YA Trends: How to Stand Out in a Competitive Market

YA Trends: How to Stand Out in a Competitive Market

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  • You're a writer who wants your YA novel to stand out from the crowd
  • You're a writer who wants to know more about reaching a YA audience
  • You're a writer who wants to write a YA novel but don't yet have experience writing for the age group
  • You're a writer who will be pitching your work at a conference


It's no secret that the YA is a competitive market and saturated with several of the same genres. You have this great idea that no one else has thought of and then POOF: you see a listing for a similar project sold. Should you keep writing? Should you even bother to query it? Is it really even considered a YA book? What's this 'crossover' thing people keep talking about?

Literary agent Kathleen Ortiz shares her ideas on what agents are looking for in the YA market and explains how to determine if you should keep writing (hint: writing is never something to stop). This presentation explains the differences between MG, YA, new adult and crossover, and how to determine which one your book is considered. Examples of each will be shared. Then she reviews how to take your idea and create a pitch that is so incredibly compelling, an agent won't be able to help but to read the pages.


  • How to get your YA novel to stand out from the crowd
  • The differences between MG, YA, crossover, and new adult to help ensure you pitch it correctly
  • How to write a YA novel without having experience writing for that age group
  • How to write a compelling pitch for both the opening of you query and a conference pitch session
  • How to find YA agents to query


After working in magazine publishing, veterinary medicine, and teaching high school students, Kathleen finally found her true passion when she interned for literary agencies in 2009. Shortly after she became an assistant, working her way up to her current role today: Director of Subsidiary Rights and Literary Agent. She has an intimate list of young adult, middle grade and illustrator clients and also represents subrights for Red Tree Literary. She is an active member of SCBWI and an agent member of the AAR. She loves teaching for Writers Digest and has signed a client before from her webinars, whose book went on to auction and sold to Little Brown as well as several territories overseas. THE WITCH HUNTER by Virginia Boecker comes out Spring 2015. You can follow her on Twitter @KOrtizzle.

NOTE: Writer's Digest does not offer refunds for OnDemand Webinars. All sales are final. OnDemand Webinars do NOT include a critique.

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