Do you know these famous teen authors?
- The Diary of Anne Frank was begun when she was only 13 years old. Sadly, Anne Frank died before she had a chance to write more books.
- How to Talk to Girls was written by a nine-year-old boy, Alec Greven.It went on to become a New York Times bestseller and is now available in French, German and Spanish. Greven also wrote books on how to talk to Moms, Dads, and even Santa. His latest is called Rules for School.
- In the Forests of the Night, the first book in the Den of Shadows quartet, was written by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes when she was only 13. All four books in the quartet have become American Library Association Quick Picks. Teen People magazine also named Atwater-Rhodes one of the 20 Teens Who Will Change the World. P.S., she’s still writing….
- Christopher Paolini was 15 when he wrote the first draft of Eragon.
He self-published that book and his family helped promote it until it reached the attention of a major publisher. Paolini was only 23 when the movie of his first book came out.
- S. E. Hinton began writing The Outsiders when she was 17; it was published when she was 19 and a freshman in college. Four of her books have been made into movies (The Outsiders, Rumble Fish, Tex, and That was Then…This is Now) starring such actors as Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Tom Cruise, Diane Lane, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez, and Patrick Swayze.
And these are just starting out!
There are lots of teen authors today who are self-publishing, and quite a few who have been signed by major publishing houses. Unless their biography is available, readers might not know how young these talented writers really are.
- Stefan Bachmann is 19 and a dual U.S.-Swiss citizen. He began writing his steampunk novel The Peculiar (published in September, 2012) at age 16. The book was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, became a #1 bestseller in Switzerland, and rights have been sold in seven languages.
- Bestselling self-published author Tammara Webber wrote the first half of Easy when she was 19.
- YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association)’ The Hub blog recently featured these young writers:
- Nancy Yi Fan wrote Swordbird at age 11, to deal with her emotions about September 11th. Now 19, Fan attends Harvard University and has written two more books. Click here to read her inspiring pep talk for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
- Australian-born Jack Heath published his first novel, The Lab, in 2006 at the age of 20. Thirteen other books for teens and adults have followed.
- Kody Keplinger was 19 when her book The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (2011 Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers) was published in 2010.
Ready to be famous?
Check out these markets and contests that accept teen writing, or A Teen’s Guide to Getting Published: Publishing for Profit, Recognition, and Academic Success.
If you’re not quite ready, try a summer boot camp for writers.
- The Iowa Young Writers’ Studio – A summer camp specifically for high school students who want to improve their writing. Intensive classes offered in poetry, fiction, and essay writing. Very prestigious. Lots of hard work!
- Located in northern Michigan, Interlochen Arts Camp offers summer creative writing programs for students in grades 6-12. Study poetry, fiction and playwriting in a supportive environment, guided by a faculty of professional writers and teachers.
- · The Summer Young Writers Workshop at Bard College at Simon’s Rock is a three-week summer writing program for students currently completing grades 9,10, and 11.
- Two separate Summer Teen Writing Camps at University of Minnesota-Rochester for grades 7-9 and 10-12.
- For other programs, do an Internet search of “teen writing camps.”
Best wishes to all the teens who are writing, writing, writing!
Let me know what you’re working on.