FDU MFA YA Faculty Member Eliot Schrefer’s NYTimes OpEd Piece
Have you read Fairleigh Dickinson University MFA YA faculty member Eliot Schrefer’s NYTimes OpEd piece, “Junior Varsity is Where the Work Gets Done”? Eliot writes:
Under the current rules, Y.A. literature doesn’t have official limits as far as appropriateness and tone. Instead, if there is one truism of successful Y.A., it’s that the book’s unrelenting emphasis must be on character and event, and not the brilliance of the author’s viewpoint. For me it was a humbling experience, trying to shed the essential narcissism of my writer’s project because my teen readers wouldn’t tolerate it. But on crawling out on the other side, I saw that what Y.A. novels value above all else is storytelling. It took me even longer to realize that that needn’t lessen a book’s complexity — it just prioritizes the reader’s experience.
Eliot Schrefer is a New York Times-bestselling author, and has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award. In naming him an Editor’s Choice, the New York Times has called his work “dazzling… big-hearted.” He is also the author of two novels for adults and four other novels for children and young adults. His book have been named to the NPR “best of the year” list, the ALA best fiction list for young adults, and the Chicago Public Library’s “Best of the Best.” His work has also been selected to the Amelia Bloomer List, recognizing best feminist books for young readers, and he has been a finalist for the Walden Award and won the Green Earth Book Award and Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award. He lives in New York City.
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