Thursday, September 17, 2009

Now Also Representing: Young Adult Fiction

I’m thrilled to announce officially that our agency is expanding to include representation of YA titles! It’s a natural expansion—the commercial market and romance aesthetic dovetail with a lot of young adult titles well. Plus, I ♥ YA.

What kinds of YA are we representing? Almost all kinds: contemporary, fantasy, dystopias, boy and girl protagonists, commercial, paranormal, literary, multicultural, coming of age, and maybe even a dash of historical. In all of these genres, as always, we’re looking for great narrative voices, believable characters and strong writing.

As a sampling of my interests, I have a soft spot for the classic authors I grew up with: Lois Lowry, Madeleine L’Engle, L.M. Montgomery, etc. I love contemporary YA (John Green, Sarah Dessen and Walter Dean Myers stand out, along with Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower) and stories about dystopias (The Giver still warrants a periodic re-read; Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies trilogy is fantastic). Fantasy feels like home to me—I grew up reading The Chronicles of Narnia and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy—and I like paranormal too (vampires [of course], but also unexpected angles, unique twists and new worlds [for example, I’m really enjoying Rachel Vincent’s My Soul to Lose right now]).

Elaine’s tastes run toward the more straight-forward contemporary stories. She has had ongoing success with Celeste Norfleet’s YA titles, Pushing Pause and Fast Forward—even before we officially branched out into YA. We also have great relationships with YA editors at all of the major publishers.

I’ll be the primary contact for YA. I’ve been helping Elaine with her projects and selling foreign rights for the agency for over a year now, but this will be my first opportunity to develop my own projects. Elaine, of course, will continue to supervise and be a resource, and we’ll likely work on some YA projects together, but I’m eager, dedicated and thrilled to have the opportunity to jump into the mix with YA. So, we’re ready for your query letters. You can mail them in or e-mail them directly to me at naomi@elaineenglish.com. Bring on the YA!

5 comments:

pat said...

Does your call for YA include upper middle grade? The protagonist is in ninth grade.
Thanks,
Pat

Alicia Walker said...

Welcome to the fabulous world of YA. Yay! I'm so excited for you!

Naomi said...

Pat--If the story/characters are great and intrigue me, I'll definitely consider upper MG. A lot of the books that I grew up with as YA would probably be considered more as upper MG now that YA continues to age up.

Alicia--Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Do you accept young adult fiction where the main characters are not heterosexual?

Elaine said...

Please note that as of the fall of 2011, this agency is no longer taking on any new YA projects of any type.