PubCrawl Podcast: Coming of Age Stories

JJ and Kelly wrap up their Summer of Archetypes with Coming of Age narratives! Did you read and love The Pigman in middle school? We did. Also, we can’t help but discuss the Handbook for Mortals/NYT Bestseller List shenanigans! If this episode seems particularly choppy, that’s because we were interrupted several times by Kelly’s 3 year old daughter, who makes a guest appearance in the bloopers.

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Coming of Age Stories

  • Although some of us may think of coming of age stories strictly in a classic sense–a contemporary or realistic story about a character crossing the threshold into adulthood–coming of age stories can actually exist in any genre.
  • At their core, coming of age stories are about growth, the journey from one state of being to another.
  • All YA and children’s books should grapple with coming of age themes in some way.
  • For a long time there was no such category as YA. Children’s fiction existed for quite some time, but coming of age novels, or bildungsromans were geared toward adults and were very popular.
  • These stories have a universal qualities, because people inevitable grow up.

Books Discussed/What We’re Reading

Taran Wanderer
Little Women (Beth Dies!)
The Pigman
I Capture the Castle
Great Expectations
Black Swan Green

Off Menu Recommendations

The Handbook for Mortals/NYT Bestseller list shenanigans!
Halt and Catch Fire

What You’re Asking

Do you have to reveal your source material in your query letter? If you’re writing a retelling of a fairytale or folktale do you have to mention that when you’re querying, or can you wait until you get response from an agent to reveal that info? 

Mention that it’s a retelling, and mention the story or folktale or myth that you’re retelling. Even if the agent isn’t familiar with it they can look it up, which will help give them context for the rest of the query.

That’s all for this week! Next week we’re having a Q&A episode!  So as always if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below, send us an ask on Tumblr, or tweet using the hashtag #askpubcrawl!

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