bestselling series in the past.

Young people need and deserve stories that they’ll remember their whole lives, and when working with shorter word counts the way these books demand, the psychological content has to hold up.  I’m proud to be working on these projects.  This will be the sixth book I’ve written or worked on for this publisher.  The new Wings 9 will be available for purchase this spring.