What's Up in YA

📚 5 YA Anthologies For Fall/Winter Reading

Hey YA Readers!

Anthologies in the world of YA are having a moment. Or, rather, they’re continuing to have moments — they’ve really been on the rise over the last five or so years after quite a few years of being quiet.

What makes anthologies special is the ability to sample the writing styles of so many different writers. Likewise, anthologies allow readers to dip in and out of a collection, without feeling the pressure to read cover-to-cover. As an editor of YA anthologies myself, I think about this a lot — I want readers to feel comfortable picking the book up and setting it down wherever feels right and that putting the book aside for weeks won’t impact the greater experience of the book. This is, after all, how so many teens need to read, given how many other things pull their attention.

Let’s take a peek at five anthologies hitting bookshelves this fall (and early next year) that should be on your radar.

Color Outside The Lines edited by Sangu Mandanna (November 12)

This anthology has such a blockbuster line up of writers. At the center is the idea of diversity in relationships, so the book features short stories about interracial romances, LGBTQ+ romances, and more. Authors include Eric Smith, Anna-Marie McLemore, LL McKinney, Adam Silvera, and more.


His Hideous Heart edited by Dahlia Adler (September 10)

I’m 100% here for a collection of stories inspired by Edgar Allan Poe classics. This particular collection does that, and it also offers up the original story alongside it for a really neat reading experience. Authors in this collection include Kendare Blake, Lamar Giles, Caleb Roehrig, and more. I haven’t listened to the audio of this one, but most of (maybe all of?) the authors recorded their own stories, so it might be one for audiophiles to check out that way!

It’s A Whole Spiel edited by Katherine Locke and Laura Silverman (September 17)

There is a real lack of Jewish characters in YA, so this collection is such a wonderful place to hear stories from a wide range of Jewish characters and Jewish writers. The anthology boasts a wide range of genres and tones, with everything from sweet rom coms to explorations of coming to terms with what it means to be Jewish. Authors include David Levithan, Nova Ren Suma, Adi Alsaid, and more.

A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell (March 2020)

Long-time newsletter subscribers may remember when Patrice wrote a fabulous piece for us last year, and I know I’ve been waiting (im)patiently for her first book to arrive. What better introduction than this anthology out early next year that explores black girl magic. Black girls and gender nonconforming teens are central characters in this speculative fiction collection. Authors include stars like Dhonielle Clayton, Elizabeth Acevedo, Ibi Zoboi, and more.

Take The Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance edited by Bethany C. Marrow (October 1)

This book cover is frame-worthy! A timely anthology of short stories about resistance. This would pair so well with so many of the nonfiction books about resistance we’ve seen over the last few years, and it features standout writers like Jason Reynolds, Samira Ahmed, Keah Brown, and more. Resistance is explored in all of its myriad shapes and forms, from protest parades to self-love.

Thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you later this week for some YA news (so many exciting pieces to share!).

— Kelly Jensen, @veronikellymars on Instagram and editor of (Don’t) Call Me Crazy and Here We Are.