YA Genres 101: What category does your YA novel fall into?

The first step to writing Young Adult novels is to figure out the story you want to tell. The next is choosing the best genre your story falls into. This is important as it will help you promote your novel when it comes time to write that dreaded query letter.  Of course, sometimes it’s difficult to know what genre you are writing in, which is why, beginning June 3, I am going to dive into the following list and give examples of the types of books you’ll find in each one.  I hope to see you here.  Keep in mind this list only touches the surface as there are sub and sub-sub genres, but these are the standard YA categories.  At the end, I will also reveal the results of a YA questionnaire I am sending out to a wide range of kids between the ages of 13 and 18.  I’m really looking forward to their answers.

  • Adventure
  • Alternate History
  • Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic
  • Bildungsroman
  • Contemporary
  • Cyberpunk
  • Dystopian
  • Fantasy/Sci Fi
  • Gothic/Southern Gothic
  • Historical Fiction
  • Horror
  • Graphic Novels and Manga
  • Paranormal Romance
  • Realistic Fiction
  • Speculative Fiction
  • Steampunk
  • Urban Fantasy

Related articles

Armchair BEA – Day 2: Genre Fiction (leeswammes.wordpress.com)
Why I love High Fantasy (highfantasyaddict.wordpress.com)
Your Favourite YA Genre? (aussieownedandread.com)
Why Write: Dystopian Fiction with S.K. Falls (kristinmcfarland.com)

17 thoughts on “YA Genres 101: What category does your YA novel fall into?

    1. Without knowing anything more about your novel, I couldn’t say. 🙂 Have you checked out the other posts so far to see if your story fits into any of them? There is a mystery/suspense genre all on it’s own so there may not be a sub-genre. I didn’t include the normal genres like crime/suspense/horror because they pretty much speak for themselves. What is your novel about? Come on, give me that one sentence logline! 🙂


  1. I urge you also to consider the common age variations in children’s fiction: under 2, 2-4, 4-6, 7-10/middle grade, 10-12/tween, and YA/12+. Because children’s reading ability varies so much with age, stories written for tweens won’t work for kindergarteners, and vice versa.


    1. I am, too, and I might just do a little giveaway to all those who participate. I’ll have to see how big of a response I get. So far, it’s been fairly good.


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