Young Adult: A Category or a Genre?

Whenever someone tells me that they write young adult, my first response is always, “That’s nice. So what genre do you write?” More often than not, I get a blank stare in response. The look in their eyes says it all.

“I just told you. I write young adult.”

At this point, I normally chuckle. “So you write fantasy.” I tend to make this conclusion because most of those I meet who have made this young adult classification mistake do write fantasy of some flavour or another.

However, sometimes I’ll get that affronted look. “No. I write young adult.” To this, I bow my head in shame.

The confusion between genre and category is something that plagues every new writer. We’re told that we have to categorise this piece of work that we have spent months, if not years, working on, but we don’t want to fit into a box — we want to be in a circle. So… the question is, what does young adult really mean?Read More