Young Adult (YA) fiction has been one of the real success stories of the 21st century and has seen rapid growth – particularly in the fantasy section of the book market. It has spawned hugely successful franchises like Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Divergent.

But audiences have also grown for YA books and films set in our own reality, finding drama in obstacles real teenagers may face. That trend began with the huge success of The Fault in Our Stars, which was soon followed by Paper Towns, Everything Everything, The Spectacular Now and Me, Earl and the Dying Girl.

On this new episode of We’d Like a Word we talk to two successful YA authors who have managed to find a middle ground that combines fantasy with ‘coming of age’ issues faced by young adults.

Shiulie Ghosh

Shiulie Ghosh is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster. She has worked for the BBC, ITN and Aljazeera. She moderates debates for clients including the World Health Organisation and the UN. She also writes young adult fiction novels including the Daughter of Kali and Cetacea series.

Sarwat Chadda

Sarwat Chadda is also an award-winning author of YA books including the Devil’s Kiss and Ash Mistry series. His latest novel City of the Plague God is currently sitting at the top of the charts in several Amazon categories.

In this episode we discuss the appeal and success of YA and the process of writing for a young adult audience. How do you tackle complicated and emotive subjects such as relationships, race and bullying? Are any subjects taboo? How do you deal with the tricky business of teenage sex lives? It’s a lively, spirited and informative chat with two experts of their craft.


We’d like a Word is a (nearly) award-winning podcast about writing, writers and readers hosted by authors Paul Waters and Stevyn Colgan and served up in three easily digestible 20 minute chunks per episode.

You can find it on most podcast platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, ListenNotes, Podcast Radio, Anchor FM, Google Podcasts, etc.

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