Friday, February 3, 2012

Dear Aspiring YA Author

Dear aspiring YA author,

We have reviewed your manuscript and are declining representation with out regrets. Although your writing is exceptionally strong with a unique voice, we believe the premise is a bit too similar to Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Series. Due to Ms. Meyer’s iconic imprint on teen readership, we are not interested in acquiring manuscripts that contain the following:

·                  Angst
·                  Boys that sparkle
·                  Boys that are serially shirtless
·                  Any manuscript using any form of the word “dazzle”
·                  Girls into fashion
·                  Girls into sweatpants
·                  Girls that read
·                  Meadows
·                  Tall trees
·                  Indian tribe analogies
·                  Vampires, Werewolves, or Shape Shifters
·                  B-list paranormal creatures, such as fairies, shadowhunters, selkies, banshees, ghosts, zombies, mermaids, angels, demons, etc. (because they’re not as cool as vampires and werewolves)
·                  Teens that are really old
·                  Teens that age appropriately
·                  Teens that need to eat
·                  Teens that don’t eat
·                  Floating feathers (to be safe, no birds of any kind)
·                  Extraordinary abilities like mind reading, manipulation of emotions, and seeing the future
·                  Weather (including rain, snow, and sunshine)
·                  Prom
·                  Apples
·                  Forks (in fact, all cutlery is generally to be avoided)
·                  Times of day (especially sunset, sunrise and midday)
·                  Lunar cycles
·                  Red eyes, golden eyes, black or brown eyes (eyes in general have become cliché)
·                  Old trucks, motorcycles, and new sports cars
·                  Love triangles and teen couples (romance of any kind should be avoided especially true love and puppy infatuation)
·                  Relocating to a new town
·                  Living in the same place for any length of time
·                  Windows
·                  Bedrooms
·                  Kissing
·                  Sneaking in windows to kiss in bedrooms
·                  Teens that move too quickly into marriage
·                  Teens who don’t get married in opposition to books containing those who do
·                  Cold and hot (we will not publish any manuscript that references temperature)
·                  Anything with a pulse
·                  Anything without a pulse
·                  Characters that enforce or break the law
·                  Characters with foreign sounding names, old people names, or trendy names
·                  The number 17 (no characters of that age, nor any manuscripts containing the page number 17 or a 17th chapter will be considered)
·                  Manuscripts with short or one word titles
·                  Manuscripts with long titles (too contrary to what’s hot in the current YA market)
·                  Exotic locations like Italy, South America, or private islands
·                  The Pacific Northwest
·                  The Southwest (in fact, probably best if you set your story somewhere other than Earth)
·                  We are also not interested in books set in outer space or alternate worlds

However, if you are able to come up with a fresh YA concept that does not infringe on these areas, we would be most anxious to read it. We are also looking for Dystopians.


Jane Doe Publisher

(Author note: My new young adult WIP is about one ordinary child and one eyeless grownup who don’t live anywhere, go anyplace, or have any adventures of any kind. Estimated length is 16 pages. It’s guaranteed to be a bestseller!)

YOUR TURN: What else needs to be on the list?


Lea Nolan said...

Manuscripts that include adverbs.
Manuscripts that include heroines who bite their bottom lip.

Carey_Corp said...

@Lea Good ones!

Kristi Cook said...

A hero with a lopsided smile!

Carey_Corp said...

@Kristi_Cook LOL (she said w/a crooked grin)

Lucy D. Briand said...

No Spider Monkeys ... lol

Carey_Corp said...

@Lucy - Ha! I can't believe that was omitted from the original list!

Becky Wallace said...

Parents. Living, dead, missing, uninvolved, too involved, gay, straight, married, divorced, never married, on drugs, alcoholic, too religious, and of course abusive.

Not allowed.

Becky Wallace said...

Oh yeah! What about manuscripts with dialogue tags our teens with friends (best, worst, fake, real, or in any way better or worse than the MC).

Donna R. Wood said...

Wizards, witches, and schools in alternate dimensions, or schools in general. Candles, torches or other sources of light, to include modern technology, ie: light bulbs, flashlights etc. And just to be clear on the monkey issue: no winged monkeys or apes of any kind.

Ebony McKenna. said...

I'm having a good chuckle - I arrived here via a link on twitter.

No mentors! Mentors are out!!!!

Astrid Holm said...

this is fun! How about no best friends getting moody with you and definately no boys with green flashing eyes...

Maria McKenzie said...

Very fun post! It's a mystery as to what agents and publishers DO want!

Carey_Corp said...

@Becky @Donna @Astrid @Ebony – Great adds! I especially like the clarification on the monkey issue.

