Top 10 Topics for Novels

This is a list compiled by the editorial staff at Dial Books for Young Readers.

This list, along with others, was distributed at our regional SCBWI conference last spring.
1. The new kid in middle school or high school
2. Choosing between the popular crowd and the social outcast with a heart of gold
3. High fantasy with a prologue and tons of characters with unpronounceable names who go on a quest.
4. Dealing with parents going through a divorce
5. Dealing with the death of a parent or sibling
6. A sulky, angsty, “too cool” teen who must learn to get over him/herself
7. A kid trying to save the cranes, dolphins, redwoods etc.
8. A kid who’s sent to live with a cranky aunt/uncle/grandparent and who discovers the older person is okay after all.
9. War historical fiction, especially set during the WWII and The Revolutionary War
10. A “normal kid” who discovers she/he has some kind of magical power
*This doesn’t mean you can’t submit these topics, only that we see these most often, so make sure yours is really different

7 Responses to “Top 10 Topics for Novels”

  1. Tahereh

    how fascinating!! thanks for taking the time to share this with us. definitely something to think about 😀

    hope you have a fab weekend!

  2. Tess

    ah, my new work is a combo of 7 and 8 (a single tree to be saved, a family issue that ties into it all)– but I hope there is enough freshness in it to make it worthwhile. thanks for sharing this list.

  3. Natalie

    How interesting! I don't have a single story that would fall into any of those categories. I think my stories might be kind of offbeat.

  4. kristinlgray

    You're welcome, everyone! I love behind the scenes stuff.

    Audra, that totally made me laugh!

    Tess, I think combination would be good.

    Natalie, I know the premise of your first and your kind of "offbeat" is good. 🙂