Writing YA (Young Adult) Novels Today

May 10, 2014


One of the most exciting areas in publishing today is the YA novel. Many innovative YA novels and trilogies have achieved success beyond what the genre usually generated in the past. So if you have a desire to write YA, my advice is to go for it.


But how do you know if your idea has the potential to stand out? This is the so-called burning question. Because so many authors, even established adult fiction authors, are stepping into this market, your idea has to be fresh. It must offer something that the market has not already seen.


The latest I’m hearing is that many editors at publishing houses are no longer seeking YA dystopian trilogies. That said, if you have a unique twist on such a story, then don’t lose heart. The same holds true for science fiction and paranormal/fantasy novels. Readers typically love them, but make sure that your premise is original and your worlds are fully realized and differ significantly from what has already been done.


If you aren’t sure what you want to write, consider borrowing from what works well in adult fiction. I’ve recently read that some agents are seeking YA set in eras usually reserved for adult novels, such as the Renaissance era, the Cold War era, and anything set in the French or English royal court. I’ve also heard that many agents are seeking to represent literary YA, which means the book is beautifully written with command of language and has something important to say. Contemporary, edgy stories with a strong hook are always a good bet for YA, too.


writing ya novels

young adult novels and authors

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