If the first three months of 2022 are any indicator, the pandemic is still informing what creators are writing about, and the proof is in the inbox. Here are the two very clear directions writers are pursuing:
- The world is dire.
- Time to escape.
Big trends showing up in our query inbox
- WWII is back with a vengeance—although it’s perennial as a historical subgenre and, therefore, never really goes away. But there seems to be a yearning for a time when the world united against a great evil and prevailed. I do appreciate wishful thinking, and with all that is unfolding in the Ukraine, WWII stories are not a hearkening to a time that was simpler, but to a time when the moral compass seemed clear.
- Post-apocalyptic fiction is surging, especially climate-based stories.
- Dystopian fiction featuring evil dictators. (Ahem: Putin anyone?)
- Demons, demons, so many demons. We think this might be a way to personify an evil that, at least in some stories, can always be defeated, and in other stories, turned to good or leveraged for the protagonist’s benefit. There is catharsis in the ability to create on the page that which might not be happening in the world.
- Horror. This is super hot in Hollywood, so it’s not a surprise to see so many horror projects in our query inbox. What we’re seeing most in the horror space? Contemporary stories with some horror edge.
- Gods-based fantasies in which the protagonist is a god, must become a god, is descended from a god, or must defeat one or more gods. Perhaps this is another way of creating a palatable world to be in.
- RomComs! The heartwarming, engaging beach read. Yes, bring it on! All of us can use this type of escape, and I know editors are looking, which means we’re looking too.
- Intrigue in historical settings. Anything set in the past is an escape of sorts—although I imagine writers don’t necessarily think of it that way.
Other interesting trends
- Middle-grade stories in verse. Poetry is having a cultural moment. It’s no surprise that’s currently mirrored in current storytelling.
- LGBTQ everything. There is always room for great stories. Take that, Texas and Florida.