Genre conventions

Genre battle! The Clackity vs Clown in a Cornfield 2
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Hey, genre fans! Welcome to a new series on the blog: kidlit genre battle! The two questions that crop up most often in the emails and enquiries I receive are:…

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Exploring kidlit subgenres: Supernatural horror
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Back in 2020 I wrote a blog post called ‘A guide to middle grade and YA genres and subgenres’ and to this day it remains my most popular blog post of all time! I wrote it because I know sometimes it can be really difficult to navigate literary genres and subgenres in general but especially in the kidlit space, partly because a lot of people tend to think ‘middle grade’ and ‘YA’ are genres in their own right (they’re not – they’re audiences) and partly because the uninitiated often assume children’s books are a monolith.

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An introduction to writing space opera for children and teens
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Umm, what is this ‘space opera’ of which you speak? You probably hear the genre title ‘space opera’ and think huh? What on earth is that? Well, they’re not set…

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The Shining as a romcom: notes on genre conventions
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When I use examples to talk about writing craft, I really try to stick to books, TV and films that are aimed at a middle grade or YA audience, but…

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The MONSTER guide to middle grade and YA genres and subgenres
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What genre is your book? Does it matter? What does genre mean? Is it even a word? Genre, genre – it’s starting to sound meaningless to me now so let’s…

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