How to Write YA with Jill Williamson

Here are the show notes for the most recent episode of the Christian Publishing Show.

You can listen to this episode here.


In the general market, young-adult books are one of the most popular genres. While these books are written for readers ages 12-18, readers of all ages enjoy series books like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Divergent. At the same time, in Christian publishing, many YA authors have struggled to connect with young readers. So how do we fix this problem? How do we connect with younger readers?

To help answer this question, we have a special guest. 

She is a blogger at, which has been named one of Writer’s Digest’s “101 Best Websites for Writers.” She is an award-winning author of more than a dozen teen novels, including By Darkness Hid and Captives. And I can say from personal experience that she is a decent sword fighter. 

Jill Williamson, welcome to the Christian Publishing Show! 


The post How to Write YA with Jill Williamson appeared first on Christian Publishing Show.

4 Responses to How to Write YA with Jill Williamson

  1. OLUSOLA SOPHIA ANYANWU September 15, 2020 at 10:06 am #

    I agree that our YA christian audience and other YA in general need to be encouraged. Thanks .
    How do we connect with YA readers in general? I am working on one currently. By delving into their world of young heroes,heroines, super stars and celebrities, and planting these in the christian context might connect with them.
    What did Jill suggest? God bless you Thomas.

    • Jill Williamson October 11, 2020 at 5:46 pm #

      Do you mean how do you connect with YA readers online or in your writing? Online, I recommend Instagram–and specifically bookstagram. Post pictures of the books you’re reading and use hashtags and then comment on other people who are talking about similar books. You can find YA readers in hundreds of hashtags, but a few specific ones that I like are #ireadya #yabookstagram and #yafantasy. You can find more hashtags by looking at the bottom of other people’s post and seeing what hashtags they’re using. If you find a hashtag you like, you can also follow that hashtag, which will help you find other people posting similar content.

      If you’re asking about how to make your writing connect with a YA audience, I highly recommend reading popular YA books and studying how they write. How is the pacing. What is the dialogue like? What is the narrative like?

      I hope that helps!

  2. Kristen Joy Wilks September 15, 2020 at 10:18 am #

    This was my favorite of your podcasts so far! And yes, I am that grumpy reader who didn’t listen to podcasts. I am stretching myself. I love writing for teens as my husband and I work with teens all summer long and a good part of the rest of the year as well. We live and work at a Bible camp and normally, we find and train a team of teenage volunteers who work with us to run summer camps. They are fabulous and hilarious and so thoughtful and real. Yes! Hang out with teens, your life will be better because of it!

    • Jill Williamson October 11, 2020 at 5:47 pm #

      That’s awesome, Kristen. It sounds like you have all the real-life inspiration you need for your books!

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