|Who will rep the next|
If you happened to be on another planet this week, you missed the Great Gays in YA Controversy bubbling away in the blog-and-twittersphere. I won't go into the gory details: You can read the original article from the Publisher's Weekly blog. The gist is this: Two authors argue that an unnamed agency tried to "straighten" their gay characters as a condition for representation. They further argue that a sort of subtle intimidation operates within the system to discourage YA authors from writing gay characters.
Volpe says the agency wanted the novel revised from YA to Middle Grade, and two (or maybe three) of the viewpoint characters cut. The authors demurred. Finally, the authors have responded to Volpe's response.
|Some gay YAs make|
it through the gantlet
What will come of this controversy, I hope, is a public reckoning on the subject. I truly feel for all the parties. Publishing is a business, and as Bourret points out, novels with gay protagonists just don't sell as well as their straight counterparts (I seriously doubt if this is true, though, for novels with secondary gay characters.) But gay teens need to see themselves represented in fiction. All I can say is, it's a brave soul who jumps into this fray.
Nancy Coffey agents wanted authors Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith to revise their manuscript from YA to middle grade. I find this baffling -- to do that, they'd have to excise all the sexuality, of course, but to my mind Middle Grade is to Young Adult as Apples is to Oranges.
And then, another secret, selfish, thought was wriggling around in my brain. You mean, Nancy Coffey Agency thought the novel needed THIS much work, essentially an entire rewrite, and they were STILL willing to consider it? With me and all my hopeful sisters and brothers out here, madly polishing our WIPs to tatters? Seriously?
And then I banished that thought, as unworthy.