Twenty award-winning short stories from the Stringybark Young Head of Short Fiction Award’s showcase some of the best contemporary YA authors writing today. From sharks and skateboards to religion and romance, these stories illustrate the breadth and depth of what interests today’s teenagers.
Young Adult fiction is defined as fiction suitable for children between the ages of twelve and seventeen. Immediately a problem can be seen. A story suitable for a twelve year-old is not necessarily of interest to a seventeen year old. As a father of two teenagers, it is very clear to me that an inordinate amount of intellectual and social development goes on during these years and so it is a huge challenge for authors towrite stories that resonatewith children over such a wide age range. And yet I think the judges have succeeded in selecting stories that do resonate with this group of young people.
Joining the adults on the judging panel we were lucky enough to have two young adults,Georgia Crocker and Michael Vernon (yes,my son) who are smack bang in themiddle of the YA age range. They, and the other two judges, read over one hundred entries in order to pick these twenty stories showcased here that so well fit the YA genre.
Adults find it tempting to choose stories that have a moral and provide ‘an education’ to young people. Young adults are not averse to this, providing that themoral is neither sugar-coated nor patronizing and has a level of gritty realism that appeals to them.
While these stories are written for the YA audience, they are also engaging for adults. They give an insight into the YA world and exemplify the trials, challenges, victories and triumphs of young people. Have a read and be impressed with the scope and quality of stories written by these Australian and international authors.
David Vernon is a full-time writer and editor. While he is known for his non-fiction books about birth: Men at Birth, Having a Great Birth in Australia, Birth Stories and With Women, he has turned his hand to writing science articles for newspapers and magazines as well as scribbling the odd short story or two. He established the Stringybark Short Stories Awards into thousand and 10 to promote short story writing. He is currently trying to write an Australian history book. He is a Director on the Board of the ACT Writers Centre. David’s website is: www.davidvernon.net.