“YA memoir” is tricky to pin down since it’s just emerging as an “official” category, but Gretchen Hirsch, an associate editor at Atheneum, took a stab at defining it for us: “The unifying theme seems to be people who grew up in unusual or even tragic circumstances – with hope for the future.” While these memoirs are written in first person, past tense, the narratives put readers in the moment with their immediacy and their ability to ditch the preachy sophistication that often accompanies an adult’s critiquing of his childhood. Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff and Three Little Words: A Memior by Ashley Rhodes-Courter are two of Gretchen’s favorites. Both narratives use a straightforward, declarative style. There are also notable YA writers who’ve marketed their autobiographies to their YA audience, with crossover appeal to adult fans: Walter Dean Meyers’s Bad Boy: A Memoir, Jack Gantos’s Dark Hole in My Life, and David Small’s highly visual Stitches. While YA Memoir doesn’t seem to be a trend per se, there’s definitely growing interest in this category. If you’ve got an “unusual” past, might be time to revisit it in your writing.