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  • Malia Maunakea

#MGwaves—Building Community

Updated: Jan 7

2020 was a dumpster fire of chaos for a lot of reasons. But out of those reeking ashes rose a Phoenix of...


Nah, there was no magical, mystical beast. Just a bunch of introverted (and a couple of extroverted) writers finding each other on Twitter, chatting up a storm through a stressful mentorship competition, then making the group Slack official. The rest is history.


We decided it'd be helpful to get to know each other a bit better by connecting ourselves through our blogs. If you're curious who the writers behind #MGwaves are, you're in luck! Here we are in one easy to navigate list (it is at the bottom of the page, thought I'd introduce myself and share my favorite resource first).


I'm Malia


Blending Hawaiian mythology and folklore into new middle-grade fantasy stories makes me happy.


My WIP manuscript that was selected for SCBWI-RMC's Michelle Begley Mentor Program (along with the Writing Rooster Scholarship for the mentorship) is pitched as

Anna, 13, realizes grandma's legends of Hawaii are true when she defies a goddess who retaliates by kidnapping her friend. She must venture into the ancient forest to ease Pele's rage and rescue her friend.

Favorite Book of 2020

Since joining the #MGwaves I've branched out and started reading stories outside my typical fantasy genre. One that I absolutely loved reading on my own, and then sharing with my 11-year-old son, was Jerry Craft's graphic novel New Kid. He deals with racial microaggressions in a way that is totally understandable to kids and adults, blending humor and real issues seamlessly. I am so excited that my son asked for this and the sequel Class Act for gifts this year. Easiest yes ever.



Favorite Advice or Resource


I love cut and dry rules. I have a very logical type brain (true fact- I have a degree in Civil Engineering) and when I discovered Jami Gold's Master Beat Sheet, it made my heart go pitter-pat. Using Scrivener, I'm able to use a template Jami created to have side by side screens. The left screen shows me what my total word count is in each beat compared to the target I'm shooting for. It is completely mind-blowing for my pantsing draft style. I love having a visual of where I am vs where I should be in my story (very rough guidelines, of course). The numbers shown below are from my NaNo success, a new WIP MG draft. Check out Jamie's website for an overwhelming abundance of tips and resources!



The Other Waves

One of the best things about our community is the resources we share. Be sure to check out every wave's link to collect each valuable link and tip along the way!


Anushi Mehta

Daria Pipkin

Thushanthi Ponweera

Jennifer Mattern

Beth Gawlik

Susan Leigh Needham

Maureen Mirabito

T.C. Kemper

Sabrina Vienneau

Rebecca Chaney

Kathryn Faye





#MGwaves #community #writingtips #beatsheet

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