Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Defining YA

A few weeks ago, PW Shelftalker asked a simple question with a not-so-simple answer -- how do you define YA? They asked their readers to contribute their thoughts to craft the ultimate definition of YA. I did, and guess what? They liked me, they really liked me!

I am one of three contributors whose responses were merged into one ultimate YA definition:

If youth was measured by a clock, and the end were to occur when both hands struck twelve, then YA stories are those that take place between 11:59 and a couple seconds after midnight. They end when the protagonist  has a foot – or maybe just a toe – planted on both sides of the innocence/experience fence. First or third person, present or past tense can all be YA. What is important is the immediacy of the story and the point of view of the teen. YA lit speaks to the teenager, current or past, in its readers, regardless of the protagonist’s age.

Can you tell which sentences were mine? Without clicking and peeking? 


  1. Didn't peek and I think the two sentences before the last one sound like you - especially the next-to-last one . . . am I right?

    1. Bingo! I guess you've read enough of my writing to spot it when you see it!

  2. Sorry, I had to peek... and you do get my respect!

  3. Great definition of YA! It all merges wonderfully well.