I have a question for all my readers who are writers of Young Adult fiction. That may seem like a strange question to some of you, so allow me to preface…
I went to the library yesterday afternoon to see what was happening, (*cough* and to escape my kids *cough cough*) and I happened across the Events board. They often have writing classes and critique groups and what have you, and I like to see what’s going on. I rarely go to these functions as the people who run them… well… don’t always know what they are talking about. Sounds like I am being snotty, but it’s the truth. For instance a few months ago they had a ‘How to get your book published’ seminar given by a man who had never published anything. Sure he could give general information–the same stuff that you could learn online–but he was hardly an expert in the field. You get what I mean.
So I was scanning the flyers when one caught my eye. So much so, that I went out to my car, got my camera, and took a picture of it which I have posted below.
|I have covered her last name as a courtesy to her.|
(Side bar: In what universe is Harry Potter YA?)
So, needless to say it annoyed me, and I’m not even YA writer.
Later, I was lazily scrolling through some posts on a writing forum I frequent, when I come across a post by a woman who basically said the same thing that the flyer implied: that she writes YA only because she thinks it’s what agents and editors want, and is hoping that she can get a YA novel published, then being an established author, will write and publish whatever she wants. Namely fantasy, as that is her passion.
Maybe it’s the fact that I saw two things on this in one day, and it could totally be a coincidence, but is this really what’s happening? Are there a lot of people writing YA simply because they think it will be easier to get published due to the genre’s popularity? There about a million and one things wrong with that theory, but I am not going to judge, I just want to know.
Also, do people really thing that YA is the place to be, because I for one, don’t think it is. Rather, it is, so it’s not. As anyone on QueryTracker, or any other query based web page or forum can tell you, the YA market is flooded! Statistics provided by Publisher’s Marketplace tell us that an average of 7 out of every 10 query letters sent out to both agents and editors are YA. 70%! That’s crazy! Most agents have more YA coming at them than they know what to do with, which also means that most editors have more YA being pitched to them than they could ever publish. I am extremely happy that my book is not of the YA genre in that, at the very least, besides the confidence I have in my wonderful agent, I have added peace of mind in knowing that when she goes to pitch my book to editors, she won’t have to wade through an endless sea of Chick Lit to do it. Sure there is plenty of other Chick Lit/contemporary women’s fiction out there looking for a home, but I’m pretty sure that it’s nowhere near the amount of YA.
I am up to 32 followers on my blog. (Yay, thanks everyone!) 11 traditional followers, 21 of you who follow via e-mail, and there are some of you who simply stop by now and again without actually following, which is also great. Many of you are my friends from QT and are also YA writers, so I ask again: Why do you write YA? Is it something you have always done and love to do, or is it a bandwagon thing that you hope will lead to more? On the other side of the coin, are there any writers out there who don't write YA, but have thought about it simply due to it's popularity? By no means am I judging anyone, I just had no idea that this was going on and am curious. My comments have always been set up so that anyone can comment without signing in, so if you would rather comment anonymously that’s fine, or just put in a fake name, no one will know.
PS. – Should I go to this YA seminar thing? I am really thinking about it. It is actually being held at the Center, not the library which means there is a chance that there could be a lot of people there. I am curious to see who goes and what this lady has to say…