Bridging the Gap: An Inquiry into New Adult as a Viable Category of Fiction


  • Emma Stewart Dalhousie University


This paper serves as an investigation into the burgeoning fiction category known as “new adult”, a category conceived to appeal to the current post-adolescent age bracket. It traces the category's origins to November 2009 from a submission competition held by St Martin's Press and addresses criticism of new adult that has arisen in the literary community over the past three years. The paper next examines the perspectives of authors of new adult, through commentary by author Hannah Johnson, and the intended audience of new adult, through the commentary of three readers who fall within the relevant bracket. It concludes that the evident hole in the literary market demands the fostering of the new adult category, especially in light of the historical success of the young adult category and also in light of marked reader demand for new adult content.

Author Biography

Emma Stewart, Dalhousie University

First year student, Masters of Library and Information Sciences


Works Cited

Amazon. (2012). Know not why: A novel. Retrieved December 2, 2012, from

astried. (2012, October 20). Know not why: A novel: Astried's review. Message posted to

Chandler, E. K. (2012, December 2). Young adult gets old [blog post]. Retrieved from

Evewithanapple. (2012, September 4). Know not why: A novel: Evewithanapple's review. Message posted to

Goodreads. (2012a). Genres: New adult. Retrieved December 4, 2012, from

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Jae-Jones, S. (2009b, November 10). Postadolescent or "new adult" fiction [blog post]. Retrieved from

Johnson, H. (2012). Goodreads author profile: Hannah Johnson. Retrieved December 2, 2012, from

L., G. (2012, October 12). Know not why: A novel: Greg L's review. Message posted to

McBride, G. (2009, November 27). St. Martin‘s Press contest: How it all went down [blog post]. Retrieved from contest-how-it-all-went-down/

Meg. (2009, November 12). Message posted to adult-fiction/comment-page-1/#comment-484

New study: 55% of YA books bought by adults. (2012, September 13). Publisher's Weekly. Retrieved from news/article/53937-new-study-55-of-ya-books-bought-by-adults.html

pgm. (2009, November 13). Message posted to adult-fiction/comment-page-1/#comment-516

smith, s.e. (2012, October 2). Is "new adult" fiction going to be a thing? XOJane. Retrieved from

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Stearns, M. (2009, November 20). “New adult” — specious category or market opportunity? [blog post]. Retrieved from

Further Reading

Alexander, J. (2012, February 9). New adult: A genre too far? [blog post]. Retrieved from

Brauning, K. (2012, October 29). New adult round-up: Definition, hurdles, and a suggestion [blog post]. Retrieved from to hurdles-and-a-suggestion/

Chappell, B. (2012, September 10). Would you read novels aimed at 'new adults'? The Guardian. Retrieved from

Hoffman, K. (2010, January 7). New adult: What is it? [blog post.] Retrieved from

NA Alley (2012). Bridging the gap between young adult and adult fiction. Retrieved from

Witt, E. (2012, September 30). Why not-so-young adult readers crave teen fiction. New York Magazine. Retrieved from audience.html.


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