Fiction Reboot: What is “New Adult”?

Welcome back to the Fiction Reboot!

Lately, I have been hearing a lot of talk about “NA” or “New Adult” fiction, as opposed to or in addition to YA fiction. What? you ask–don’t “new” adults just read the same books as regular old adults?

Well, yes, they do. And of course, “young” adults often read “regular old adult” books, too. As a result, I have heard many an author, reader, and academic complain about the proliferation of categories that seem to be little more than marketing fodder. But let’s not be too hasty in our judgements. A few year’s ago, people would have laughed at “paranormal teen romance” as a niche market–but it clearly tapped into a waiting list of potential readers. In fact, not much further back into our writing/reading past, no one would’ve had the slightest idea what you meant by YA (one of the top-grossing categories of fiction to date).

So, today I have invited Victoria Smith, a contributor to (and one of the creators of) NA Alley, a blog that aims to advance an up and coming category known as “new adult” fiction. Thank you, Victoria, for clarifying what might, indeed, become the next “thing.”


Victoria H. Smith
Twenty Something Fiction Writer & Contributor
NA Alley (New Adult Alley)
Twitter: @Victoria.Smith76
NA Alley Twitter: @NAAlleyBlog

Hello, and thank you, Brandy, for having me on!

The term “new adult” was coined by the publisher St. Martin’s Press in 2009.  St. Martin’s Press editor Dan Weiss wanted to create a category between the fiction categories of  “adult” and “young adult.” A contest calling for those types of manuscripts was held, and from there, new adult has been growing ever since.


Defining the term “new adult” is both simple and complicated at the same time.  New adult is that section in between young adult and adult life.  That can mean so many things for so many different people, though.  This makes it hard to define.  Usually, what new adult is defined as is the transition into adulthood.  What does a young person do after they are handed that high school diploma?  What happens before a young person is married, has a mortgage, and children?  That is new adult.  That space in between.  Usually, it’s when a young person is between the ages of 18 – 25, but it can be upwards of the early 30s as well.

Myself and seven of my writer friends all write new adult, so we thought it would be great idea to create a blog dedicated to the category.  That’s how we created NA Alley!

NA Alley

What we do on NA Alley is provide a central source of information on all things new adult.  We help both readers and writers know more about it, where to find it, and even tips on how to publish it.

This category is so new that getting those books on the shelves and finding them can be a struggle.  Publishers are still unsure about the market of new adult; therefore they’re pretty wary about taking new adult works.  We like to keep the community updated on the progress of the category and help get writers books out there on the market.

These books are out there, though, and here are some examples:

Some mainstream book include:

  • Love Story by Jennifer Echols
  • Secret Society Girl by Diane Peterfreund
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
  • Wasteland by Lynn Rush

Some independently published books include:

  • Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
  • Easy by Tammara Webber
  • Slammed by Colleen Hoover
  • Flat Out Love by Jessica Park
  • Because of Low by Abbi Gines

More and more of these books are being published through both traditionally published and self-published venues everyday, and NA Alley has lists of popular new adult books and where to find them here.

We also host many giveaways, hold new adult Twitter chats, and feature new adult authors all the time to get people excited about this new category.

Thanks for having me on Brandy, and hope you’ll all stop by NA Alley!

Thank you, Victoria! And please stay tuned for more this week on the Fiction Reboot!

2 Replies to “Fiction Reboot: What is “New Adult”?”

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