What is Circa Adult Fiction?

Circa Adult Fiction is an age demographic/genre of fiction (like YA, NA, or Adult), but it’s more than that. It refers to that period between teenage years (13-18) and true adulthood (YMMV). It’s that journey of self-discovery after high school. It’s that struggle of college (or whether it’s even worth the loans). It’s your first job (or unpaid internship). It’s your first apartment or your first car or the years you spend living in your parents’ attic that Western culture constantly wants to shame you for. It’s those years before you feel truly “adulted”, whenever those years are for you.

How is it different from New Adult?

Circa Adult Fiction at it’s core is New Adult. They both encompass the same idea–fiction for 18-30 year olds give or take. However, New Adult has become known for its “steamy bedroom scenes” and tends to cater to a fairly narrow clientele.

Circa Adult is about everything that can happen before true adulthood. It encompasses fantasy and romance and psychological thrillers. It explores being poor and a POC and queer and disabled. It is a genre meant to encompass the full spectrum of diverse stories that live within up-and-coming adults.

New Adult – Erotica Stigma + Diversity = Circa Adult

Why the Hashtag? #CirAdultFic

The idea of Circa Adult Fiction already exists–erotica-free, diverse, New Adult Fiction is definitely a thing–but finding it is hard. People are automatically deterred from these stories once they get labeled “New Adult”, so many of them are just labeled as “Adult”, or, even worse, “YA”.

I’ve spoken to a lot of different readers who love the concept, but really wanted a new term. They were sick of trying to read New Adult and just getting stuck with Erotica, or not being able to talk about New Adult books without people thinking they were talking about Erotica. It’s confusing, and with these stories being published (particularly by Big Publishing) at much lower rates than other books, they need a clear, easy way to be seen.

I came up with the idea of Circa Adult as a way to help me organize exactly what I’m looking for in a book. It’s easier to link people to this page than it is to deconstruct the entire of idea of New Adult, and a hashtag just makes everything easier.

Any books I read that fit the Circa Adult label will be tagged with #CirAdultFic. Why? So I can find them again, and so–the next time I get asked for recommendations–I have a simple way to link fellow readers to these stories.

Are you reading/writing stories that fit this category? Use the tag! The more people feed into this tag, the easier it’ll be for readers to find stories they love, and the more publishing will realize that there is a market for these stories.