Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Medallion to Publish YA YA Titles

I'm all for encouraging people with the urge to write to write. Writing is awesome. It's cathartic. It allows your brain to escape to a world of your own creation. It allows you to play.

What Medallion Press is doing is starting an imprint that's going to publish nothing but YA novels written by young adults. Awesome. It really is. I think having this outlet for teens to get published is an excellent way to have them break out of their shell and be a little less apprehensive about querying into a publishing world overrun by adults that may or may not snub their nose at them.

With that being said, I'm really not sure what to expect in terms of quality. That's not to say teens can't write publish-worthy books. Hannah Moskowitz, anyone? Kody Keplinger much? But suffice it to say, writing is like wine. You start off with grape juice and finish up with a finely aged merlot. I'm not saying that YA written by teens is fit only for the sugary grape-juice drinking kids. I'm personally not a wine drinker and would gladly take a glass of grape juice any day (white grape, I was Dymatapped to death when I was younger). What I'm saying is, the longer you hone your craft and really study it and really work at it, the better you'll get at it. Experience fuels writing and it's undeniable that someone who's 30 has more life experience, not to mention more objective distance from their teen years, than someone who's 16.

The teens that are publishing today I would consider somewhat of prodigies. They are writing of a caliber at 16 and 17 that adults strive to write for when they're 40. Imagine what another 10 years will do to their writing. Can you grasp how good it will be if they continue to work towards a goal of improving (as every author should, regardless of age)?

I don't think every teen deserves the voice and the means to be published. I don't think every adult deserves the voice and the means to be published. That's why we have a vetting process in the publishing world and it's not a free for all like Lulu. There's a reason why not all books are accepted for publication. They're just not good enough.

I think this whole thing could go one of two ways. It could open the gates for even more amazing teen authors to finally have the ability to get published. They'll have the courage to submit to a publishing house that caters just to them and we'll get inundated with even more amazing teen authors. Or we're going to get books of a less than stellar caliber that are going to undermine the amazing work of other teen authors that decided to brave the more adult world of publishing. It all hinges on what Medallion starts accepting.

I really hope it's the former. I think teens writing for teens would be amazing. I think there's a lot of untapped talent in the teen arena. I just hope it lives up to the standards of the teen writing that is already out there. I don't think that's too much to ask for.

I good book is a good book and it deserves to be published regardless of who wrote it or what their age is. The younger the author is, all the more amazing the book is to me because talent like that is astounding.


Cara said...

Bravo! *applauds*

I agree completely with your thoughts on this. Well put. :)

Maria D'Isidoro said...

Amen! When I was a teen, I was so eager to be a teen writer. I wanted to be a prodigy. But I wasn't and it's a good thing I never had anything published during high school because the horrible quality would've haunted and humiliated me for years after. I'm only 21 now, and a handful of college English classes, and a dose of maturity have made my writing worlds better already.

I think most teen writers are like I was: eager to make a mark in the world but not really ready for it. There are enough badly written books being published from adults, we don't need them from young adults, not matter how strong a confidence booster.

Liz said...

Quite frankly, I couldn't do it.
As a teen writer, I feel that there are times when it is appropriate to use whatever advantages one might possess in order to achieve something. But if my novel was published by Medallion, I would always feel as if I cheated, as if my age had too much to do with my success, rather than the quality of my work.
This is a great opportunity for those who choose to take it. Personally, however, I want to be published "the hard way", because I won't feel like an author otherwise.

Donna said...

Thanks, everyone!

That's an awesome stand, Liz! I never even thought of it that way. When you say it like that, it is a bit of a handicap. But I totally understand what you're saying. Good luck!

Lillie (AliseOnLife) said...

I think that writers of all ages deserve the chance to showcase their craft. But, I agree with you Donna, writing is like wine, and there are plenty of writers/authors that would agree they got better with practice and perseverence.

Besides, being chosen by a publisher because of age, seems to me like a built-in expiration date on your shelf life.

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