YA Retellings: an Epic Infographic

I don’t have a working computer at the moment so here is a post I really thought was great!

Novel Conclusions

For generations, storytellers, bards, and troubadours — ancient and modern — have been putting new spins on old tales.  One of the oldest collections of stories, the Bible itself, even mentions this in Ecclesiastes 1:9:

That which has been done is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.

Epic Reads recently put together a gorgeous infographic specifically focusing on these retellings in YA — 162 of them, in fact.  It could even be argued by some that a few of these original stories, like Romeo and Juliet, were based on earlier stories.  You’ll find the infographic below, and a complete list of the retellings can be found here.

I remember loving Robin McKinley’s Beauty as a kid and thoroughly enjoying Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted some years later when I stumbled across it as…

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About Joe Cummings

Aquarius. Traveler. Gamer. Writer. A New Parent. 4 of these things are easy. One is not. But the journey is that much better for the new people in my life. A life I want to share with others, to help them, maybe, to make them feel less alone, sure, to connect with the greater world, absolutely.

10 thoughts on “YA Retellings: an Epic Infographic

  1. Whatever caused you to post the info graphic worked to my benefit. It’ll help kickstart a project I put off (to wit: abandoned). Then I re-read “Hey, you! Wanna buy a book?” which I’d saved for what I’m doing now, which is preparing to query agents, and I have a few questions:
    1. How many agents (at different agencies, of course) can I query at one time? If I can only query a few, and have to wait a month before i can query a few more, I may not live to get an agent.
    2. How do I chose which agent to query within an agency when several of them appear equally amenable in their squibs on the website?
    3. How do I prioritize which agents/agencies to query first, either in small groups 😒 or in broadsides?😀
    Any advice will be welcome, cuz I don’t know nuttin’.

    • Hi Jerry,
      On this point, everyone has different opinions so I hope all my 5writer colleagues weigh in, but now that you can query by email, I recommend:

      1) Query everyone in sight – not everyone will respond, some will take weeks or months. It is not feasible to do this sequentially, waiting to hear from one before equerying another. What’s the worse that can happen ? Two different agents get back to you and both are dying to represent you? I’d love to hear if that happens.
      2) Try to google agent names, – see what conferences they attend, often they’ll have a bio saying what kind of books they are really looking for – do your research – it is like throwing at a dart board, but try to pick the agent in a particular agency that looks like a good fit for your work – or you!
      3) I wouldn’t prioritize – throw them all out there. Others will tell you that you should go after the big agents first – put them in the order you hope to connect. Our crtique group founder Sean Sommerville, who writes the Jacob Striker thriller series under the pen name Sean Slater, took a very direct approach: he chose his favourite author, (Lee Child) and cold queried Lee Child’s agency – and eventually got signed. (Don’t get too excited – Sean had written several prior manuscripts and is pretty sure a part of his success at getting picked up by the Darley agency is attributable to being a working Vancouver cop writing about a working Vancouver cop.

      We are part of your community of writers, we are here to help!

      Good luck!

      • Thanks for 1 & 3, because I wasn’t sure whether to shotgun everyone or go in some sort of sequence. As for 2., I’ve been doing that, a lot of that 😥, and in many cases, agents don’t make clear what they’re looking for (other than a great story that will rock the world). However, sinceI’m going to shotgun everyone, it may not matter too much. I’ll start with those who are explicitly interested in my genre, historical fiction, and then try the ambiguities after I’ve caught my breath.

    • Jerry, Paula covered it pretty well. No point in wasting time waiting for replies. Fire them off by the dozens, even hundreds at the same time, and don’t just go with U.S. agents. Pitch U.K., Australian and Canadian agents as well. Remember, you have something to offer that they need – a good manuscript.

      • Thanks also to you, Helga. I am looking for British, Canadian, and Australian agents as well. My novel re-tells the Trojan War myth as an allegory to the US invasion of Iraq, and I think Canadian, Australian, and especially British readers, whose governments got caught up in W’s phony propaganda, would share the sentiments i express.

    • Hi Soffer,
      Man, I hate not having access to a computer for 4 days. It’s one tough addiction to break.
      So… Yes, I think Silk and the others have answered your questions. But, being me, I’ll add a few things.
      1) query tracker. Get it. It’s awesome and it’s your friend. Great way to find and track agents. Despite what I tend to do, I would recommend sending out quite a few queries at a time unless you’ve talked to people at conferences or dog shelters or whatever and that kinda gives them exclusive rights for about 6 weeks.
      2) Adding to what everyone else said, check what books an agent has published or the authors they have worked with. Sure one may say, “wants YA” but if they’ve only worked with thriller/mystery authors, there may be a better choice in the agency.
      3) Prioritize a bit, I would say. Check out “Editors and preditors” for a list of recommended agents and those to avoid.

      Never pay a reading fee. If an agent asks for one, they’re not really an agent you want to deal with.

      Lastly, though this is not mentioned, self publishing is also a really viable route these days. There are many authors who’ve done well by going to Amazon or small press e-books or similar venues. I honestly don’t think you should discount this option.

      I hope that helps.
      Sorry for the delay.

  2. Jerry, I think Paula and Helga have covered important points (though remember when you get advice from us 5writers, you’re getting advice from unpublished writers, so take it for what it’s worth!).

    One thing I’d add is that most agents or their agencies post guidelines for queries on their websites, which are worth reading before pushing “send”. For instance, I’ve seen many of them suggest that if you’re sending out multiple queries, you let agents know you’ve done so … or at least you should make note if you’re actively talking to, or under consideration by, other interested agents. I think it’s just down to rules of common courtesy. And it’s true that the wait times for responses can be very long – you’re right that none of us will live long enough to wait until we hear from one agent before we query another.

    The more research you can do on an agent you query, the better. It’s good if you can tell them why you picked them and why you think they’d be interested in your book (avoiding, of course, telling them that this is their big chance to rep the next Stephen King, or noting that you think they look not too brain dead in their profile photo).

    Finally, there is an unbelievable body of good advice on queries out there … both in books for writers and on the web. I’d recommend checking out the Writer’s Digest website (http://www.writersdigest.com) for starters. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  3. Hi Jerry. The one point I can add is the benefits of going to a writer’s conference in your genre. You will meet authors, agents, and publishers and can learn from all of them. There is also the possibility of face-to-face with agents/publishers that can have a positive outcome.

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