Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Uh-Oh. Now What?

Has it really been two weeks since I posted anything? Wowza.

What can I say? There are big changes brewing in the Earp household, and they have nothing to do with my writing. Can you say STRESS? (I can!) If I don't chill out my head will permanently ache, and I really don't want any more gray hair.

I guess it's not THAT big of a deal, but me and Change? We're not friendly. Just so you know.

Moving on now...

So, here's my big Uh-Oh:

You might remember a couple of weeks ago I mentioned a conference in March. (Of course you don't remember. That's okay.) It is our state SCBWI conference, and there are 10 page critques available. WooHoo! I was so psyched about getting a pro to give me some feedback for improvement. But then a few days ago one very small detail smacked me between the eyes.

My MS isn't YA. Technically.

Let me explain. When I began my novel so many months ago I thought it would be a YA. I know lots of young readers like to read up, so it seemed logical to me at the time that high school readers might read about a young college student. I have since come to the realization that 18 (and certainly 19 and 20) year old MCs are too old for YA.

Considering content and style, my novel would fit YA. But I haven't heard of many (if any) YA agents or editors picking up novels with characters this age. I guess I didn't really think about this until SMP held the New Adult contest. (If I'm wrong about agents picking up this age, please correct me.)

Should I submit 10 pages of a "New Adult" for a SCBWI critique? I don't want to be the ding dong that doesn't have a clue, but if this was a conference for adult novels, I wouldn't feel like I fit in there, either.

So, now I ask you. What do you think I should do??


  1. I have no clue..

    Just wanted to say, Hi.

  2. Unfortunately, you are right about the age in YA. College age doesn't count, and you're not the first to get caught with this. New Adult is a new genre, I've only heard of recently, but if it catches on, you'll be one of the early ones. Go for it!

    btw, I left you an award at my blog.

  3. Tamara at Chasing Dreams just blogged about the same thing.

    I left you a gift at my blog.

    (this is the second time I've posted a comment here, not sure where the first one went to)

  4. Everything I've read suggests YA MCs should be between 14-18... but maybe there's always a first. Can you just make your characters younger? A friend of mine just did that to her novel.

  5. hey! you visited my blog and so you know I'm also in this category. Here's to hoping that new adult takes off!

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

    As for your would submit anyway, and explain upfront that it's a YA/New Adult cross-over. ;-)

  7. I've read that some editors will consider protags in the first two years of college for Y/A these days, so I'd just submit it as Y/A and see what happens. As "New Adult" takes off, you can submit it as that. But for the conference entry, my feeling is don't explain. Just present your story. If somebody falls in love with it, she'll worry about fine-tuning categories later.

  8. I vote: do it! It won't hurt and I think it's a genre that is going to catch on fast.

    Good Luck!