Nail Your Genre and Give Young Readers What They Want! New course 🎉

1024 683 Writer and the Wolf Editorial

If you struggle to pin down your book’s genre or don’t really understand why it matters when it comes to children’s books, this is the course for you! It comes with an interactive workbook, downloadable genre guide (a more detailed and up-to-date version of this one!) and genre bingo cards which are super fun.

I’m massively excited about this one because I’ve poured so much of my experience, expertise, passion and research into it.

Give readers what they’re expecting and show agents you know your market!

Genre can be such a tricky subject to navigate in publishing, particularly when it comes to children’s and young adult fiction. Too often, booksellers and reviewers label middle grade and YA as genres when really those are audiences, not genres!

What are children’s book genres? 

Genres like fantasy, thriller, mystery, romance and science fiction absolutely DO exist within children’s literature. So do subgenres! A middle grade novel isn’t just a middle grade novel: it can be cyberpunk, supernatural horror, dystopian sci-fi, contemporary, historical adventure, animal fantasy… honestly, the list goes on.

The more you understand genre and know the conventions and expectations associated with it, the easier it will be to make sure you’re giving readers what they came for and telling agents you’re a professional who does their research.

I’ll help you narrow down your book’s genre and consider the conventions and expectations that come with it. We’ll also discuss why genre is important, particularly in children’s books, and why being accurate about the type of book you’ve written can empower young readers and help them find stories they’ll fall in love with.

Some questions I’ll answer in this course:

  • What does ‘genre’ mean?
  • Does your genre really matter?
  • What’s a subgenre?
  • Are there genres in children’s books?
  • What are children’s book genres?
  • Are there any genres you can’t write for kids or teens?
  • Are tropes a bad thing?
  • Why do agents need to know your genre?
  • Why should you choose a genre before you start writing?
  • What if you’ve written a book and still don’t know its genre?
  • What if your book crosses genre boundaries?
  • How specific is too specific when it comes to labelling your book’s genre?
  • How can you figure out what genre your book is?
  • How can you choose which genre you should write in?
  • How can you learn more about your genre?
  • Why does it pay to be a genre expert?
  • What does contemporary mean?
  • Does middle grade do romance?
  • What’s the difference between fantasy and science fiction?
  • Are superheroes science fiction?
  • What genre do fairytale retellings come under?
  • What’s the difference between speculative and realistic?

So let’s dive into genre together and make sure your book falls into the hands of readers who are going to adore it and agents who are looking for a book just like yours!


Thanks so much for reading, lovely writer! Want empowering, feel-good writing chat and fairy dust in your inbox? Plus receive a PDF of my recommended writing craft books for children’s and YA writers (including go-to genre guides and Children’s Lit MA reading list) AND £20 Wolf Credit to spend with me! Sign up today!

Siobhan O'Brien Holmes

Siobhan O'Brien Holmes is a developmental editor working with middle grade and YA authors. She specialises in speculative and genre fiction, particularly horror, fantasy, mystery, sci-fi and anything with a dash of magic or macabre. She is a member of the SfEP, EFA, ACES, British Fantasy Society, Horror Writers Association and SCBWI. She has an MA in Novel Writing and an MA in Children's Literature.

All stories by: Siobhan O'Brien Holmes