Sunday, December 5, 2010

Young[er] folk

I don't know whether to be intrigued by this or disturbed by the potential for gimmicks (via Bookshelves of Doom).
Medallion Press has started a new fiction book line called Ya-Ya, focused on “young adults writing for young adults.” The imprint will focus on authors aged 13-to-18-years-old. The line will publish books representing a variety of fiction genres in both print and eBook format.
Huh. Much as I understand the desire of many young 13 year olds to get published and much as I hesitate to automatically dismiss young authors aged 17-18, I can't help feel like this is one grand-e gimmick, waiting to cash in. I know this may not apply to all, but it's kind of hard to write quality literature when you've barely even lived your life. More importantly, I think a large part of the creative process is the editing stage. If you're 13, chances are you haven't had much of an opportunity to mull over the "terrible" stuff (in your mind) you've written in order to fix and improve it. And that's a big part of what writing is.

I'm not saying there can't be young authors. I'm not saying there can't be amazing young authors. I've read some wonderful teen works (almost all have been shorter fiction - poetry and short stories), but it's rare. And anyways, that's what the internet is for. There's a lot to be said about teen authors, but right now I look at this story and feel uncertain. So I suppose this sounds like a cool, zingy idea for publishing, but boy does it also sound like one fat gimmick.


  1. As someone's who's just recently left that age bracket: most of what my friends and I wrote was crap. It all ends up sounding the same. At 13 one has only really been cognizant for 7 years or so. There is little time for life experiences or the formulation of novel ideas.

  2. I agree with you. Everything is influence in one way or another by pop cultures. Justin Bierber is another young one who made it. Although it is the music industry, people tend to think perhaps writing can be the same too.

    Everyone loves a genius, or waiting for a reincarnation of Mozart. True genius? happens once in hundred years.

  3. I agree. I have no problem with young authors (besides the fact that they make me feel profoundly unaccomplished, and I'm only in my mid-20s), but an entire imprint of young authors for young readers seems a bit over-the-top.


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