I found the Young Adult Writer’s Journey to be a workman-like book for those looking to get into young adult writing. While big topics like suicide and bullying merit only a couple of paragraphs, the authors do a good job of pulling from popular fiction like the Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and the Divergent series to give examples and help guide the author through writing for young adults, which while often seen as an “easy” genre, certainly is not.
As someone who has little experience with young adults and who doesn’t write in the genre, I found the guide very helpful in breaking down the genre, giving advice and information for authors, and do so in an easy to read and quick reading format. For those wishing to write in this highly competitive genre, I recommend the book.
The Young Adult Writer’s Journey
Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds and Janet Schrader-Post
Genre: Nonfiction Reference
Publisher: Tell-Tale Publishing Group
Date of Publication: November 23, 3018
Number of pages: 232
Word Count: 60,000
Tagline: An Encyclopedia for YA Writers
Finally, an all-inclusive book on young adult fiction must-do, don’t do and how-to. If you want to write a young adult novel, you need to read this book first. Coauthored by an award-winning YA author and an acquisitions editor, both experts on kids and what they like to read, this encyclopedia contains all you need to start or improve a career as a YA fiction author.
From an examination of the market, genre and its sub-genres, to mechanics and the business, everything is at your fingertips. This amazing writer’s resource is written in a relaxed and interesting style, with plenty of contemporary references and examples for clear understanding and easier application.
“The Young Adult Writer’s Journey is a ‘Must Have’ at your fingertip reference for anyone who writes (or wants to write) for or about kids. Engaging text with topical and thought-provoking insights leading from idea to submission . . . and beyond to populate a story with believable characters young readers can relate to.”—Nancy Gideon, Award-Winning author of the By Moonlight series
“The trouble with “how to” books on creativity is that they usurp creativity. Not so with this very insightful guide for YA writing. If it doesn’t become a standard or even a classic among reference books, it will be an oversight. Janet Schrader-Post and Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds have all the marinated smarts and credentialed experience to pull this off, and they do! No dictated wisdom from on high here, no grafted creativity, THE YOUNG ADULT WRITER’S JOURNEY is accessible, motivational and a clear map that leaves plenty of room to discover for anyone wanting to explore their creative side.”-Thomas Sullivan, Pulitzer-nominated author of THE PHASES OF HARRY MOON
When you talk about
world-building, many writers think you’re talking about fantasy lands like
Narnia, Westeros, Panam or Middle Earth. For most teens, school is their world.
What kind of home life they have is their world and these worlds need to be
just as complicated as Narnia. Well-developed teen worlds like Hogwarts, North
Shore High School, home of the Mean Girls, Rydell High School of Grease, and
Panem of Hunger Games are so well-developed they seem real, and you remember
them as though they were a place you visited.
To create a real world for teens
in our times, you really need to know them: what they do every day, what they
like, what motivates them, the environment in high schools and many other
details. Home life for kids is very different from twenty or even ten years
ago. It takes two incomes now to support a growing family or to succeed, so
both parents most likely work. This leaves kids as young as nine or ten at home
alone for long periods of time (or even younger, unfortunately). The enemy of
these parents is the school holiday, and it seem like there’s more than ever.
These parents have no idea what to do with their children. Many can’t afford
childcare, so the kids are home alone. It’s a thing you must think about when
writing for them.
Children come from all levels of
society. Poor kids will view the world through different eyes than kids who
have well-off parents. Kids living with a single parent might have a different
view of the world as well as different social structures. The kids with single
parents or working parents might have to go hungry on weekends, on school
holidays and especially during the summer. It’s hard to think about, but true.
There are teenagers out there who eat breakfast and lunch at school and their
families provide dinner. Sometimes all they get is their school meals some
days. When school is out, they scavenge and fend for themselves or they don’t
About the Authors:
Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds knows kids well. She spent decades teaching teens and adults to write and improve their reading skills. As a literacy expert and certified coach, she helped both teachers from elementary to secondary and preservice graduate students learn to improve reading and writing instruction. She has taught at both the secondary and graduate level, everything from rhetoric, essays, and thesis statements, to poetry, short stories, and how to write a novel. She has learned to use both sides of her brain simultaneously, but enjoys the creative side the most, learning to play piano, draw and paint, and find time for her own writing since retiring from her “day” jobs.
A “true believer” in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, mythic structures, she uses that lens when considering manuscripts for Tell-Tale Publishing Group, a company she founded with some friends from her critique group a decade ago.
Daughter of a Colonel, Janet lived the military life until she got out of high school. She lived in Hawaii and worked as a polo groom for fifteen years, then moved to Florida where she became a reporter. For ten years she covered kids in high school and middle school. Kids as athletes, kids doing amazing things no matter how hard their circumstances. It impressed her, and it awed her. “How wonderful teens are. They have spirit and courage in the face of the roughest time of their lives. High school is a war zone. Between dodging bullies, school work and after school activities, teens nowadays have a lot on their plate. I wrote stories about them and I photographed them. My goal was to see every kid in their local newspaper before they graduated.”
Janet love kids and horses, and she paints and writes. Now she lives in the swampland of Florida with too many dogs and her fifteen-year-old granddaughter. She started to write young adult fiction with the help of her son, Gabe Thompson, who teaches middle school. Together they have written a number of award-winning YA novels in both science fiction and fantasy.