View Full Version : Is YA a children's category?

06-25-2007, 04:12 PM
It seems like an obvious question, but I just wanted to be sure. If I'm sending out queries to an agency that has both a standard, non-specific department and a children's department, would I send the YA novel to the children's department?

I'm wondering because sometimes the guidelines differ. For example, PFD specify a "short synopsis plus the first three chapters" for adult books, and "a plot summary of no more than 500 words plus first three chapters" for children's books. I assume the difference in the synopsis is due to children's books being shorter. The thing is, my YA novel is 90,000 words and takes the form of an adult novel moreso than anything else. I'm worried that the strict 500 word plot summary wouldn't really do the book justice, whereas the short, two-page synopsis specified for adult books would.

Would I be better off sending it in to the default department according to the standard guidelines, and leaving it to them to pass it on to the children's department if need be? Or should I send it directly to the children's department, but using the adult guidelines? Or perhaps just work on a plot summary instead of a synopsis and send it to the children's department according to children guidelines?

Thanks for any responses.

06-25-2007, 04:30 PM
Either way, I think a 2-page synop would be best for you. It's hard whittling it down like that, but they like them short.

And yes, I would consider YA to be in children's.

Good luck!!

06-25-2007, 06:01 PM
Have you checked the list of books the agency represents to see if they handle YA or anything similar to what you've got?

Usually they're more specific about what genres of children they accept... picture book, early reader, chapter book, middle grade, YA, etc, so I'd be confused too.

Shady Lane
06-25-2007, 10:21 PM
Yeah, YA is grouped in with children...though, for the reasons you cited, it probably shouldn't be.

06-26-2007, 04:01 AM
I agree with RLB...I would check their represented books to make sure they do handle YA. Most likely they do and just lump it all together, but I've found that some agencies will handle children's, but for some reason not YA!

Grey Malkin
06-28-2007, 06:29 PM
If it's 90,000 words and has a bias towards adult fiction then why not pitch it to an agent who only deals with adult. The potential returns are bigger for a start! I sent a YA novel, of a similar length to a standard agency by mistake, thinking they did children's fiction when they didn't. It didn't seem to matter; they requested the full script almost immediately. I think this is because a lot of good YA novels work well as adult fiction, and vice versa - there are lots of adult novels where kids are the main characters, and they appeal strongly to a teenage audience. For example: early James Herbert and Stephen King.