Crossing Over: Writing for Both Children and Teens

Out of all the sessions I attended today I enjoyed Crossing Over the most. Reenita, Adeline, and Shamini weren't just informative, they were hilarious as well. I kept snickering. Well, everyone in the room kept snickering. I love fun sessions like this one.

Here's what you need to know about the session:

REENITA MALHOTRA HORA (Author, Journalist), ADELINE FOO (Author)


Writing for children and writing for teens may look alike at first glance, but both need a different touch. What may hit the mark for a teen audience may fly way over the head of a child, and a joke that appeals to younger kids may not elicit the reaction you want from a teen. Join authors Adeline Foo and Reenita Malhotra Hora as they discuss the difference between writing for the child and the teen reader.

The three began by defining YA.

Here's what I've learned:

  • YA is defined by the topics and issues tackled within the story.
  • It's about writing for teenagers but consciously crossing over for adults (a large readership) as well.
At the end of the day, we are all in Neverland.

This resonated deeply with me. There are parts of our youth that we never let go of. There are issues that we never really quite resolved. 

One more thing I took away?

Teens are sophisticated beings.

Already knew this inherently, but having others affirm it beings peace to my writing heart. Writing YA doesn't mean dumb-ing down the story. It's all the more important to write intelligently.

Lastly, when you write for YA you write a hopeful ending.

It's not about the having a definite ending. It's about leaving the readers hopeful for a better tomorrow. I love that!

Have I already said that I loved this session?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing what you learned. The little girl in me also liked the part about having a hopeful ending.


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