if it’s too difficult for grown-ups, write for children

Ask Daphne! How do I categorize my tween novel?

Some comfy but trendy sneaks for Beth, who writes:

After much revision, I’ve got what I can only classify as a “tween” novel–a bit above MG, a bit below YA. How should I query this? There don’t seem to be any agents who are looking for tween novels, and the genre still seems rather new. Should I just hit YA and MG agents and hope one will look at something in between? Should I call it something else, even though I think it is mostly tween?

My gut reaction? Call it a MG novel and target agents looking for that. Remember that publishers market books that they figure kids will read up to — so a tween novel will be directed towards a slightly younger audience than your protagonists’ ages. If you call it YA, and if it were published as such, there’s a chance it would miss its major market.
Or just think of it this way: “tween” is just shorthand for “between,” right? And what’s more “between” than something in the middle, like middle grade? Hope that helps!
In other news, though I plan to be reading over the Christmas holiday, I won’t be online quite as much. I may set up some automatic posts to go up while I’m gone, but the web monkey and I are still working on that. And email will be answered only if it’s of the utmost importance, or not at all.
Which is to say, if you please, so I don’t have an enormous pile of queries waiting for me after the holidays, rather than sending me a query that you know I won’t get to between December 20th and January 5th, consider taking those extra two weeks to polish it, and send it after the new year.
What are your holiday plans?

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