Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Writers Ask: Are We Not Men?


This week we’re back from vacation and answering questions about agents–how to get one, whether you need one–and for a little while there things threaten to get weird. Then we bond over a line-by-line response to a recent email we received accusing us of giving short shrift to young adult literature.

Do you have questions for us? Shoot us an email, or hit us up on Twitter. And feel free to send us your angry rants, so long as you’re okay with us responding to them on air.

As always, you can stream or download the episode here on our site, or check us out in the iTunes store, where you can subscribe (for free) and never miss another episode. Also, while we’ve got your attention, maybe we can persuade you to support our sponsor, Powell’s Books. If you use any of the buttons on this site to get to their site, anything you buy will throw a little coin back our way. This quarter, we managed to pay for a happy hour (i.e. business meaning) with our Powell’s affiliate cash. Next quarter, we’re aiming for either a full-on bender or a road trip to Delaware. Tax-free shopping!


Download Writers Ask: Are We Not Men?


Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

2 thoughts on “Writers Ask: Are We Not Men?

  1. “Dear Tom and Mike,
    You suck and you smell bad.
    Let me count the ways:”

    Welcome to minefield of internet fame!

    IMO, a lot of young adult fiction is pretty formulaic. I was surprised you gave Ready Player One such a positive review, I tried to read it but it was such a painfully paint-by-numbers YA book I couldn’t get past the first chapter. Also, death to the 80s.
    But to be fair, a lot of fiction in general is horrifically formulaic, it’s not something unique to YA, but since Young Adult is a genre designation that I understand came into being almost entirely for marketing purposes, it wouldn’t surprise me that the dismissive/defensive attitudes around it have their origins in there being a very narrow ‘type’ of book being selected for to be marked as YA.

  2. “IMO, a lot of young adult fiction is pretty formulaic.” EDIT: I quoted the wrong line by accident: “But to be fair, a lot of fiction in general is horrifically formulaic”

    I totally agree on this. A student of mine actually borrowed a bunch of my old lit mags and a couple weeks later he said, “Is it just me, or does it seem like most of these stories are all basically the same?”

    I imagine some people would use that as a critique of MFA programs, but I suspect it’s a bigger issue than that.

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