Blog Tour and Giveaway of Writing Great Books for Young Adults


Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks

Age Range: Teens and adults

Genre: Nonfiction

Paperback: 224 pages

Publisher: Sourcebooks; 2 edition (October 7, 2014)

Source: Publisher via NetGalley

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

About the Book:

Break into the Bestselling Young Adult Market with this IndispensableGuide!

Whether you’re just getting started or are on the hunt foran agent or publisher, Writing Great Books for Young Adults is your completeinsider source on how to succeed in the flourishing world of YA fiction andnonfiction. In this updated and revised edition, veteran literary agent ReginaL. Brooks offers invaluable advice for YA writers on everything from shapingyour novel to crafting the perfect pitch for your book.

Learn How To:

•Develop an authentic, engaging voice and writing style

•Construct dynamic plots that will resonate with readers

•Avoid common pitfalls related to tone and point of view

•Navigate the emerging genres of YA nonfiction and New Adult

•Create an exceptional query letter and proposal that willgrab the attention of agents and publishers

You’ll also discover how successful film adaptations like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games have broadened the market for your book.Filled with tips and advice from agents, editors, and popular YA authors,Writing Great Books for Young Adults is your ticket to an incredible YA career!

“Brooks offers writers who are serious about attractingteen readers solid guidance through the creation process of writing YA fiction.”—LibraryJournal

My Thoughts:

I believe every teacher has something to offer, and this book has some fantastic advice for anyone wanting to write fiction for young adults. It’s not as easy as people assume, nor is it like any other age group. It is a unique area all itself and it requires careful navigation to get it right. The advice in Writing Great Books for Young Adults is solid and will be beneficial to anyone that reads the book.

It’s laid out in a text book style and goes through each aspect of writing YA fiction, gives advice, and provides examples.  The only problem with this book is that it has some dry spots that are hard to stay focused on.  However, if you can look past that, you will find a wealth of information about writing for the young adult audience and how to appeal to its thriving market.

This book has great advice and is a must read for anyone wanting to improve their skills or break into young adult fiction.

Source: I received a digital galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Excerpt from the Book:

The key to writing a successful YA novel means knowing kids well enough to channel their voices, thoughts, and emotions. (“Kids” is used as an operative word here. The official YA audience encompasses twelve– to eighteen–year–olds, but it is expanding as children’s book publishers work to attract readers as young as ten and eleven, and adult publishers reach to capitalize on the growing market.) While some of your readers may be a little younger than the twelve–to–eighteen target—-children aged ten to twelve tend to read above their age—-and some may be a little older, keep in mind that you have to convince all segments of your audience that you know what it feels like to be a young person today. If you can’t convince your audience that you know how they feel about the world today and express yourself the same way, you will never reach them.

Whether YA readers attend elementary or secondary school isn’t an issue when it comes to the importance of YA Fiction Rule #2.

Young people won’t abide stories that suggest that their turmoil or idealism will pass when they “grow up.” Brent Hartinger, author of Geography Club, says, “I’m a big believer that kids are smarter than we think they are.…I think kids can handle complexity and nuances, and the advantage to writing that way is that the book appeals to both teenagers and adults.”

Many adults read fiction as an escape—-teens are no different. Imagine spending a long day in school, learning boring lessons ’cause you’re supposed to, having everyone from parents to teachers to employers telling you what to do, how to think, what to wear, then picking up a novel—-and having someone else trying to shove another lesson down your throat! I can’t imagine a bigger letdown.

Don’t deal with young people by trying to push them in one di-rection or another. Deal with them where they’re at now.

A word of caution: don’t emulate your favorite authors, but learn from them. You’ll want to create work that is truly your own. In the resource guide at the back of this book, along with details such as schools that offer writing degrees with a YA focus, you’ll find listings for websites that recommend great YA fiction.

About the Author:

About the Author: Regina L. Brooks is the founder of Serendipity Literary Agency and has been developing award-winning authors and books for over a decade. She has been highlighted in several national and international magazines and periodicals, including Poets and Writers, Essence, Writer’s Digest, and Sister2Sister, Forbes, Media Bistro, Ebony, and Jet. She lives in New York City.

Connect with Regina:

Giveaway Time!

Win a printed copy of Writing Great Books for Young Adults

US and Canada only please

Ends Nov 10, 2014

Entrants must be 13 or older or have their parent/guardian enter for them.  Winner must respond to my email within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen.  Contest is void where prohibited.  Good luck!

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  • Reply
    Tressa S
    October 28, 2014 at 3:27 am

    My niece has begun writing and has a few chapters of a book completed. This would be great for her, and for me for whenever I eventually try to write when the kids are all in school. 🙂

    • Reply
      October 28, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      It's a great A-Z primer for all things YA fiction related. It's definitely a good resource to have on hand if you want to break into it.

      I keep thinking that I'll try writing too. One day I will. I've written a couple of books in the past, but nothing worth trying to publish.

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