What all agents want in a great YA novel

If you want to know the answers, come to my class!

On Thursday, June 13 at 1 PM EDT, I’m teaching a class through Writers Digest: What all agents want in a great YA novel. Information on pricing, registration, and what you’ll get out of the class is available at the link.

While anyone is invited to take the class, you’ll benefit from it most if you’re working on a YA novel, are interested in writing one, or are sort of on the fence as to whether your YA novel is YA versus adult or MG. All attendees can send me the first 500 words of their novel and receive a written critique from me.
Questions? I’m happy to answer them here, if they’re not answered in the workshop description.


8 thoughts on “What all agents want in a great YA novel

  1. I would suggest others who keep up with Carlie’s blog check this out — I participated in the SF/F Writer’s Digest boot camp with her at the end of March and was really impressed by her insights through the online forum discussions and appreciated the straight-to-the-point clarity of her feedback on my first chapter. My book isn’t YA, but I can appreciate how slippery that market can seem to authors when there’s such a range of tones, genres, and settings that all fall under that umbrella.

    • It’s really tough to break in with a paranormal romance right now. Not impossible, but your PR would have to be something very special, with a voice or plot point that sets it apart from everything else out there. Even then, there are no guarantees.

  2. Thanks for your reply. So if you have a PNR manuscript waiting for submission what would you suggest? Waiting for the market to move on and then submit in a couple of years? Or do you think it will be longer/never when PNR will be back in demand?

    • All genres come and go in terms of uberpopularity, so I would never say never. PNR still has its fans (and always will). Perhaps you would be best matched with an agent who loves PNR as much as you do? He or she would know the best places to sell one, or be able to give you honest feedback as to your book’s chance in the marketplace.

      In the meantime, regardless of what you decide, start working on your second book. There’s nothing an agent likes to hear more than “I’ve got other books you can sell in the future.”

    • There’s no one concrete answer to that question. I wish there was, because I could start looking now for books that will be hot in the near future. Vampires tend to come in 20-year cycles, give or take. Everything else is unpredictable at best.

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