ABOUT THE SHOW
Middle Grade Mavens is a podcast for lovers of children’s books. Each week, we review two or more junior fiction or middle-grade books and interview someone from the Australian children’s book industry – be they author, illustrator, publisher, editor, agent or librarian.
We aim to promote debut Australian authors, books with a fresh new voice and books we just love. The books we review are selected based on our personal tastes, many of which are supplied directly by publishers.
From time to time, we run special episodes – for example, our Ask the Editor series of publisher and editor interviews targeted aspiring authors and illustrators.
ABOUT THE MAVENS
We are two aspiring authors and mothers who realised we were reading a lot of middle-grade books both to our children and for research and decided it would be fun to review them in the form of a podcast. What started out at the end of 2018 as a fun idea has grown to a podcast known throughout the industry. Respected authors such as Hazel Edwards, Deborah Abela and Louise Park have requested interviews to help promote their work.
Both Pamela and Julie are self-published authors who know the process of submitting manuscripts to publishers from painful experience. They both regularly attend conferences and cross-promote with other podcasts in the industry.
In November 2019, the Mavens were asked to launch the picture book of another industry podcaster and were also invited to judge the middle-grade category of a pitch-writing competition for Just Write For Kids.
The podcast is aimed at gatekeepers of middle-grade fiction: parents, librarians, teachers, publishers, authors, illustrators, agents and advocates for children’s literature. We share our opinions on books but also talk about industry trends. We know that a large and regular subset of our audience is comprised of children’s authors so we occasionally focus on them. We do this mostly through targeted interviews with industry experts.
Our listeners include parents, booksellers, teachers, librarians, teacher-librarians, publishers, publicists, agents and editors from major publishing companies, mostly within Australia. We have relationships with publicists from many of these publishing companies, who provide a large portion of the books we review.
Audience stats (as at January 17th 2020):
- 78% of our audience is in Australia, 10% in the US and the rest in other English-speaking countries
- 73% of our listeners listen via Apple Podcasts
- 826 followers on Instagram
- 518 followers on Twitter
- 133 followers on Facebook
- In January 2020, we reached our 7000th download
We occasionally receive extra copies of books from publishers to use as prizes for giveaways. As such, we run these giveaways on an ad-hoc basis through our social media channels. In 2020, we plan to push these through our website with a page specifically for competitions.
LAUNCH & UPCOMING SEASONS
The podcast was launched in January 2019. It is released every second Thursday morning throughout the year (with breaks mid-year and over summer) with bonus episodes at times. At the beginning of 2020, the episode count was 34, when we resumed the year with twelve interviews for our Ask the Editor series before launching into our regular schedule.
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ONLINE & SOCIAL
As a massive fan of podcasts and middle grade fiction, I’m so pleased to have Middle Grade Mavens podcast firmly slotted into my weekly Spotify playlist. Produced and presented by the affectionately known ‘Mavens’ Julie and Pam, it offers a wonderful range of book reviews plus interviews with authors, publishers, agents and kids. The whole package combining to give this writer a refreshing, engaging and informative insight into the world of middle grade fiction which, for me, is the sweet spot of storytelling for all ages and one that I will be forever in love with.
Emma Bowd, author (via email) 2020
Love these guys! ***** by Misscackle (via iTunes) 2019
What an absolute joy this podcast is
Middle Grade Magic ***** by ElliesEars (via iTunes) 2019
It’s such a joy to have access to this fabulous Aussie Kidlit podcast! Great content. The Mavens know their stuff. Highly recommended.
Looking for a new book for your middle grade reader? This is your podcast.***** by YourEmptyNestCoach (via iTunes) 2020
Julie and Pamela’s love of middle grade books shines through. The books are reviewed in great detail. Word count, content, appropriate age range and more! Definitely listen!
Pamela has worked as a software developer, technical lead and UX consultant with some of the biggest corporations in Australia, until recently ran her own web consultancy and has taught dance to children and adults. She now writes for children, is a reviewer for the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) publication Reading Time and copy edits a quarterly home education magazine.
Julie is a former paediatric nurse and now part-time book wrangler in her local library service. She is the author of the Frankie Dupont Mystery series and also writes quirky middle-grade magical realism, zany time wrangling adventures and funny picture books with STEM themes. An ambitious marketer herself, she liaises with publicists and sees to the podcast software and social media posts.