I had a fantastic weekend at Salford University, Media City, at a writers conference especially for writers of the YA or the ‘Young Adult’ novel. I am going to blog in full about this over the next couple of days including photos. I had the very great pleasure of meeting some fantastic writers, including the wonderful writer and winner of the Carnegie Medal, Melvin Burgess, and in fact, we took a critiquing session together.
I also met the talented writers Sara Grant, Rachel McIntyre,Vanessa Harbour and a wonderful librarian who is really in touch with the kids and what they’re reading, Nikki Louise, … to name a few. I am also hoping to have some of these people on my blog as well! And of course, my great friend and business partner, also fab YA writer, Gill James.
The YA novel is something that I have not talked about specifically on here as I write adult fiction primarily but I do think it’s writing with an edge for a great audience and interesting to hear that 55% of the readers of YA are in fact adult. I think this genre has most certainly changed and I have seen those trends reflected in the work I am sent to critique. I’d say about quarter, perhaps more of the work I am sent to critique is YA these days. The genre now tends to move away from the fantasy I saw a lot of to issues-based gritty stuff; and I have to say the ‘stuff’ they seem to want: drugs, sex, mental health. And they want their voices represented authentically. I will talk more about this later this week as I found it wonderful learning from the talented people I got to meet!
In the meantime it has whet my appetite to get the next novel done and see what’s the state of play with Chutney… and no I don’t mean the preserve, I mean Chutney the novel.
So more soon, little late getting up as tired but am now ready to write with gusto and passion, I hope!
(Oh and on a personal aside: he did miss me 😉 (and I him) as the man collected me from the station (not planned) with a HUGE bunch of flowers and we also went out for dinner. I am very lucky 🙂 )
Happy Monday! And the being with other writers will continue tonight with the meeting of Canvey Writers… whoop!