About Me

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Hi, welcome to my blog, I am a writer of short stories, children's and YA novels . An acceptance from People's Friend finally made me a published writer! Yeah, happy days! I have since had stories published in The Weekly News and The Last Laugh anthology. My main love is writing children's/YA novels...I'm now enduring a fruitless search for an agent... I also draw and paint, I like to draw animals (usually my adorable crazy cats!)Occasionally famous people and motorcycles.

Friday, 7 January 2011

How long is too short?

Well, YA novel wise. After a grreat deal of trawling through publishers websites, the ones which care to give details of requirements, not just the requirement that they don't require anything at all from you new writer, thank you very much, but actual submission requirements, I have found that word counts can vary between 20,000 and a vague 'around 50,000.
So, at the moment I'm around half way through, meaning I will manage about 30, 000 words, but it seems I will be narrowing down the list of possible places to sub, which is pretty narrow already.
The answer is to just get on with it and worry about where it goes later, I suppose.
Which I should really do, having already accumulated a number of 'nearly finished' novels that have no home to go to :(
Do you write for a target market and therefore a specific word count, or just go with the flow and figure out what to do with your masterpiece afterwards?

Mischa doesn't really care either way.


  1. You're working on a YA novel? From what I've seen 30,000 would be way too short. Are there really publishers who would take 20,000-word novels? Maybe I'm missing something about the genre you're writing for though.

    When I started querying my YA I was at 50,000 words and that was the low end for what most publishers/agents would accept. I've since beefed it up to a more respectable 65,000.

    I guess you just have to write what you feel on your first go around. You can always go back through and add more to it. A good CP can also tell you where you might need to add some more info (I have a hard time with this myself sometimes).

    Good luck!

  2. Yay for adorable Mischa!!!!

    I go with the flow!! I knew I wasn't going to write YA and for anyone younger - so that helped but as to the genre - well I just pantsed it as the term goes!

    GOOD LUCK with your current wip!!! I really have everything crossed for you!!!! I say just write and worry about the word count later!!!

    Take care

  3. Lisa, Hi, one publisher specifies 'teen fiction' and wants 25000-35000 words, they say this is age 11-15.
    Although another one I was interested in states 50,000 - 75,000.
    This sounds more like the right word count, as all the YA novels I have read are about that or more.
    Another of my WIP's was 75,000 ish and has expanded out of control and is now 110,000 so I may need to do some editing!

  4. Hi Old Kitty,
    You always make me feel better! Thank you x

  5. Are you maybe looking at Middle Grade/YA? I'm looking at the same area - 10 to 15 year olds. Middle grade novels are on the lower end of the word count scale on average.

  6. Thanks for your kind comment on my blog, and yay, I've found another blog for me to follow :-) Not a writer, so no idea about word counts, but as Old Kitty says, I'd just write what you want.

  7. Mischa looks beautiful, and quite similar to my tabby cat.

  8. Aw, Mischa is just too cute!

    I write rom coms, so I usually need to come in around 90,000 to 110,000.

    Good luck with the YA!

  9. I'd write the story to its natural conclusion and then see where you are, word-count wise. I'd say around 70,000 - 90,000 is a good place to be. My story was around 120,000 from the first draft, and is now approx 89,000 - so you lose tons of superfluous words in the edit, so don't worry about it going too long in the beginning stage! Mischa is lovely by the way. :)


I appreciate all your comments, thank you!