Thanks so much for having me today! A quick intro for those who may not know me yet: I worked at Dorchester Publishing editing romances and Westerns for 10 years before having the wonderful opportunity to join Sourcebooks last month. I adore romance and I’m really looking forward to meeting you all and further growing the Casa list.
I’ll also be acquiring for our young adult imprint, Sourcebooks Fire. And I’ve been having so much fun taking a whole new look at the genre. Raging hormones, crazy friends, a new driver’s license, college pressure…being a teenager can be a really scary time. And being a parent of a teen—whoa boy! That doesn’t even take into account turning into a werewolf, rescuing your family in a dystopian world, getting pregnant, a wish-granting crystal ball, dealing with death, a demon attack, or any of the number of other things we see in today’s YA market.
Deb has drilled in her romance criteria so that I think many regular readers here can probably recite them in their sleep. ;-) But what are the rules for YA? Do teens have any rules at all? Why, yes—yes, they do. And I’m not talking about a midnight curfew.
The young adult fiction I’m looking for should have the following:
· 60,000-90,000 words
· Protagonists who are 15-19 and allow for potential adult cross-over appeal
· Characters readers care about and can relate to in some way
· An authentic voice for the audience
· Powerful, credible world-building (which applies to non-paranormal/fantasy/dystopian too! )
· A fresh premise with a marketing hook that can be conveyed in 2-3 sentences
· An age-appropriate romantic element/boy-girl relationship, even if it’s not the main focus of the story
Submissions for YA or romance can be sent directly to me at leah.hultenschmidt[at]sourcebooks.com. I prefer to have the manuscript and a full synopsis (actually, you know what’s really scary? a synopsis that doesn’t give me the end!) as Word attachments, with the “cover” letter in the body of the email.
Can't wait to hear from you!