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Old 30th April 2009, 07:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Points of help for Adult/Young Adult Fantasy

Firstly apologies if it's been covered elsewhere, it's a great site you have here with some VERY knowledgeable and influencial members, however some of the threads are verging on impossibly long!

I've written a manuscript that I've not touched since November of last year. After returning to it (I always leave a cooling off period) I think I have now developed and neatened it up to a point where I'm happy with how it flows and I'm extremely pleased with the overall outcome...

The problem...

As many of you know from perhaps trying to get your MSS looked at, the writer's yearbook is full of phrases along the lines of "NO FANTASY OR SCIENCE FICTION" etc. So I check out the ones that do take submissions and most of them are saying "adult fantasy and science fiction only, no young adult or child fiction"...

It seems an already slim market is much slimmer! My novel isn't some fluffy book about fairies and unicorns, however I see it more along the lines of CS Lewis than the darker fantasy novels that are about. It would appeal to young adults and family reading, and perhaps through my own naiveity I assumed that would make it a far easier sell! As I'm now seeing, just getting someone to agree to view the first page is a task in it's own right!

I was wondering if anyone had any advise on where to look, agents or publishing houses that would welcome an approach or general tips on where to go. All advise would be welcomed and taken on board as I'm literally (and rather down-heartedly) falling at the first fence time after time...

Thank you in advance
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Old 30th April 2009, 08:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Points of help for Adult/Young Adult Fantasy

I think that children's and YA publishers are less hung up on genre than those who publish fiction for adult readers. So instead of looking for agents or publishers specializing in SFF who are interested in YA fiction, I'd recommend just submitting it anywhere they are looking for YA and children's fiction (unless they are specific in the kind of kid's books they are looking for and that doesn't include fantasy). I think you'll find the field opens up quite a bit that way.
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Old 1st May 2009, 11:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Points of help for Adult/Young Adult Fantasy

Why restrict yourself to the UK market? Is there something in your work that would preclude an American publisher taking an interest?
There are loads of agents in the US who will consider YA fantasy.
Try looking at agentquery.com
This topic was covered recently here U.K. submissions to the U.S.(Young Adult)
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Old 1st May 2009, 04:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Points of help for Adult/Young Adult Fantasy

I write for the market you're describing, Merc. (Simon & Schuster publish my work) All the major imprints publish the sort of work you're describing, as well as: Chicken House, David Fickling books, Oxford University Press and several other smaller publishing houses. My advice would be to approach agents first, though. The big guns are much less likely to take you seriously if you don't have an agent. There are a good number out there who want YA fiction authors on their list.
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Old 1st May 2009, 07:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Points of help for Adult/Young Adult Fantasy

Thanks guys, I wasn't sure about young adult prints as the are seems too vague -it could cover almost anything! In regards to my story, I consider it more young adult as it deals with characters that are young and their discovering of the world around them...

I am aware of ALL the big firms only accepting agent submissions -naturally as I'm guessing their slush pile must be 1000s of manuscripts high! Could I ask any advise upon the sort of agent that would be willing to view a manuscipt in this field? Would that be a general young adult agent (I try to avoid writing childrens, as that seems to be another kettle of fish entirely) or a SFF agent...

But thanks for the tips so far
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Old 1st May 2009, 08:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Points of help for Adult/Young Adult Fantasy

Tirellan, I did consider US as they seem more open, but as a complete novice to the business it's a virtual minefield in knowing where to look or what to do. I will check out the site too. Thanks
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Old 2nd May 2009, 08:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Points of help for Adult/Young Adult Fantasy

FAO Tirellan, many thanks for the tip. Sadly I'm too wet behind the ears to reply to your message until I make another 9 posts! Can't thank you enough for the advise and I will be sure to keep everyone posted if there are any developments. Cheers!
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Old 3rd May 2009, 12:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Points of help for Adult/Young Adult Fantasy

Quote:
Originally Posted by mercs View Post
Tirellan, I did consider US as they seem more open, but as a complete novice to the business it's a virtual minefield in knowing where to look or what to do. I will check out the site too. Thanks
I don't think I'm being out of line by saying that US publishers have become a lot more insular over the past two years (as have those in many other countries). To place a debut novel over there as a writer from the UK will be every bit as difficult as finding a publisher here in the UK, if not more so. Don' t make the mistake of thinking that because there are more publishers over there that it will be any easier to find one. Even established authors in the UK (me among them - and I'm published by a US based company here in the UK) would give limbs to get a major US publisher to take on their work. I guess it will very much depend on the type of story you've written, and whether the publisher concerned sees it fitting into their current list.
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