Monday, November 24, 2008

Reader Question:
"Whom do I query for my 'tween novel?"

Dear Agent -

I have what I think is a tween novel. Who should I query for that? I can't find many agents who say they specifically want 'tween--lots of MG agents, lots of YA agents, but 'tween is still so new that I am having trouble finding a 'tween agent. Who should I query? Both MG and YA agents, and hope that I find one in between? Should I call it a 'tween, or just pick MG or YA?



Hi Beth!

Technically - at least as a marketing term - middle-grade and 'tween are the same thing: kids who are somewhere between the age of about nine and twelve. But many folks in publishing consider 'tween books to be middle grade that's aimed strictly at girls. Not sure why this is.

My gut reaction is that you should just call it a middle grade novel if it indeed skews younger, and a YA if it skews older. You won't really need to say much more than that as your query letter should be able to give the agent or editor all the rest of information that s/he will need to position your book.

Hope that was helpful!


PS: Yes, I guess I'm open for questions today. Fire away!


beth said...

Thank you, it absolutely was! I think I'll call it a middle grade aimed at tween girls...that should cover all my bases. Thanks again!

Cory said...

A few things I've wondered about:

How to format manuscripts for submission is easy to find these days, but when agents ask to have the first five pages included in the body of the e-mail, how should it be formatted? Double spaced? Indents? All that good stuff?

When should you put published short stories in your query letter? There are paying markets that are relatively easy to get into, and non-paying markets with incredibly high standards. What do you (or agents in general) care about, and when does it seem like the author is trying too hard?

Thanks! :)

Angela said...

I asked The Write Marbles about Tween books and what made them different from YA/Midgrade. I'll post the link to the answer here in case any of your readers might find the info useful:

Kalika said...

I'm not sure you'll know the answer to this one, but since you're taking questions, I'll try my luck.

Since I'm about to get a degree in translation, I'm wondering how you get to become a literary translator. Do the publishing houses have their own in-house translators? Do they give contracts out to independent translators? Perhaps I should be asking an editor? I have no clue at all how it works or who would know this.

clindsay said...

Kalika -

That one I'm afraid I can't answer. I have no idea! But if you do find an answer, come back and let us know.



Serenissima said...

I read your comments on the secret agent contest entries and was surprised to see that you weren't into "comedic fantasy". Does this mean you don't like fantasy with humorous elements? How much humor is too much?


p.s. What's your timeline on partial/full requests these days?

max said...

I wrtie action-adventures & mysteries for tween boys, and my books are considered MG.

Max Elliot Anderson
Books for Boys blog