Group chooses youngest author on bestseller list as style to mimic

Jake Marcionette is the Maryland Writers’ Association’s featured author for August.

CUMBERLAND — The Times-News is participating in the Maryland Writers’ Association’s 30th anniversary Writer’s Round Table by running the Notable Maryland Authors series in the newspaper.

Each month, readers are encouraged to write the first 100 words of a novel or poem based on the work of a notable author. Participants will receive an MWA Writers’ Round Table Submission Certificate. The MWA will select the submissions to be published in the Times-News the following month.

The Maryland author for August is Jake Marcionette, who writes middle grade fiction. His notable quote is, “I have my mom to thank for my developing my love for writing.”

Marcionette, 18, released his debut book, “Just Jake,” when he was just 12. It is a middle grade, loosely autobiographical, laugh-out-loud comedy adventure. In doing this, he made history by being the youngest author to hit The New York Times best-seller list and the youngest author in the history of Penguin Books to land a publishing deal.

The young author started writing as a result of his mom making him and his sister write every day during summer vacation. At first he hated writing, but eventually he got into it and wrote about how his day was going and how he was feeling. He soon realized he wanted to write books about a kid, for kids and weave into the books his experiences being a kid. At the time, his family had just moved from Florida to Maryland and he was adjusting to a new school, so he wrote his first book about a kid named Jake who moved from Florida to Maryland who has to adapt to a new school.

Marcionette has written three books and has become popular as a speaker at schools.

Middle grade fiction books feature a 10- to 13-year-old protagonist. The story deals with what kids go through at those ages: friendships made and lost, family relationships changing, physical changes, a wide range of school experiences and a growing awareness of the wide world outside of oneself and the injustices it often contains.

To participate in the Writer’s Round Table, residents should write a middle grade story that takes place in the present day and includes a 10- to 13-year-old boy, a strange neighbor, a snowshoe, a physical change and a boat show. 

To see a sample of how that might look, visit www. mwawritersroundtable. org/fun-withwords. Work is to be submitted at www.mwawritersroundtable.org/submitfun-withwords by Aug. 20.

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