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Young Adult Books 101


What is a Young Adult Book?

  • Fiction and nonfiction for ages 12 and up or 14 and up. Books tend to be 150 pages or longer. Manuscripts are generally 40,000 words and higher.
  • Fiction can be any genre. Some of the most popular are fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, cyber punk,

Understanding the “New Adult Fiction” Category



What is new adult fiction?


New adult fiction bridges the gap between young adult and adult books. It typically features protagonists between the ages of 18 and 26. The label was first used in 2009 when St. Martin’s Press hosted a contest looking for stories that could


Writing for the Gifted Education Market

In recent years, gifted education has become a big field. Every year the National Association for Gifted Children hosts a meeting attended by thousands of teachers, parents, and administrators. There are many opportunities to publish in the field of gifted education, ranging from newsletters to books. Before hitting the keyboard


Drawing the Line in Edgy YA

Profanity. Violence. Drugs. Sex. It seems as if nothing is off limits in Young Adult fiction today. But what if you don’t want to write a novel packed with swear words or sexual content? Is there a place in the market for books about nice kids who aren’t living on


5 Steps to Building a World in Sci-Fi & Fantasy


Building worlds in science fiction and fantasy involves more than simply deciding upon the name of that world. It means creating a language, a culture, rules and mores, dress and styles, a past or history.


Does that sound intimidating?  It needn’t be.


Just as in eating an

Mastering Fantasy

She was a liar. No one in middle school believed her stories and she knew it, yet she kept lying to them. It wasn’t until she met the unicorn in the supply closet that she discovered she had to find a way to make them believe she’d seen the creature,


Ask the Author: Dian Curtis Regan

One of the most versatile and accomplished writers in children’s literature shares her advice!


Over the years, we’ve given readers, aspiring authors and lovers of children’s literature the opportunity to interact directly with some of their favorite writers. The result: a number of revealing conversations with some remarkable authors. We’re proud to present a few of the best


Middle Grade Books 101


What is a Book for Middle Graders?

  • Novels or nonfiction for ages 8-12 or 10-14. Lengths can vary from 84-200 pages (novels are usually over 100 pages long), or 20,000-40,000 words. Illustrated nonfiction may have fewer words.
  • Characters are children ages 9-14 (average character in middle grade

Kirby Larson’s Middle Grade Reading & Resource Master List

Kirby Larson’s highly selective suggested reading list*:

Al Capone Does My Shirts, Gennifer Choldenko

Alabama Moon, Watt Key

Alchemy and Meggy Swann, Karen Cushman

Amelia Lost, Candace Fleming

The Bamboozlers, Michael de Guzman

Belle Prater’s Boy, Ruth White

Chicken Boy, Frances O’Roarke Dowell


Word Counts, Page Counts & Age Groups: Middle Grade & YA

Middle Grade for Ages 8-12, fiction and nonfiction: Books are 84-150 pages long on average, with manuscripts of about 20,000-35,000 words. No illustrations in fiction; nonfiction may have photographs or black-and-white drawings. No restrictions on writing style, but characters in fiction tend to be 10-13 years old.


Upper Middle


The Novel Reimagined


How do you write a novel? When we think of a novel, we visualize the typical format: a chapter story that describes a linear chain of events, leading to a resolution at the end. Most novels follow this setup. But there are other ways to tell a story. 

PODCAST – Middle Grade Author Donna Gephart on Reaching Young Readers

Laura chats with award-winning author Donna Gephart  about writing humorous middle grade fiction,  tapping into the concerns of that age group, and reaching her market. Visit to see the trailer for her newest novel, How to Survive Middle School.




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Our Young Adult Expert Audrey is Back With More Insight

Editor’s note: Audrey is a 13-year-old student from California who is currently working on her own novel between school, sports and choir. She’s also a Contributing Editor to Write4Kids, focusing on middle grade and young adult literature. If you have writing-related questions for Audrey, or want to suggest a topic

PODCAST: Author Ronica Stromberg on Writing for Tweens, the Inspirational Market, Blogging and More.

Laura chats with Ronica Stromberg, author of the Kirsten Hart series for tweens (from Royal Fireworks Press,,  about  writing for the inspirational market and promoting herself through school visits and her blog.


Learn more about Ronica and her work at


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