WRITING NEW ADULT FICTION

WritingNewAdultFictionForeword by Sylvia Day

A guide for writers of New Adult fiction, featuring essential information and techniques for creating engaging stories featuring 18- to 25-year-old protagonists against the backdrop of the new adult experience. Includes advice on self-publishing in the NA marketplace and self-marketing. Find insights from best-selling NA authors as well as editors and agents.

SAN DIEGO BOOK AWARD

“For the writer who wants to become a new adult author, or the new adult author who seeks to enrich her craftsmanship and stand out from the herd.”Tammara Webber, New York Times best-selling author of Easy and Breakable

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WRITING YOUNG ADULT FICTION FOR DUMMIES

Foreword by M. T. Anderson

Techniques and proven tips on all the steps of writing a young adult or middle grade novel, from developing an idea to publication and marketing. A hands-on, friendly guide to writing novels for young people.

“Fun, insightful and tremendously helpful.” San Diego Union-Tribune

  • an extensive chapter on self-marketing to help writers move boldly into the realm of self-promotion
  • techniques and exercises to shape plot, create teen-friendly characters, develop a convincingly youthful voice, write natural dialogue, and use setting to illuminate characters and plot
  • 13 National Book Award winners and finalists, Newbery medalists and honorees, and other award-winning luminaries sharing their insights in sidebars
  • self-editing tools to transform a first draft into a strong submission-ready final draft
  • insider tips for finding the right agent and/or editor and preparing a stand-out submission package
  • answers to common book contract questions
  • advice on self-publishing for YA writers

More about the book
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COLLABORATORSDeborah is honored to include the voices of 13 award-winning and best-selling YA/MG novelists, agents, and editors in sidebars throughout Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies

M.T. Anderson writes the heart-tugging foreword for Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies. Anderson is a National Book Award Winner and Finalist, an L.A. Times Book Prize Winner, and a two-time Michael L. Printz Honor Book Author. His books cross genres and engage audiences of every age.

Jane Yolen has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century. She’s the author of more than 300 books for young readers and adults, including fantasy and science fiction novels, historical novels, poetry, and children’s books. Her books and stories have won the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, two Christopher Medals, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards, the Golden Kite Award, the Jewish Book Award, the World Fantasy Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Association of Jewish Libraries Award, among many others. Can you think of more proven writer to tell you how to infuse each of your stories with a unique narrative voice? Deborah couldn’t—so she asked Jane to do just that in Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies.

Karen Cushman has created some of the most memorable characters in young adult fiction, including Alyce from the Newbery Medal Book The Midwife’s Apprentice, Catherine from the Newbery Honor Book Catherine, Called Birdy, California Morning Whipple from The Ballad of Lucy Whipple, Meggy from Alchemy and Meggy Swann, Will Sparrow from Will Sparrow’s Road and the stars of Matilda Bone and Rodzina. In Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies, Karen shares how she dreams up characters—and then lets them loose to do their own thing.

Kathi Appelt had published over 20 award-winning books for kids, but she wanted to write a novel for middle graders. Only, it wasn’t working. Draft after draft, idea after idea, she kept abandoning lackluster manuscripts only partly completed. She couldn’t get herself to care about her characters, and if she didn’t care, why would readers? Then it hit her: she was missing tension in her stories. That epiphany led to her debut middle-grade novel The Underneath, which went on to become a National Book Award Finalist. She’s written more novels, including the award-winning The Keeper. Kathi shares her insights about raising the stakes for characters in Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies.

Cynthia Leitich Smith knows a thing or two about writing paranormal fantasy that’s compelling, timeless, and surprising: she’s the best-selling author of the YA gothics Eternal, Tantalize, and Blessed, and other novels and graphic novels for teens. Cynthia has also written numerous award-winning books for young children and is a faculty member at the Vermont College M.F.A. program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Her “Cynsations” blog is one of the top sites read by the children’s/YA publishing community.

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of several award-winning novels for adults and young readers, including the Carnegie Medal Winner and Michael L. Printz Honor Book A Northern Light and the genre-melding historical drama Revolution. When School Library Journal called Revolution “a sumptuous feast of a novel, rich in mood, character, and emotion,” they were right on. Jennifer’s novels always capture the feeling of a place and time, allowing readers to see, taste, smell, hear, and feel the story along with the characters. In Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies, Jennifer shares just how she does that.

Deborah Wiles is known for writing dialogue that captures character as well as the flavor of a time and place. She is the author of the National Book Award Finalist Each Little Bird That Sing, Countdown (book one of “The Sixties Trilogy: Three Novels of the 1960s for Young Readers”), and other novels and picture books for young readers. Deborah talks about using dialogue to express both emotion and action in Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies.

Gary Soto knows how to structure a plot that keeps readers turning pages, and he shares that knowledge in Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies. Gary is the author of many much-loved middle grade and young adult novels, short stories, plays, and poetry collections, including Accidental Love, The Afterlife, Mercy on These Teenage Chimps, and the acclaimed Baseball in April and Other Stories. For more of Gary’s insights, read his feature in the Atlantic, in which he talks about his amazing relationship with the editor who has marked up his poems since 1974.

Mary E. Pearson may have written many award-winning teen novels, but she isn’t immune to writer’s block. (Is there a writer who is?) Luckily, Mary has figured out ways to keep writing—and she shares them in Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies.  Mary is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of ten novels, including the trilogy, The Kiss of Deception, The Heart of Betrayal, and The Beauty of Darkness. Her novel The Adoration of Jenna Fox, and the other books in the series have been optioned for film.

Darcy Pattison is the author of many award-winning picture books and novels for young people, the founding publisher of Mims House, and the 2007 recipient of the Arkansas Governor’s Arts Award for Individual Artist for her work in children’s literature. She’s widely known for her Novel Revision Retreat and her book The Book Trailer Manual. In Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies, Darcy shares three ways to create a successful book trailer that leaves room for your readers’ imaginations even as it promotes your book. Her blog, Fiction Notes at darcypattison.com, is her online home base.

Jean Ferris is the author of almost twenty acclaimed novels for teens, including quirky middle grade stories like Once Upon a Marigold and serious YA fare such as the powerful Eight Seconds. In Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies, Jean shares two crucial pieces of advice that she heard early in writing career and which have helped her inject conflict and passion into her plots ever since.

Editor Kate Harrison is a senior editor at Dial Books for Young Readers. She’s edited both debut authors and bestselling, award-winning veterans, so she knows all about the author-editor relationship. In Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies, Kate offers a behind-the-scenes look at what happens after you sign your book contract and ways to make the revision process with your editor both productive and enjoyable.

Agent Erin Murphy has a good bead on the qualities that editors, readers, and the marketplace want in a young adult book—and “quiet” isn’t one of them. In Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies, Erin shares tips for making quiet books loud. Erin is the founder of Erin Murphy Literary Agency, a leading U.S. children’s book agency representing writers and writer-illustrators of picture books, novels for middle-graders and young adults, and select nonfiction. Thanks to her early editorial career (she eventually became the editor-in-chief at Northland Publishing/Rising Moon Books for Young Readers), Erin brings an editor’s eye to her agenting.

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