Over the last few weeks I keep coming across the story of the two American writers, Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manja Brown, who were asked by their agent to either remove gay characters from their YA books or to ‘straighten’ them. The story first appeared on the Publishers Weekly Genreville blog, but the authors, although happy to discuss what they were told to do by the agent, refused to name them. The name of the agent ultimately came to light, but they subsequently refuted the story put forward by the two authors.
Have other writers had a similar experience to Malorie, or have there been problems? And is the divide between what’s deemed acceptable in teen lit and in YA lit becoming wider?
Or is it that better-known writers are afforded more latitude??