Cyn Bermudez

Author Cyn Bermudez will discuss "Hi-Lo" fiction, the growing educational market of high interest, low vocabulary, at the Writers of Kern meeting on Saturday.

How do you attract an audience that doesn’t enjoy reading? Even if you manage to capture their attention with an exciting topic, how do you keep them with you through the last page when reading is a struggle?

Ask Bakersfield author Cyn Bermudez. She knows what it takes. In addition to writing in multiple genres including fantasy, horror, comics, science fiction, poetry and contemporary fiction, Bermudez has written five books specifically for middle-school-aged reluctant readers.

Bermudez will be the featured guest speaker at this month’s Writers of Kern Meeting on Saturday. Her presentation, titled "Writing for the reluctant reader," will focus on the art of writing for the growing educational market of high interest, low vocabulary, or “Hi-Lo” fiction as it is known in the publishing industry. This exciting genre is geared especially for struggling young readers.

Bermudez will share her insights on the critical differences between writing a “Hi-Lo” book and writing a traditional novel. Among other differences, the former must be much shorter in length but just as emotionally satisfying to read. Ideas and themes must be age-appropriate but expressed in simple vocabulary, typically well below the grade level of the reader. To facilitate word choice and help ensure an appropriate reading level, those in attendance will learn how to use a Lexile Measure.

Are you considering writing for young readers? After attending this presentation, perhaps you too will feel inspired to enter the “Hi-Lo” market and discover how many new readers you can reach.

For more information on Cyn Bermudez, check out her blog at

Susan Baker is a member of the Writers of Kern.

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