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The Contemps: YA Authors Keeping It Real

We can all agree YA contemporary books have a vastly important place in teen readers' lives. Books like Speak, Looking for Alaska, Jellicoe Road, The Outsiders, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, everything by Sarah Dessen, Judy Blume, E. Lockhart -- contemporary YA literature offers readers another kind of escape, a slipping under the skin of characters who seem as real as we are, in situations that ring true because they're set in real life. Despite how hard we love great contemporary books, they've been eclipsed in the last couple years by other genres.

In recognition of the need for quality contemporary YA novels, and in celebration of all the fantastic contemporary teen lit already about there and about to launch, we present to you:

We're 21 authors putting real life in the spotlight, keeping readers up to date on the latest in YA contemporary fiction by blogging, tweeting, (over) sharing our own teenage experiences, and occasionally meeting up in real life. YA Highway's Kirsten Hubbard (that's me!) and Kody Keplinger are both members, along with diverse authors like Lisa Schroeder, Lindsay Leavitt, Elizabeth Scott, Courtney Summers, Michael Northrup, Melissa Walker, and others.

Diverse Authors, Diverse Books, Diverse Opinions

We're all about keeping it real, in our books and on the blog. And with 21 of us, you can bet our experiences and ideas about life are all over the place!

As part of our promise to keep things real, and to spotlight all of the differences that make contemporary fiction special, we encourage everyone -- authors and readers alike -- to join in on the discussion, to share opinions and ideas, and to speak freely for and about themselves.

That means that some of us will be a little more, um, self-disclosey than others. You might find a few naughty words thrown in (right next to some shiny clean ones). There may be stories about drugs and alcohol, church, making out, hanging out, writing and reading, parents, best friends, sex and sexuality, homework, high school bloopers, bullies, Pollyannas, parties, teachers, racism, hobbies, pop culture, or some odd and lively mashups, and we'll all have different things to say about them (especially when we break out the 80s hair and prom pics... hey, you've been warned)!

Yep. Pretty much anything goes at The Contemps, and we're so not down with censorship -- not of books, not of people, not of ideas, and not of our blog discussions. All we ask of our readers and commenters is exactly what we promise in return: no matter what the topic, we all speak for ourselves, and we're always respectful, honest, and above all...

...totally real.

Follow our blog, read our weekly posts and join our conversations about real-life topics and contemporary YA. You can also follow us on Twitter (@yacontemps), and join our Facebook group.

Take The Contemps Challenge!Accept the Contemps Challenge and promise to read at least 18 of the 21 upcoming Contemps books between now and August 15, 2011. One lucky challenger will win the grand prize: ALL 21 of our books! That's like a whole bookshelf of books!

To enter:
  • Participants must be at least 13 years old.
  • Send an e-mail by November 15, 2010 with I ACCEPT THE CONTEMPS CHALLENGE in the subject line to: contempscontests(at)gmail(dot)com
  • Start reading! Visit our Books page for the complete book list or add books to your "to read" list from our Goodreads page.
  • If you have a blog, Facebook, LJ, or Web site and want to show some Contemps Challenge pride, display the Challenge badge (featured on the left)! Simply copy and past the following code into your site:

Not taking the Challenge but still want to share the love? Display the general Contemps badge on your blog to encourage your visitors to check us out. Just copy and paste the code here:

What are you waiting for?
Get on over to The Contemps and join our launch party!
Kirsten Hubbard

Kirsten is the author of Like Mandarin, Wanderlove, and the middle grade novel Watch the Sky.

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  1. Oh! I love this! I love YA contemp. About half the books I've read this summer have been in that genre (and that's sayin a lot). I don't really have any room to follow new blogs, but I guess I'll have to make an exception!

    And of course I'll be taking the challenge. It'll give me an excuse, 'cuz I was probably gonna read them anyhow :)

  2. This looks like a great new blog to follow. Glad to see some Contemp love. Good luck with it.

  3. This is awesome! I love YA contemporary novels (and am working on one myself) so I can appreciate a blog that focuses on them!


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Item Reviewed: The Contemps: YA Authors Keeping It Real Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kirsten Hubbard