Friday, 18 January 2013

Throwing my hat in the ring by Miriam Halahmy

 I love the way the English language is constantly evolving. I’m writing a poem about it at the moment and how my generation simply didn’t have words like partner, black, celebrity and the only X we knew was in x-ray.
So I must admit that I am rather relishing the new word on the Y.A. block – Sicklit. 
Pretty cool, you must admit and definitely edgy.
 I’ve started to trawl back through my entire canon  *grins* to see if any of my published works can be categorised under sicklit. 

Depending on your point of view, probably all of it to be honest. I’ve written about torture, near drowning, human rights ( well it is a gritty issue), drugs, dysfunctional families, child death, self harming, lying to the police, cancer....

elective mutism,  racism, bullying..... nuff said.

But above all, I have written about characters with powerful emotions, coping with real life, like walking the dog, cooking and shopping, doing a newspaper round, falling in love, bitching with your mates, laughing with your mates, teachers, parents, falling in love, being a sibling, falling in love.... yes, I love writing teenage romance and for me, this is going to be placed at the heart of all my books, whatever the obstacles I am putting before my characters.

Love makes the world go round and everyone from the tiniest baby experiences some kind of love. So if my published works contain hard to handle issues, you can be sure that they are set within strong characters, a good dash of humour, a lot of loving and always a positive way forward on the closing pages. I like all my stories to end on hope – it keeps me going and I want my readers to feel that life always holds out hope.
Sicklit is a great word – but I don’t think we are yet at all sure what it really means. That’s what is so wonderful about language – it’s always changing.
Tell The Edge what you think!


  1. I've never heard of 'sicklit' until now but what a great word!

  2. I think you'll be hearing it a lot more Carolyn!

  3. I love that you have made this a language issue and not another discussion about the rights or wrongs of it, although in trying to define it (I'm doing that right now) it kind of highlights the folly of trying to narrow something down into a definition and one of the nice things about YA is that it can be so much more than a predefined genre.

  4. I've written about this on my blog, but one of the most infuriating things about the 'sicklit' label is the imprecise definition. Cancer, suicide, self harm - these are different things!

  5. I agree ( both Michele and Keren) and I think that the most interesting thing is the huge range of opinion and writing which has emerged from this new term....I love a good barney - sharpens us all up....