150 150 Siobhan O'Brien Holmes
Middle grade and young adult are not genres, they’re audiences. If a reader or reviewer asks what genre your novel is and you reply ‘young adult’, you’re not actually telling them anything except the age range of your intended readership. That’s a good start, but it’s not enough. What type of story is it? What should readers expect? Underneath the MG and YA umbrellas sit all the usual fiction genres  (although understandably, some don’t crop up often in children’s book, like police procedurals, splatterpunk and erotic thriller) and it’s important to know where your novel fits in, because genres come with conventions and expectations. It’s not always easy to stick a label on a story because categories and subcategories overlap and can mean different things to different people, but having an idea of what these industry terms typically mean can help you find your place on the bookshelf, and point you in the direction of similar books so you can study your genre.
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

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