Saturday, August 28, 2010

Riding the Trends of the YA Market

There has been some scuttlebutt lately about what the new trend in YA fiction will be.  Paranormal, and to a smaller extent Urban Fantasy, have dominated this market for the past few years and several agents are predicating a change.  Their prediction – YA contemporary will be the next big thing.

For those of us writing YA contemporary this is a good . . . great thing.  It puts us ahead of the curve and in the perfect position to capitalize on the market.  But what about those of us who live, write, and love the paranormal genre.  How much longer will this market sustain our passion?

This is a double-edged sword for me because I write both genres.  Cedar, the ms  currently on submission is a YA contempory.  So is my current WIP Inside Out.  But I have a third ms that has been kicking around my hard drive over 18 months, one that was never queried.  I open up Seven Shades of Crazy every couple of months, tweak it, and send it back out to beta readers.  If the agent predictions  are right, then now is the time to polish it up and send it out.    

Now do I think the paranormal genre is going away?  Absolutely not!  In fact the agent blog below indicates that it is these manuscripts that currently garnish the highest advances – something about editors wanting to play it safe in a proven market.  That said, do I want to read yet another story about a brooding vampire with an unwavering moral compass?  Nope, but send me ghost story or a ms that walks along the fringe of reality and I am all yours.  In this genre I think it is about amazing writing and new twists; if your words sing and your characters truly memorable than your manuscript will sell itself regardless of what road the YA market decides to take.

Here is the opinion of a few agents on the subject of the next trend in YA. I am curious to see where you all weigh in.


  1. You know, I hope that GK is right on this one. Not only because we write primarily Contemp. but also because a fresh sweep of the market and a new trend sounds great. So, my opinion is - bring on the contemps. Good post Trisha.

  2. As I too hope the YA trends shift, even if simply for a variety, I hope instead of a complete shift, things even out. I am a paranormal YA writer and though I love YA contemp, I think the market needs strong writers in all areas. Until authors like Trisha et al get their books published and we see some really great contemporary work, I will keep reading about werewolves, demons and

  3. It's so hard to predict what readers will want next - what will be the next big hit. Contemporary seems like a good way to go!

  4. YA Contemp will always sell well, but I'm hoping for a big wave of voracious readers who are like, dying for it. It's not likely, but that would make me happy :) I adore contemp YA.
    I like fantasy too, but there seems to be too much of it, and it's hard to find a really compelling series/ standalone. At least for me.