This is topic The Children's Writer's Market has me frustrated in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
Again and again I read listings from publishers and agents who say "don't want to receive middle grade or young adult fantasy or science fiction."

Then, there's an article by a children's librarian and they ask him what he sees children reading and you know what? yeah, he says middle grade and young adult fantasy.

Is it because there are so many people submitting it that they're just inundated?

I bought it today and browsed it hoping it would motivate me to finish my novel which is, yes, of course - a middle grade fantasy. And I did get somewhat motivated but I also got discouraged.

I know publishing is a long hard road and what isn't big this year may be what everyone is looking for next year and patience is the key. That's what I keep telling myself.

One thing they did mention that I agree with is the gravitating of the children's market toward a really professional business, no more will they accept mediocre manuscripts, you have to bring your A-game just like you do in the adult publishing world.

The key appears to be attending a bunch of conferences because many of the agents and editors say that's where the pick up new clients. Unfortunately, that takes money and travel time, something I don't have in huge amounts.

*sigh* Just another day in the life of an aspiring writer. Ups and downs.
Posted by Amilia (Member # 8912) on :
Good luck! I'm working in a public library, and I agree with the librarian you cited. I shelve many more books in the YA fantasy section than I do in the regular YA section.

As to why publishers don't want more YA fantasy . . . the only reason I can think of is the one you came up with--that the popularity of Harry Potter has inspired so many writers that there is a qlut of submissions in that area. However, as noted above, it has also inspired readers to read in that genre, so you'd think it'd balance out. But what do I know.

By the way, I very much admire those of you who have enough imagination and talent to write fiction. Keep up the good work!
Posted by Zalmoxis (Member # 2327) on :

I suspect that Amilia is right -- you are a victim of the Harry Potter phenomenon. Is there any way to make connections with a good agent via e-mail and phone?

The writer's market in general seems to be real tough for just about anything that isn't celebrity oriented or 'creative nonfiction.'
Posted by OlavMah (Member # 756) on :
There are whole lines of pure speculative YA fiction. TorTeens, Starscape, Firebird, Imagine, Hyperion, and Pyr publish this exclusively, and they're all tied to major publishing houses. My guess is that it's the rest of the lines at these same houses that don't want to see YA spec fic because it isn't their field. So if you submit to just Penguin/Putnam, for example, they'll say go away. So research submitting directly to their Firebird line instead.

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