Showing posts from April, 2015

Some musings on diversity in Young Adult literature

Equity and diversity in Young Adult (YA) literature is an ongoing discussion. Research articles and opinion pieces dedicated to race, diversity and representation of non-white people and other diverse characters in YA literature pop up more and more often now, with organisations like We Need Diverse Books fighting the good fight.
As a voracious reader and a writer of YA fiction myself as well as a non-Anglo woman living in Australia, naturally I feel strongly about the need for a better representation of diverse voices in YA books. Despite the increasing calls for better representation of characters of color, gay characters and otherwise different/non-mainstream protagonists and love interests, you still need to specifically venture out looking for 'diverse' books, which are not readily available and not necessarily on everyone’s radar.  

An important note to make at the early stage of this discussion is that when we (by we I mean bookish community, industry, etc) talk about di…

literary representation NEWS

I have the best of news to share!
After an on-again off-again search for literary representation for my young adult fiction, I have now signed with the wonderful Amy Tipton from theSignature Literary Agency.
I’m still up in the clouds in reaction to Amy’s enthusiasm for my book. From the very first email exchange we had, I’ve been blown away by Amy’s friendliness, professionalism and, again, enthusiasm!
I’ll be blogging about my writing/publishing journey as things happen and as I’m allowed to reveal those things, but for now I can say that I’ve been busy polishing my manuscript to make sure it’s at its best.
You can read some recent interviews with Amy here, here and here.
Some backstory
I’ve been writing short fiction and slipstream poetry since my early teens (though mostly not in English). During my exchange year in California I made my first serious detour into creative writing in English, but it wasn’t until 2011 that I attempted (and completed) my first novel. Let’s calls it BOOK …

Creativity, talent & brussel sprouts

I’ve been on-and-off following a digital conversation about professional writing courses – it started with Ryan Boudinot’s article. Chuck Wendig’s open letter followed and then last week I’ve read this.
At the heart of this debate is the question: can writing be taught? Or is it a (some kind of magical) innate talent you’re simply born with. The proponents of the latter argue (in my interpretation): if you didn’t grow up surrounded by books and art and such, chances of you having a literary talent are zilch. This statement makes pretty much all professional writing courses unnecessary/useless (if you have this elusive, magical talent you don’t need to be taught to write!) On the other hand, if you don’t have the talent, universities are taking money from you for something you’ll never learn/attain. This is not a new conversation, but a recurring one
Some things from Boudinot’s original article put a cringe on my forehead, deep enough cringe for me to come out from my writing/querying bl…