Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 16, 2009

New Genre of Books

Over the last five years I have seen many young adult manuscripts that have protagonists who are out of high school and entering college.  In addition, many writers will try to make their main characters younger to fit the young adult genre, but their characters actions are more fitting of a college age adult.  The editors attending our New Jersey SCBWI events have always counselled us to steer clear of anyone over the age of eighteen and out of high school. 

Well, things are starting to change for this in-between area.  We now have a new genre – New Adult.  Last month St. Martin’s Press ran a contest looking for what they termed “New Adult”.  This is what they said:

“We are actively looking for great, new, cutting edge fiction with protagonists who are slightly older than YA and can appeal to an adult audience. Since twenty-somethings are devouring YA, St. Martin’s Press is seeking fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an “older YA” or “new adult.””

On November 5th Publishers Weekly announced that veteran publishing exec Dan Weiss was taking the position of publisher at large at St. Martin’s, reporting to Matthew Shear, senior v-p and publisher.  Weiss will work on developing content for Gen Y readers—“emerging adults who are navigating career, love and family in a 24/7 connected world,” explained Shear. Weiss told PW he is open to pursuing projects both electronically and in print. Weiss said Gen Y readers are “strikingly different from previous ones, both in their consumption and creation of content and media.”

Agent Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency said on her Pub Rants Blog, “This new line at SMP is not a romance imprint.  They are more a line for publishing smart, upmarket fiction for this target audience where sex and relationships are simply part of the question. In other words, it’s not so much about the happily-ever-after, which is the focus for a romance, nor is it about the sex—explicit or otherwise. It’s more about the story that will speak to older teens and twenty-somethings.”

Kristin has a lot more on this, so click here to read more.

Also, Jodi Meadows interveiwed S. Jae-Jones, the assistant to Dan Weiss on the new line.  Click here to read her interveiw.

Did anyone submit something to SMP for their contest?  Kathy


  1. I’m so happy to read about this new genre! Much needed!


  2. I all more options.



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