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readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Monday, March 7, 2011

March Discussion: What's So Risky About YA?

Hi, readergirlz, and welcome to March on the blog! Today kicks off our first feature for our theme of Risk-taking, but we're actually doing things a bit differently this week. Our featured author will be Cory Doctorow, who wrote the excellent For the Win, but we thought just this once, we'd kick the discussion off with you!

On Wednesday, we'll hear more from Cory about writing for young adult audiences, but in the meantime, let's talk - as a reader, do you think there's more risk involved in writing for a younger audience? How so? Do you think young adult readers are more open to riskier work?

8 comments:

Melissa Walker said...

I think it's risky because I've found that YA readers are often more invested than other readers. They CARE more. (Which is also what makes writing for YA readers awesome.)

Sara said...

I think YA is far easier to screw up. Authors frequently don't seem to know if they're writing for a high school audience or a middle school one and the relationships/plot and adult content don't match.

Micol Ostow said...

Both great points - teens do care - and know when they're being talked down to - which is why authenticity is even more crucial than anywhere else in fiction.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Isn't there the sad risk for the author that the "adult world" won't respect the YA author? Just like they may not respect teens themselves?

I've experienced this. Boo.

motherearthseries said...

There does seem to be a stigma associated with writing books for kids/teens, that you're not writing a "real" book. A really false idea out there that YA literature is just fluff with no message or depth. Yes, the stories are meant for entertainment, but there's a lot of quality out there as well.

Lauren said...

In addition to what everyone else said, I can see it being more risky because there's more room for challenge. More YA books are challenged in libraries every day. While so many authors want to write honestly about the teenage experience, they also know parents may not like what they're saying. It's sad, really, to fear censorship!

doctorow said...

Lorie Ann, not to take away from your experience, but I've been lucky in that the circles I move in generally treat both YA and science fiction as cause for celebration and delight. No one's really ever looked down on me for writing either -- indeed, generally when I tell people I write 'em, people go, "Holy awesome, that's the coolest thing ever!"

Cara Mengobati Kencing Nanah said...
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