How do you write a YA novel now? Narinder Dhami tells us here

15 Mar 2016 / Writing Advice

As a YA writer, where do you draw your inspiration from? And what do you think are the biggest challenges for writers working in your genre?

As a YA writer, I draw my inspiration from real life and the modern world we live in. I don’t ‘do’ fantasy or historical fiction. I enjoy writing about the world today – the hidden, the surprising, the light, the dark, the humour, the dangers, the technology, the fast pace of living.

NarinderDhami-web1When you’re writing a book set in the real world, you want the readers to feel that the characters, situations and language are believable. And that’s the challenge, as a writer for young people when you’re no longer quite so young yourself.

It can be daunting when you realize how much has changed since you were fifteen yourself, even if you’re still only thirty. I don’t think writing fantasy fiction is an easier option, but at least then you’re in charge of your own world. And if you write historical fiction, you don’t have to deal with the twin issues of current slang or technology at all!


And yet, despite the massive changes in society, young people still struggle with the same issues as they did years before.

It’s still traumatic when you’re dumped by your first love or you fall out with your best friend or you get bullied. And that makes the challenge of writing for young adults easier. We’ve all been there.


Maitreyabandhu – Full Circle at The Hurst

13 Nov 2018 / #Arvon50

On May 21st this year I will catch a train to The Hurst in the company of the wonderful Mimi Khalvati,…

Read more
Nick Grant Arvon

Remembering Nick Grant

12 Nov 2018 / News

It is with a heavy heart that we share this sad news. Our dear friend Nick Grant passed away peacefully on…

Read more

Ruth Borthwick announces her departure

08 Nov 2018 / Chief Executive

Arvon today announces that Ruth Borthwick will step down in April 2019, after a decade as Artistic Director and Chief Executive….

Read more
Lois Pryce Arvon Creative Writing Course

Lois Pryce – Arvon at 50

06 Nov 2018 / #Arvon50

In the mid-90s, aged 22, I landed my dream job at an indie record label. This was mainly due to a…

Read more
Read more

This website uses cookies to give you the best experience. Agree by clicking the 'Accept' button.