Carey_Corp said...

@Maria -I'm right there with you!

Kaz Delaney said...

Like Eboney, I arrived via a shove from another loop. Fabulously funny.

My contribution?
No Skittles. No Milk Duds. No vegetarians. No meat eaters. No food fanatics. No fussy eaters. No food in general. Food is out. We're only accepting stories about healthy teenagers who don't need food.

Thanks Carey! Laughed out loud.

Kaz Delaney said...

Sorry Ebony - should check typoes before sending...

That's Ebony. EBONY.

An addition to the list so as not to be rude to Carey on her own blog:

No characters called Ebony. Or Skye or Willow. No names that infer colour or 'things'.

In fact, characters without names are preferred. Keeps it more generic and more inclusive.

Sorry to pop in twice, Carey. Too much fun. Thank you!

CC Coburn said...

This is fun!
Teens who eat too much.
Teens who hate their parents.
Teens whose parents are their best friend.
In fact, any teen with a parent.
Teens without parents.
Heroes with square/cleft/double/ triple or unshaven chins.
Teens with tatts.
Teens angsting over getting a tatt.

Jo Ramsey said...

I have nothing to add but LOL!

Oh, yeah...teens who talk in text-speak!
Manuscripts written as letters, notes, diary entries, text messages, or using any type of word whatsoever. We are now seeking manuscripts consisting of smells which the author has placed on the page and which tell the story when the reader inhales. said...

Unnatural pregnancies with mutant vampire foetuses.
Names made up by combining other character's names.

Melissa Landers said...

No redheads. Did someone already mention that one? No blonds, either, because it's a cliche. Brunettes probably aren't safe, so best to have a MC with a shaved head.

PJ Sharon said...

Absolutely no eye rolling, brow arching, quirking a grin, or any facial expressions at all because nothing new has come across the face in years.

I'm cracking up here, Carey. Awesome post!

And I'm blogging about Dystopian's future over at the Scribes today. Hot and here to stay? Or doomed to fizzle?

Kimberly said...

What about heroes who don't move their lips when they talk and boys who take their shirt off with regularity? Or is that just in the movies?? LOL.
How about no klutzy girls? And also no graceful girls. Heck, no girls at all. That's so overdone.

J. Coleman said...

This is great, but sadly, true. here's mine - matched mates, anything remotely close. I got told my MS resembled another best seller and would be a hard sale? Excuse me? If its doing so well, why wouldn't you want the next breakout novel (and for the record, mine is about cloning, but mentioned assigned mates in first sentence of query.) No sex. No hint of hormonal functions, lip touching, tongue-tagging, or even a mere mention of a body part or reaction to one. Love this! Thanks Carey.

Lisa Kuehne said...

I needed this laugh today :0

But I can't believe you could write a whole 16 pages in that new WIP. I'd be lucky to make it to 10.

Have a Happy Tuesday!

Renee Pace said...

Carey that totally made my day. So true about what works and doesn't in publishing. I loved your list!

Lisa Kuehne said...

I needed this laugh today :0

But I can't believe you could write a whole 16 pages in that new WIP. I'd be lucky to make it to 10.

Have a Happy Tuesday!

Carey_Corp said...

@Kaz – You forgot references to vegetarianism! “characters without names are preferred” LOL! Thanks for stopping by.

@CC – Laughing my butt off over “Teens angsting over getting a tatt.”

@Jo – Scratch and Sniff YA – Ewwww! That’s just rank.

@Diane- Can’t believe I missed “Names made up by combining other character's names.” Good one!

@Mel – so true, hair is cliché

@PJ – great add *giggle* nothing new has come across the face in years.

@Kimberly – How did I forget “boys who take their shirt off with regularity?” ROTF

@J.Coleman – I feel your pain. I think we need to add “No books with words, words are cliché.” Never give up, never surrender!

@Lisa – re: WIP, Actually I’m stuck on page 9. Thinking about leaving it as is b/c I can’t think how to end it and I’m lazy…you know, a cliff hanger.

@Renee – thanks for stopping by!

shannon kennedy said...

No animals - dogs, cats and horses take away from interest in the M/C, especially talking dogs, cats and horses.

Juliana said...

I also ended up here thru twitter linkage.
Awesome post!
Thank you for a good laugh ;)

Darynda said...

LOL, Carey! Too cute!

Carey_Corp said...

@Shannon-Great adds. I guess my ya retelling of Mr. Ed is out.

@Juliana-Thanks for stopping by. Glad I could brighten your day.

@Darynda-thanks for stopping by. That totally reminds me I need to add Grim Reapers to the list. Thanks!