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What's trending right now in MG?

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mycasa2ucasa

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Hi all. After working on serious subject matter for my NF PBs, I decided I needed to lighten up a bit, and I am seven chapters in to writing a MG chapter book. I am writing directly for my eldest son's age/reading level (he is going into second grade, but like a large number of kids his age, reads at a fourth or fifth grade level), and specifically to his interests, but I was wondering if there were subject matters that agents/publishers are shying away from or greatly attracted to at the moment. Has anyone heard specifically from and agent or editor that "they're not looking for that type of book right now"?
#1 - July 09, 2010, 10:50 AM

Mike Jung

Guest
If my query experiences over the past year are any indication, it depends almost entirely on the agent/editor in question - they all have different tastes, needs, existing books on their lists, etc. And the prevailing wisdom is that writing with an eye for what's hot and what's not is not the way to go - a trend that's white-hot right now, for example, may be tired and used up by the time your manuscript is ready for the query process. As megasuperfantastic agent Jennifer Laughran likes to say, there's always a market for awesome. Are you writing about a subject matter that you feel passionate about/engaged in/committed to? By writing about that subject matter will you be writing the best book that you possibly can? If so, you're on the right track. Good luck!
#2 - July 09, 2010, 01:13 PM

mycasa2ucasa

Guest
Thank you Mike - you're right. I am passionate about this book, it's characters and messages. It's a joy to write, and I look forward to each new scene I put together. It's just jumping onto the computer screen, so there's no stopping now!

My thinking was that if the MG market was inundated with too many fantasy novels (I believe mine falls into that category), I would shelve it for a while after I'm finished. But I know what you're saying is true, if an agent or editor somewhere thinks it's "awesome", then it won't matter what the subject is.

Thanks again, and may the "writing Gods" be on your side as well!
#3 - July 09, 2010, 01:26 PM

Rena

Guest
Good luck with your story!
#4 - July 15, 2010, 03:11 PM

Thank you Mike - you're right. I am passionate about this book, it's characters and messages. It's a joy to write, and I look forward to each new scene I put together. It's just jumping onto the computer screen, so there's no stopping now!



I have to say, hearing that you are passionate about the "message" of your book is always a redflag-- make sure you're not writing is to teach anything. With MG (and ALL books) its all about the story and characters, and if a message is taught somewhere along the way, fine, but NEVER pitch it that way or go into it for the purpose of a lesson/message.

Anyway-- ALL MG is in demand right now-- adventure, fantasy, magical realism, humor, contemporary, etc. So on the "trend" front, you're fine.
#5 - July 15, 2010, 06:26 PM
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balletluvr

Guest
I almost am afraid to mention this, but I've been seeing requests for gay/lesbian type themes. Maybe not for as young as MG, but in YA, for sure.
#6 - July 17, 2010, 04:50 PM

SusanB

Guest
I attended an MG workshop with editor Alvina Ling and author Kathleen Duey last month.  They confirmed the advice given here but Alvina also said the market is saturated with fantasy. And even though it's still hot, editors are sick of paranormal.  That said, a great story in either genre will still get an editor's attention. Both speakers stressed the need for books with ethnic diversity.
#7 - August 02, 2010, 02:43 PM

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A great quote from Justin Chanda of Simon and Schuster today at SCBWI- "If you all write to trends- the vampires win!"

#8 - August 02, 2010, 05:47 PM
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daisybun

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What's trending as your own passion?  In other words what are you hearing and seeing that makes you react?  That's the way I write.
Sheryl
#9 - October 09, 2010, 02:35 PM

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