A young writer friend recently introduced me to a new blog entitled, Rebellious Writing. Organized by a precocious 14-year-old, the movement's mission is to promote clean young adult literature. To encourage these young bloggers and to promote their writing efforts, I decided to feature three Rebellious Writers on my blog along with two other young women with similar passions. Here are the questions I asked each to consider:
If you had the ear of a publisher or editor who is publishing YA literature, what would you say to her about the current state of the publishing industry? What are your concerns with the books that are being published right now?
"I think smut and low expectations for teens rule the YA world because books have begun to lower standards for teens, one reader at a time. Too often, I read books telling us teenagers that it's okay and perfectly normal to be misunderstood, unintelligent, impulsive, and constantly swearing teens, and that it is okay to write this way, because it is "realistic". When it isn't or shouldn't be.
As a rebellious writer, I want to re-write the standards for teen readers and writers. I want to bring light, truth, and good morals back to young adult, but I can't do that alone, no one can. I am with Rebellious Writing, because I believe that I can make a difference despite my age, and I believe others can too. It is time for teens to rise up against swearing, lust, abuse, and general glorified bad behavior in books. We need to take a stand, and with Rebellious Writing, we are doing just that."
|Gray Marie Cox is a Christian Texas girl and author. She is a firm believer in good books for all.|
Here is her AMAZING POST that began the Rebellious Writers Movement.
"I believe that part of the reason that the literature industry is accepting this bad literature is because for the past 50-80 years, the youth culture has been steadily breaking down whatever moral limits that were placed on them. A culture developed between 1920-1950 that tolerated such moral abuses such as swearing, abuse and especially lust in the general culture, then a culture developed between 1950-1980 that accepted these abuses as a fact of life – facts of life that are now glorified in YA today.
Two generations later, these abuses have become a chokehold on society and the trashy YA only strengthens it. Nothing short of an outright rebellion is going to elicit change. I’ve made a conscious decision to “scout out” the books that I plan to read for any pitfalls, and I’m helping others do the same. While the monetary impacts are likely to be small at first, the seeds have been planted. In the meantime, I shall weave my tales of fantasy."
"If I had the ear of a publisher or editor, I would want to tell them that their industry has room for much-needed improvement. It's a pain to find clean Young Adult fiction. I want to ask publishers, 'Are you not receiving much of any clean YA submissions? Tell me, does every one of them have sordid content, or are you just ignoring most of the books with pure content because lewdness seems to be all the rage these days?'
|Catherine Hawthorn is an aspiring young Catholic authoress who wishes to follow the footsteps of J.R.R. Tolkein. When not mending plot holes by the firelight or chasing her rebellious muse, she reads everything from historical fiction to high fantasy literature. She is also the email coordinator for the Rebellious Writers Movement.|
"Both reasons are awful. And this concerns me because even if adolescents - such as myself - want that kind of content, they shouldn't have it. Foul language and sexual immorality in YA poisons young minds.
"What do I want to do about this, you ask? I want to write a deep, but also God-honoring, YA novel. Then I want to publish it traditionally. Then I want to keep writing and publishing smut-free books for Jesus. With my teammates at Rebellious Writing and with everyone else who shares the same goal, we can make a difference. Together we strive to spark a revival in the world of YA lit."
|Lila Kims is a young Christian writer who wants to someday publish clean novels that both honor God and appeal to readers all across the vast bookosphere. She loves cheese but dislikes tea, and she considers the sky one of the most beautiful parts of God's creation. Lila's favorite stories to read and write are fairy tale retellings. She is one of ten Rebellious Writers.|
"As a generation, us young adults have turned aside from morals and laws and wish to please ourselves. We don't want to hear about consequences or sin, but prefer to do (and say) whatever we want. Writers, aiming to appeal to the youth of today and make their characters and situations “relatable”, then write like what we have become, which only furthers the downward spiral…until smut happens. Very few writers are willing to risk being unpopular by writing something different, and readers, avoiding cleaner literature for fear of being preached at, continue to reach for books with suggestive content. I believe that it is possible to tell a good story without being explicit, using coarse language, and (at the other end of the spectrum) being preachy, and we need to support and purchase from writers who do so. I write, and encourage others who write, clean YA literature in all genres."
Julian Daventry grew up in a house with books in every room, and acquired a taste for reading at an early age. After reaching her teen years, the amount of "readable" material lessened greatly, and she began to write the stories she so desperately wanted to read. When not writing or blogging, Julian songwrites, runs long-distance, and rides gigantic horses.
"I’m sorry that our world is the way it is, where trash sells and gold doesn’t. I truly believe that most publishers are people who want to produce good literature, but are held at the whims of the market. They settle for sub-par because their readers demand it with pitchforks and torches.
"It seems there are two extremes writers tend to swing towards: perfect characters, with no flaws, or gross, twisted characters, with no recourse for their actions. The result from either end is a trashy, unhelpful book. We need characters with flaws, but who try hard to fight against their shortcomings.
"I want to write books with redemption. Characters who fall hard, but are given a second chance. People who, when they learn the difference between right and wrong, strive to make right choices.
"I also want to support and commend, in whatever way possible, the endeavors of other authors who write these kinds of books. By doing this, I can show the publishing industry that clean books do have a market and that they do sell."
Sarah Rodecker is a Christian twenty-something ailurophile who loves food, books, and making things for others. With seven first-draft novels completed, she is focusing on editing her first book, The Dawn of a Hero.
She also leads her writing group, The Order of the Pen.
I hope these young writers will inspire you as much as they have inspired me! Please check out their blogs as well as the Rebellious Writing blog.
How would you answer the questions I posed?
How would you answer the questions I posed?