Writing Tip Wednesday: Agents on YA trends.

*I apologize that this post is a day late, when I went to write it last night I came down with a terrible migraine.

If you’re a writer of YA then you might want to read this article from the Publishers Weekly website. Sue Corbett interviews some agents to find out what their perspectives are on new YA trends.

One of the most interesting facts I found was that some agents are receiving up to 10,000 submissions a year, with a large majority of those being for YA. Wow! That’s a lot of competition.

Laura Rennert of the Andrea Brown Agency thinks that paranormal love triangles and apocalyptic aftermaths have become played out. The trends that the agents think are ‘it’ right now are contemporary realistic and thrillers (The next ‘Gone Girl’), while paranormal is on the wane, but some agents think there is still room for literary horror.
They said that’s it’s hard to sell dystopian novels at the moment, though many writers are still writing them, and that if a great dystopian MS comes their way they try and down play the dystopian part, focusing on the other strong points of the novel to sell it.
Saying that, I personally think there are still a lot of readers who love paranormal and dystopian, and there always will be, myself included.

Apparently not enough books are written aimed at boys and there is a need for more super smart guy books. I agree with this, If you go into the YA book section of your local bookstore you will see that this is true.
Interestingly, stand-alone’s are becoming easier to sell than trilogies, publishers are being more cautious, wanting to see how the first book performs before committing. I’m glad stand-alone’s are selling well because one of the books I’m writing at the moment, The Girl in the Mirror, is a YA fantasy stand-alone. On the other hand, the other book I’m writing is part of a trilogy, so this article gave me mixed feelings. Depending on the book you are writing, you may feel great after reading this article, or you may feel a little deflated. I think though, if you have written a really great book, no matter the genre, it will eventually get published.
And as Michael Bourret says, “It’s always going to be easier to sell a high-concept idea because it’s easier for publishers to sell a high-concept story to readers. There’s a real challenge when you can’t describe a story in one sentence.” (So get working on those one sentence pitches.)

There is a nice list of what the individual agents interviewed want right now at the end of the article, which you can check out here

I’d love to here your thoughts on the article, and love to know what type of novel you are currently working on, so don’t be shy.

7 thoughts on “Writing Tip Wednesday: Agents on YA trends.

  1. Hi Rochelle,
    Thank you so much for posting about this article! Such great news. I’m currently working on my third novel – YA historical fiction, and my second novel I will be working on next year – YA contemporary realism.
    It’s insightful to read about the latest trends – but not get bogged down by them. If the novel is great, like you said, it will get published, and the trends will be overlooked.

    Are you doing NaNoWriMo next month?

    1. I’m glad you liked the article, and thanks for sharing. Good luck with your WIP.

      I’m still undecided about NaNoWriMo. I am working on a lot right now and don’t really have time to start something new. How about yourself?

      1. Thanks Rochelle. I’m planning on doing and getting myself prepared with time management and getting organised because I have 4 assignments due after the 11th. But I’m looking for writing buddies so we are motivated and progress through.

  2. I read this article too Rochelle and gasped at the 10,000 submission bit!! Still, encouraging to get some great direction and tips as to what agents are looking for. Thanks for the post 🙂

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