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Aeicha @ Word Spelunking

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Guest Post & Giveaway from Vinspire Publishing

I'm thrilled to be helping Vinspire Publishing celebrate their Young Adult titles this month by hosting one of their authors for a guest post and giveaway...

Writing Young Adult
by Pamela Woods-Jackson
Young Adult novels have gained popularity over the last few years, and rightly so. A number of classics have emerged in this genre, including the Twilight series, the Hunger Games series, and even Harry Potter, which appealed to teens and adults alike. Many writers are trying their hand at Young Adult, hoping to be the next Stephenie Meyer or Suzanne Collins and land on a best-seller list.
So far I’ve had two of my YA books published, including Genius Summer (Nov. 2014). I write in that genre because I’m a former high school English teacher and I have a pretty good idea of what teens will read. They want a relatable main character (preferably female, but guys read these books, too), and they want the character to be in familiar settings with supporting characters they might actually know, and to see the kids find solutions to their own problems. If the story is sci-fi or dystopian, the science must be accurate and believable. If a writer makes up unrealistic facts or situations for plot purposes, trust me that the teen readers will notice and call the author on it, which of course means they won’t recommend it to their friends. And be careful about the slang. It changes constantly, and using too much of what’s current will inevitably date your story.
Anyone currently writing or planning to start writing in this genre needs to first get to know their target audience. Talk to teens, visit a middle or high school, read book reviews written by teens, or just hang out someplace where teens gather and then eavesdrop. It will be enlightening, and possibly help you get a handle on your characters.

Pamela Woods-Jackson is a former high school English teacher and author of Confessions of a Teenage Psychic (The Wild Rose Press, 2010), which was a 2011 Epic Ebook Contest finalist and received Honorable Mention in the 2013 Hollywood Book Festival contest. I am also the author of New Adult novel Certainly Sensible (Champagne Books, 2011). Her debut novel with Vinspire Publishing, Genius Summer, received Honorable Mention in the 2013 Pacific Northwest Writers Contest and was a 2013 Finalist in the San Francisco Writers Contest.

Everyone who comments will be entered to win 5 of Vinspire Publishing’s young adult titles (their choice) and a $10 Amazon gift card.
giveaway details
-to enter, just comment below & include a way for Vinspire Publishing to contact you if you win
-the winner will be drawn on Dec. 9th
-this giveaway is sponsored by Vinspire Publishing and NOT run by Word Spelunking

You can see the full list of blogs Vinspire Publishing will be visiting this month to celebrate their YA titles HERE. Everyone who comments at each blog stop will be entered to win a Kindle Paperwhite!


JKBovi said...

Great advice Pamela. Especially about the use of ever changing slang which can date a book. Thank you

Slowsly said...

Thank you for the super information. Our SCBWI group has set aside a couple of meetings just for writing YA. Your suggestions are great.

Carl Scott said...

Those are great tips. It's at least as difficult writing for young people as it is for adults. Maybe more difficult. Thanks for a chance to win this great prize too. Happy Holidays!

Linda Romer said...

I am a big fan of YA novels ♡ I just bought a copy of Soundless by Richelle Mead! What a great author and the book cover is beautiful, thank you.

Dawn Carrington said...

Definitely good advice, especially the part about talking to teens. They have their own language and unique style!

Tyneisha said...

Great advice, I never thought about watching the slang usage because it can make the work dated. But it's true- It seems young adults come up with new terms every week!

Lynne said...

I have read some YA books recently and have enjoyed them.

Pamela Woods-Jackson said...

Thanks everyone for all the positive comments. Glad I was able to offer useful advice on the writing of YA novels. :)

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Useful tips you got there,Pamela! I agree that when a writer want to include Science in the story, it must be based on facts.