What’s Hot in Young Adult writing:

15 Nov



Are you writing Young Adult Novels?

Mandy Hubbard, is a literary agent with D4EO Literary, where she represents authors of middle grade and teen fiction, and is an author under the pen name Amanda Grace of Prada & PrejudiceYou WishBut I Love HimRipple, and several other YA novels.

She lists what’s hot in YA at the moment:

  • Contemporary, MOST ESPECIALLY with a hook. Think: THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, anything By Ally Carter, etc. The usual “coming of age” or romance is tough, but if you can find a way to zero in on a big hook, you’re in GREAT shape.
  • Epic Fantasy – I’m seeing more success stories like Pub Crawl’s own THRONE OF GLASS
  • Horror/Thriller. Editors are looking for this like crazy.
  • Sci-Fi, particularly if it blends Sci-fi with something else – a murder mystery, a thriller, etc.
  • Crossover YA. This is hard, because you can’t write it thinking “I want to appeal to adults and YA equally!” Write a damn good YA novel and adults will love it, but it has to happen organically.


She also mentioned topics that always work:

  • Intense romance for YAs… MANY of these do really well, but the genre in general don’t go as gangbusters as some of the flashier types
  • Verse novels– these are sort of “sleeper hits” when they do well. They still can be tough, but there are certainly success stories in this subset of YA.

And her most important advise for writers:
Remember, with ANY book, it’s all going to come down to the writing.  A less timely book with knock-down writing will win people over, but a hook won’t sell if the writing can’t back it up.  

More, and also the topics that are not as “hot” right now in Mandy Hubbard’s blog post “The State of YA Market




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One response to “What’s Hot in Young Adult writing:

  1. Barry Hoffman

    November 29, 2012 at 10:20 am

    I have no qualms with this writers list of what is hot in YA literature. However, that’s the problem with YA (and all) literature. Everyone is cloning what is currently hot instead of writing good books that publishers might not jump at because they are looking mainly at the bottom line. Personally, I’d rather write about what I’m interested in and write quality fiction that try to capitalize on the current trends.


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