Friday 25 May 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: Victoria Hanley shares her top 5 tips for YA Novelists and Win a copy of Wild Ink : Success Secrets to Writing and Publishing in the Young Adult Market.

I have a great guest post and giveaway today for all you budding YA novelists out there! Author Victoria Hanley has stopped by to share her top five tips for YA novelists, and thanks to Prufrock Press three lucky readers could win a copy of Victoria's book  Wild Ink : Success Secrets to Writing and Publishing in the Young Adult Market.  This book has been tagged by Cynthia Hand as one of her writer-must-haves on twitter, and having read an extract, I can see why! This book is chock full of useful tips for budding writers!

Wild Ink: Success Secrets to Writing and Publishing in the Young Adult Market by Victoria Hanley
Publisher: Prufrock Press
Release date: May 1st 2012

What do you need to know to break in to the flourishing young adult (YA) market? With humor and a solid grounding in reality, author Victoria Hanley helps readers understand the ins and outs of the YA genre, how to stay inspired, and how to avoid common mistakes writers make in trying to reach teens. This book includes unique writing exercises to help readers find their own authentic teen voice and dozens of interviews with YA authors, blogging experts, editors, and agents to give inspiration and guidance for getting published. Chapters include writing exercises and self-editing techniques tailored to YA, along with encouraging words on dealing with self-doubt, rejection, and lack of time.

Top 5 Tips for Young Adult Novelists --Victoria Hanley

1.      Find your voice. Editors and agents are always looking for fresh voices. How do you find yours? This may sound counter-intuitive, but I recommend working with a shredder. Really. Start with a blank page and then write whatever you want to say. Feed what you’ve written to the shredder before anyone (including you!) reads it. By spending a few minutes a day on this activity, you’ll be giving your creative mind permission to run free--free of pressure, obligation, and fear. Soon, you may surprise yourself with a new level of flow in your writing. A style that’s all yours may emerge.

2.      Give in to passion. Teens are full of honesty and raw emotion. Make a point of remembering what it was like for you during the teens years, so your characters will have believable feelings. Write about convincing heartache, true rebellion, wild exploration.  

3.      Be mean to your characters. Whatever you do when writing YA, do not hold back on the conflict! Resist the urge to take care of your characters and give them easy lives. They need to be under plenty of pressure, pressure that keeps increasing until the climax. (And don’t allow the adults to resolve things.) 

4.      Get through that sucky first draft.  It’s normal for a first draft  to be a jumbled mess in serious need of revision. When you hit the wall (and you will), don’t get discouraged. Take a class; join a good critique group; get 'er done! Once you finish a first draft, you’ve got something to polish.

5.      Study and read. Learn about industry standards, including submission guidelines and correct manuscript format. Find out  how to write a synopsis and a query letter.  And read everything you can get your hands on in the YA genre.


Read an extract of Wild Inkhere
Number of copies to be won: Three.
Competition is open: Internationally -- many thanks to Prufrock Press.
Competition closes: May 31st 2012.
Following this blog is not required to enter the competition, but is always appreciated. 
To win a copy of Wild Ink  just fill in the form below!



  1. I just read the extract, and it does look like a very helpful book! Thank you for the giveaway :)

  2. As a writer-in-the-making, I loved those five awesome writing tips! Number one is something I'm always trying to work on and I think I've got it down pat so far, and number two just had me bursting out laughing -- because it sounds so strange but it's actually so TRUE at the exact same time! The amazing books aren't the ones that are all smiles and rainbows and happy endings; the amazing books are the ones that rip your heart out, throw it around, then hand it back tattered yet completely enamoured :)

    Thanks so much for the really amazing tips, Victoria! <3

  3. daisychainbooks25 May 2012 at 22:48

     I read the extract and thought it was great too. I wish I could enter this one myself! :)

  4. this book looks really interesting! thank you!

  5. I'm writing from time to time just for fun and it's just not that easy to let the sucky words leave at that. I always tend to go back and start editing, although I'm not supposed to... Very helpful tips though. Thanks!

  6. daisychainbooks28 May 2012 at 20:48

     I do that too, which is why I never seem to move very far forward with my stories!

  7. I'm always astonished by the mistakes that can slip through. I'm doing edits with my agent at the moment, and I'm so embarrassed to see the dozens and dozens of typos and inconsistencies in what I thought was a clean manuscript.

  8. I'll definitely be buying a copy of this (if I don't win one here, of course!). Thanks for a brilliant and informative post!

  9. daisychainbooks29 May 2012 at 23:11

     Oooh, have you written a YA? I'll be keeping an eye out for it!

  10. daisychainbooks29 May 2012 at 23:12

     I'm buying a copy too! Did you read the extract? It's really good! :)

  11. Bugger. I missed out on the closing date for this one. *Sobs* And the advice is such GREAT advice. Sad Tammy is Sad. Oh well, will just have to add fit this one in to my must-buys if not this month, then next month!


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