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#1 Cat Woods

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 09:28 AM

I'm just curious to see who is writing what and why.

So, if you don't mind, let us know which age group makes your heart smile.

Do tiny tots (board books through picture books) beckon to you? If so, why? What appeal is there in marrying words and pictures to create a grand adventure for our youngest listeners?

Do you enjoy transitioning kids from listening to reading? Are your ideas simple, yet robust enough for a chapter book (roughly 6-9 year olds)? What's the difference between a chapter book and a middle grade novel?

MG: these preteens are quirky, sometimes timid and fiercly determined. They're trying to figure out who they are and how they fit into the world. What is it about them that appeals to you and how do you connect with them on their level? Why would anybody want to?

And the YAs. Popular even in a tough economy, YA novels seem to be the only thing selling like hot cakes. But is this the sole reason you write for them? What other reasons compel you to write for such a fluid age group?

If you want to take this one step further, let us know what themes you gravitate toward. Not genre, mind you. Theme. What is the essence of the words you like to pen? Do you write with a deeper purpose in mind than great storytelling?

Curious minds want to know!

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#2 Charlee Vale

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 12:00 PM

I'm sure I'm the first in a long line of YA people.

I tend to write the older end of YA, pushing the limits of New adult whenever I can. I like dealing with the transition from teen to adult, dependent to independent etc. Because that's where I am in life right now.

I got serious about writing when I was 18, and had already completed a year of college. I felt I was in a weird place, so young, and yet pretty much on my own. And immediately I knew that I wanted to write a book for people like me.

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#3 Stephanie Diaz

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 01:30 PM

I write YA. :) It seems natural to me because I'm still a young adult, so I'm surrounded by members of my audience every day. I do hope that some of my work has crossover appeal to adults. I tend to delve into more mature subjects like death and oppression.

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#4 Sakura Eries

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 03:11 PM

YA here. Probably has a lot to do with my decades old love for anime/manga. It's always the 14-16 y.o.'s saving the world, and high school is where all the action happens. it's all downhill once u hit college.

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#5 RC Lewis

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 03:45 PM

Yet another YA writer. :smile: Mostly because I started out wanting to write stories my then-students could identify with. And I've continued by attempting to write the stories I wish I'd had when I was that age.

Thinking back, I notice I tend to have a lot of identity issues in my stories. Characters coming to terms with who/what they are, dealing with responsibilities coming their way, handling both fitting in and standing out ... all that good stuff. :blush:

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#6 Caterina

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 03:57 PM

I write mostly adult science fiction and paranormal, but I'm looking to break into the YA market. I have a new WIP I'm writing that's a futuristic twist to the Mulan poem.

When I read, I usually bounce between YA and adult fiction

#7 MJB

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 04:50 PM

I started out with research articles, humor pieces and other stories for "grown-ups." Then, I thought I'd try my hand at children's stories. I was hooked. My stories are more for the younger set - probably pre-kindergarten to second/third grade. I love creating a fantasy place, where things make sense and follow a pattern, according to that world. These were the kinds of stories I enjoyed as a child. While I can't draw, in my mind I can see wild illustrations accompanying the various tales.

I've thought of writing for YA (wish I could), but I keep going back to fantasies for children.

#8 Amy Trueblood

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 04:57 PM

Another passenger for the YA train.

I remember reading voraciously as a teenager and the only author at the time writing authentic teenage stories was Judy Blume. That obviously is not the case today, but good ol' Judy still inspires me to this day to write something a teenager will connect with. Plus, I still feel like a teenager at heart. Does that count?
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#9 RSMellette

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 11:19 PM

My answer is the same no matter how much it pisses off my agent.

I'm writing for whoever picks up the book. Because the subject matter and style are as appropriate for kids as adults, I get tagged as a YA or MG writer. Fine. Put the book on whatever shelf you like.

