young adult review network

If YARN Founder and Editor Kerri Major’s Figment Daily Themes didn’t convince you to buy her book, then maybe the synopsis will:

You’re an aspiring writer. Maybe you’ve just discovered your love of words and dream of being a novelist someday. Maybe you’ve been filling notebooks with science-fiction stories since middle school. Maybe you’re contemplating a liberal arts degree, but you don’t know what the heck you’re going to do with it. The last thing you need is another preachy writing manual telling you how you should write.

This book isn’t a writing manual. It is a series of candid and irreverent essays on the writing life, from a writer who’s lived it. Kerri Majors shares stories from her own life that offer insights on the realities all writers face: developing a writing voice, finding a real job (and yes, you do need to find one), taking criticism, getting published, and dealing with rejection.

Don’t have enough time to write? Learn how to plan your days to fit it all in. Not sure how your guilty pleasures and bad habits translate into literature? Kerri explains how soap operas and eavesdropping can actually help your writing. Need a reader for your first novel? Find a writing buddy or a writing group that will support you. Nervous about submitting your first piece? Learn from Kerri’s own roller coaster journey to find an agent and get published. This Is Not a Writing Manual is the writing memoir for young writers who want to use their talents in the real world.


Ask for forgiveness.  Be sincere or not sincere when you do this.

Don’t be shy! Share your poems on Twitter and Tumblr with #NPMYARN and on Facebook by tagging YARN: the Young Adult Review Network for a chance to get retweeted/reblogged/shared!

We can’t wait to read your poems!

YA’s enthrallment with short series like trilogies might speak to the underlying notion that even much loved teen characters can only be interesting for so long. It’s not because characters older than 18 aren’t interesting—they are, just look at the burgeoning New Adult genre. It’s more that the characters we love as teenagers change rather dramatically when they go to college/work/get married too young. And the woes they experience as teenagers are so different from the ones they experience as “new adults” that, in some essential ways, they become different people (just as we all did when we went to college and realized how little we’d really known back when we thought we knew everything). They become different characters with different concerns.

“The New Young Adult” by YARN Editor and Founder Kerri Majors

This is a guest blog for the Young Adult Magazine. Read the rest here.

Have you read YARN Alum and YARN Fiction Editor Diana Renn’s novel TOKYO HEIST yet?

The perfect mystery for fans of Ally Carter’s Heist Society

When sixteen-year-old Violet agrees to spend the summer with her father, an up-and-coming artist in Seattle, she has no idea what she’s walking into. Her father’s newest clients, the Yamada family, are the victims of a high-profile art robbery: van Gogh sketches have been stolen from their home, and, until they can produce the corresponding painting, everyone’s lives are in danger—including Violet’s and her father’s.

Violet’s search for the missing van Gogh takes her from the Seattle Art Museum, to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo, to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery thickens, Violet’s not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to solve the mystery—before it’s too late.

It seems to me that, given the differences between characters in high school and characters after high school, New Adult is a valid and different category of literature, distinct from YA. I certainly don’t think that gritty, difficult, and often violent or sexy novels about teens in high school qualify as New Adult simply by virtue of their more “adult” content. No, those are still YA.

What’s in an age? A lot, it turns out.


“The New Young Adult” by YARN Editor and Founder Kerri Majors

This is a guest blog for the Young Adult Magazine. Read the rest here.

Do you want to read more by John Green? If so, then please create a new post with the above poster and tag it with #John Green, #JCYHM, #Nerdfighters, the titles of his books, and anything else you can think of to help us get John Green to write for YARN. Thank you!

Authors, please stop being afraid that teens won’t buy your books if there isn’t romance in them! We don’t need romance. We need characters that we can’t get out of our heads. We need fast-paced plots that keep us turning those pages. We need settings that make us feel like we are in the world of the book. But romance—with all its drama and insecurity, its insta-love or heartbreak? We can live without that sometimes.

Does YA Need Romance? by Public Relations and Editorial Intern Stephanie

(I finally wrote another blog, which means I get to quote myself again!)

National Poetry Month is here!
Today is April 1, which means National Poetry Month is here, and there’s no joke about it. Write some poems with YARN this month and be sure to share them on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr with #NPMYARN.

Here’s the first week’s worth of prompts:
  1. April Fools!  Write a poem about being fooled from the point of view of the trickster.
  2.  Rename something.
  3. Write directions for preparing food.  The food can be simple (a glass of rain) or outrageous (cooking the world’s last antelope)—you decide.
  4.  Read your own palm.
  5. Write a list poem with ten items.  (fortunes from fortune cookies, advice from someone heartbroken, tips on how to walk a tightrope)
  6. Tell a secret.  Don’t say exactly what the secret is, but hint around about it.
  7. Ask for forgiveness.  Be sincere or not sincere when you do this.
A Fiction Editor's Advice

If you’re interested in submitting to YARN (and summer is an excellent time to do just that!), Fiction Editor Diana Renn has some advice for you:

Before you send in a story, you might ask yourself (or ask a trusted reader friend) questions like these:

  • Is my story really YA? Is it focused on characters who are 14-18 years old, and dealing with situations of interest to YA readers?
  • Does my story start in the right place? Is the ending satisfying?
  • Is my story really a short story – or should it be a longer work?  Can this story be resolved, or this character developed, in 6,000 words or less?
  • Is my story really a short story – or should it be a poem? Am I more interested in style and language? Do I use an unconventional structure that seems better suited to poetic form?
  • Does something happen in this story? Does a character grow or change or realize something?