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04 December 2013

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Katie

I don't think it was a matter of category criteria. Grave Mercy was a finalist last year and The Farm by McKay won. So clearly they're open to books with multiple genres. I think not enough titles were entered. The titles have to be entered by the author or publisher. Sounds to me like there were probably a ton of entries into the adult categories and not enough into the YA category to make it 5 percent of the total.

I wonder if not that many publishers and authors know/care enough about the RITAs. Maybe they don't want the book to be considered a romance instead of a science fiction/adventure/dystopian novel because it would narrow the market? I know I haven't been super-impressed with the YA finalists and winners in the past. Maybe publishers aren't sold on it being worthwhile.

Leila

I don't know if I buy the idea that YA publishers don't know/care about the RITAs, because the award has been around for thirty years (know), and romance is generally one of the best-selling genres (care), and I assume that many of the same companies with adult contenders have YA imprints, so it stands to reason that they'd all know about it. (<--Of course, that reasoning makes the assumption that there is strong communication within said company, which might be a big leap. :P)

Anyway, I get that this came about because authors/publishers didn't enter enough books... but I'd love to know how/why that happened. It just seems so bizarre to me.

I think there was a change-up in criteria/category rules within the last couple of years, which could definitely have had an effect. Regardless, SO WEIRD.

Katie

The RITAs have been around for a long time but the YA category has not. I'm questioning the value and influence of the YA RITA award in YA publishing, not the RITAs in general.

ss

Someone has to pay to enter their book for consideration for RITAs, so I think that probably has A LOT to do with the lack of entries. Romance writers and publishers might be used to doing that, but I don't think most YA authors are.

Leila

@ss: Yeah, but that's certainly not an unheard of practice: the National Book Award charges an entry fee as well. (Though you're probably right that publishers usually foot the bill in that case.)

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