Friday, February 14, 2014

The In's and Outs of YA Novels: Tidbits From Agent Michelle Witte

I recently had the amazing opportunity to attend an SCBWI meeting and hear agent Michelle Witte speak, and I thought I'd share a few tidbits I learned from her.

1. YA paranormal romance and Dystopian novels are out. No one is buying them anymore. The market is saturated. Paranormal is okay if the creature is chasing and trying to kill your MC, but not trying to date them. So much for my paranormal modern-day Beauty and the Beast with a Bigfoot-type character (Wendigo) that I've been working on for too long. Time to put it aside, unless I can sell it as a fairy-tale retelling but . . .

2. Fairytale retellings, which made a short comeback for a while, are on the way out. Unless they are really different. Like folklore from other cultures. So much for my African Snow White story. Although . . .

3. Retellings of classic stories are in.

3. More contemporary, realistic novels are coming back in, too! That's good news for my contemporary YA adventure/romance I wrote and set aside for a while. I can take that one back out now, have it critiqued one more time, make a few revisions, and start sending it out.

4. Magical realism is popular: Think authors Alice Hoffman, Isabel Allende, and Laurel Snyder and books such as BIG Fish based in reality with subtle magic around the edges.

5. Horror is big right now, too.

6. Sci fi not so much.

I also had the privilege of meeting with Michelle in a pitch/critique session at a conference (LTUE: Life the Universe and Everything) and she gave me some excellent advice on my query and first page of a novel. I need more details in my query, and less explaining in my first page.)

1 comment:

  1. I don't write Young Adult myself, but it's interesting to see the trends. This post compares well with the previous one.