Beyond the Blockbusters Panel: The Booming Market in YA & Middle-Grade Literature

Saturday, September 17th 
11:30 am – 12:30 pm (second session)
UVM Davis Center Livak Ballroom
The Booming Market in YA &
Middle-Grade Literature:
A Panel


Children’s literature enjoys perhaps more cultural visibility today than ever before. According to data released in 2015 by Nielsen Book, 80 percent of young adult novels sold in the U.S. are purchased by adults—for themselves. Often when the media cover this trend, they focus on a few YA best sellers with film adaptations. But such coverage doesn’t acknowledge the incredible diversity of YA and middle-grade literature. How do that diversity—and universality—play into adults’ interest in these books? The following six authors of YA and/or MG lit discuss what’s ageless about its appeal:


Rachel Carter

Rachel Carter

Rachel Carter likes to write about time travel and far away worlds. She’s the author of the So Close to You series with HarperTeen and a regular contributor to These days you can find her working on her next novel in the woods of Vermont, where she also teaches creative writing at Champlain College.




Author Margot Harrison Burlington Book Festival 2016

Margot Harrison

Margot Harrison was raised in the wilds of New York by lovely, nonviolent parents who never managed to prevent her from staying up late to read scary books. She studied at Harvard and Berkeley

Killer in Me book by Margot Harrison

The Killer In Me

and now lives in Vermont, where she works at the newspaper Seven Days. Her favorite part of the job is, of course, reviewing scary books and movies. The Killer in Me is her first novel. Find her at or @MargotFHarrison.


Dayna Lorentz

Dayna Lorentz

Dayna Lorentz is the author of the No Safety in

No Safety in Numbers

No Safety in Numbers

Numbers trilogy (Dial/Kathy Dawson Books) and the Dogs of the Drowned City series (Scholastic). She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from Bennington College. Dayna lives with her husband, two kids, and dog in Vermont. If you give her a cupcake, she will show you the proper way to eat it. You can visit her and

Author Lee Gjersten Malone

Lee Gjersten Malone

Lee Gjertsen Malone is a Massachusetts transplant, via Long Island, Brooklyn and Ithaca, NY. As a

The Boy at St.Edith's novel by author Lee Gjertsen Malone

The Boy at St.Edith’s

journalist, she’s written about everything from wedding planning and the banking crisis to how to build your own homemade camera satellite. Her interests include amateur cheesemaking, traveling, associating with animals, shushing people in movie theaters, kickboxing and blinking very rapidly for no reason. She lives in Cambridge, Mass. with her husband, daughter and a rotating cast of pets. The Last Boy at St. Edith’s is her first novel.

Jennifer Mason-Black

Jennifer Mason-Black

Jennifer Mason-Black is a lifelong fan of most anything with words. She’s checked for portals in every closet she’s ever encountered and has never sat beneath the stars without watching for UFOs. Her stories have appeared in The Sun,

Devil and the Bluebird book by Jennifer Mason-Black

Devil and the Bluebird

Strange Horizons and Daily Science Fiction, among others. Devil and the Bluebird is her first novel. She lives in Massachusetts.


Author Bethany C. Morrow

Bethany C. Morrow

Bethany C Morrow is a recovering expat straddling life in Montreal and North Country, New York. A speculative literary author for the YA and adult markets, she’s represented by Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media Group and is currently at work on an allegorical YA novel blending contemporary and urban fantasy in a spectacular version of the already beautiful Pacific Northwest. Her short work has been published in the Electronic Encyclopedia of Experimental Literature (