Bestselling Young Adult fiction: trends, genres and readership
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Denise BecktonDenise Beckton
Australia is not immune to the universal, and seemingly exponential, growing appeal of bestselling Young Adult fiction. The 2015 Sydney Writers’ Festival, for instance, staged three separate events to reflect the rising popularity of this genre of writing, showcasing successful Australian authors as both panel members and facilitators of discussion related to issues facing the category. While debate touched on familiar points of contention such as the appropriateness and advocacy of content marketed as Young Adult fiction and for young adult readers, discussion centred on the growing appeal Young Adult fiction has for readers, writers, publishers and film-makers. This article extends discourse relating to international bestselling Young Adult fiction and provides research that, in scholarly terms, has eluded significant inquiry thus far. In examining this appeal, this article questions how increased stakeholder involvement is impacting patterns of readership, content, and genre trends within this category of Young Adult fiction. While the degree of change is not measured quantitatively, this research pinpoints strategies and behaviours exhibited by invested groups and institutions, which are affecting change. This builds on work by Heather Scutter and Sue Page, and references Anthony Eaton, who identifies that changing conceptions of young adulthood, in terms of sophistication, is defining how Young Adult fiction is shaped by those who create, produce and consume it (Eaton 2010).