Talking Up YA

Last night at Maryland Romance Writers, I sat on a YA panel with a great group of ladies, fellow YA writers Toni Picker, Stephanie Thomas and Lea Nolan. When I joined the chapter five years ago, I was the only member writing YA, now some 6-8 of us read and write the genre, so it made for a fun and informative conversation.

We discussed the typical questions—What makes it YA? How spicy is YA romance really getting these days?

The neatest resource brought to my attention in preparing was National Public Radio’s August 7th publication of their list of 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels. Go to their site and see it here. It’s fabulous, and surprising in the mix of old and new titles.

This list gave our panel an unbiased springboard, not just our humble opinions. We pulled the books we had, borrowed others and presented piles of top teen novels to our participants. Together we reminisced, read excerpts, compared the old and the new and stood by our best-loved titles.

(I have to admit, a few of my favorites didn’t make the list—Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta and newly discovered YA horror Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake—but somehow they made it onto the table anyway.)

We walked away knowing the genre and each other a bit better. Plus, I have a new reading goal: I’ve only read 29 of the books on the list (Just counting series as one title.) but we own 45 of the titles. My teens have read them, so I have some catching up to do.


About Laurel Wanrow

Fantasy romance tuned to the magic of the land.

Posted on August 17, 2012, in Favorite Authors, What I read, YA Novels and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Laurel, we are on the verge of releasing our first anthology of YA short stories. It’s very exciting. We feel that they are edgy and comtemporary, yet still appropriate. Hope you get the chance to read them and tell us what you think 🙂


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