Editors Blog

What All Agents Want in a Great Young Adult Novel — July 29 Webinar (With Critique) by Agent Carlie Webber

Teens are discriminating readers with a lot of demands on their time, so what can you do to ensure that your novel is the one they’ll all be dying to read? And does your book stand a chance at getting you an agent if it doesn’t have wizards, vampires, or a dystopian setting?

Literary agent Carlie Webber will share her ideas on what all agents want in a great YA novel, regardless of subject matter. The live webinar on July 29 will open with a presentation on what it means to write authentic YA voices, and will explain why crafting a YA voice is a different challenge from creating one for a tween or adult protagonist. After showing examples of strong voice, Carlie will show how setting, pacing, and tension all work with the voice to create a memorable novel. She’ll also talk about the elements that separate middle grade novels from YA, and YA from adult. Carlie will also address the art of writing controversial content, and the perennial question of how writers should – or shouldn’t – tackle YA literature trends.

This webinar will treat YA as an age range, not a genre, and it will include examples from contemporary and historical fiction, plus science fiction and fantasy written for ages 12-18. It all happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, Tuesday, July 29, 2014, and lasts 90 minutes. Sign up for the webinar here.

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ABOUT THE CRITIQUE

All registrants are invited to submit the first 500 words of their novel. All submissions are guaranteed a written critique by literary agent Carlie Webber. Carlie reserves the right to request more writing from attendees by e-mail following the event, if she deems the writing excellent.

Please Note: Even if you can’t attend the live webinar, registering for this live version will enable you to receive the On Demand webinar and a personal critique of your material. Purchasing the On Demand version after the live event will not include a critique.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:

— The elements of crafting a memorable YA voice
— How setting and plot work to support the voice
— Why a teen protagonist’s voice will sound different than a pre-teen or adult
— How to incorporate great pacing and tension
— How to work in enough technology and slang to sound current, but not so much that your book is dated before it hits shelves
— What you can and can’t present in terms of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll
— Why writing to trends is a double-edged sword. Sign up for the webinar here.

INSTRUCTOR

Carlie Webber refused to major in English in college because no one would let her read Stephen King or R.L. Stine for class. After college, she obtained a Master of Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh and worked as a YA librarian and professional book reviewer for publications including KIRKUS REVIEWS. Wishing to explore her interest in the business side of publishing, she enrolled in the Columbia Publishing Course. After working for the Publish or Perish Agency/New England Publishing Associates and Jane Rotrosen Agency, she has established her own agency, CK Webber Associates. In addition to YA, she is seeking middle grade, mystery, thriller, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. Follow her on Twitter: @carliebeth

Sign up for the webinar here.

 

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