I recently received a rejection from my dream agent, who after requesting the full manuscript, had only positive things to stay about my writing. She explained that she really wanted to take it on, but as a YA crossover, dystopian set novel, she doesn’t feel confident enough because the market is currently flooded with this genre.
I've received some other positive feedback from agents about my writing, but haven't had any more manuscript requests and I'm wondering where to go from here. I've been told before to never write to the trend, and dystopian/sci-fi is my passion. The agent expressed interest in any other novels I might have in the pipeline, but the one I'm working on now, also happens to be a science-fiction, slightly dystopian piece. Should I wait for the market to change, or switch to small presses and persevere with querying other agents?
Not writing to trend generally means don't try to write something you think will be popular because today's trends were acquired several years back.
You have a different problem: you like to write what's currently very trendy. And yes, that seems like a good problem to have but it's not.
I'm seeing this with thrillers right now. The market is glutted with terrific writers. Finding what we call "space on the shelf" is increasingly difficult. (It doesn't help that authors who are dead continue to churn out books.)
Your challenge now is to twist the conventions of your category. I have no idea how to do this since I don't read enough dystopian/SF to know the tropes. This is where your knowledge of the category is essential. If you've read the canon (ie the books that are considered classics of the category) and the books that are selling well, and the books that are winning prizes, you'll be able to see what's NOT there. And that's what you write.
These are the books that everyone hears about and says "aw damn, why didn't I think of that!" and crawls off to the Tears of Writers Saloon and Synopsis Hall.