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#10 Derrick

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 11:30 PM

MG. When I was that age, I would write comic books and novels. I dreamed up big stories. The first book that ever really grabbed me was at that age: THE BOOK OF THREE. Then, my dad gave me a book called THE MAN IN THE CEILING by Jules Feiffer, and I felt like this book got me. So I guess, I want to get someone somewhere who is dreaming up big stories.

I usually read across genre and age group, but this year, one of my resolutions was to stick to MG to help me learn the craft better.

#11 Jennie

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:15 AM

I write YA and my reason is similar to RC's - I write the books that I wish were available when I was in high school. Writing for this age group also lets me "rediscover" things again and again. It keeps things fresh for me and I've noticed that I'm generally in a better mood and feeling more fulfilled when I'm writing for this age group.

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#12 Raining Rainer

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 01:11 AM

YA because I go by write what you know, and this is what I know.

#13 Literary Engineer

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 08:04 AM

YA Contemporary. I just sort of fell into it.

I wrote my first YA story a few years ago, then started doing research on YA. Then started reading it. Then fell in love with it.

#14 Cat Woods

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 09:34 PM

Fun! You guys and gals are awesome and some very lucky kids will have great material to read in the future.

I write across the board. I have board books that encourage vocabulary while entertaining young listeners. My picture books tend to focus on finding out how to fit into your surroundings. My picture books are just plain quirky and my MG deals with bullying. My YA is dark and touches on psychology and mental health.

I tend to write about the issues kids face during the evolution of their childhoods in terms of physcial, emotional and social development.

*blame it on my psych background*

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#15 Jennie

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 11:18 PM

I forgot to include my recurring theme. I hadn't thought about it before, but after reading your question, I realized that most of my writing is about learning to have effective intimate relationships with other people. I guess the messiness of relationships is what really interests me.

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#16 MarcyKate

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 10:12 AM

I write YA, though I do have an MG project sitting and waiting for revision. YA just happens to be where most of my ideas land :)

And as far as themes go, I had someone once point out to me that most of my characters are, in some way, shape, or form, outsiders. Being different from everyone else and coming to terms with that could be considered a theme, I suppose!

#17 Cat Woods

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    As A.T.O'Connor: short stories in the Seasons Anthologies. YA Novel: WHISPERING MINDS.

Posted 26 August 2012 - 11:17 AM

Very cool, Jennie and MK. Isn't it interesting how we tend to gravitate toward certain ideas or themes when we write?

Cat Woods
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#18 RNLashbrook

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 10:14 PM

I'm new to this but am drawn to the tots. I have some short funny poems that would make a good little board book. How do I put them out here to share?

#19 Leigh Teale

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 10:28 PM

I write New Adult fiction. I really hope this becomes a more expansive category soon (thank you, St. Martin's Press). My MCs tend to be in their mid twenties, but still dealing with coming of age stuff. I was a really late bloomer, so this is an area I feel is underrepresented. That's why I write it. :)

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#20 Cat Woods

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 06:02 PM

I'm new to this but am drawn to the tots. I have some short funny poems that would make a good little board book. How do I put them out here to share?


You would submit your manuscript the same way you would for any picture book. You'll need to research your agents/editors and follow their guidelines on whether or not you include the manuscript in your query. Many agents and editors accept picture book manuscripts along with the query. In this case, I would write a very short, succinct query with the basic facts and a short bio. Nothing more than a line on the nature of the book so they can't reject your project on the query, but will have to read your writing to make a decision.

Additionally, agents and editors will often accept a bundle of three poems at a time. But again, research to make sure you are submitting the right material in the right way to the right person.

Does this help?

I write New Adult fiction. I really hope this becomes a more expansive category soon (thank you, St. Martin's Press). My MCs tend to be in their mid twenties, but still dealing with coming of age stuff. I was a really late bloomer, so this is an area I feel is underrepresented. That's why I write it. :)


Welcome aboard and thanks for sharing your writing passion! Best luck in changing the expansiveness of New Adult Fiction!

Cat Woods
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