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AngelaT.Marie
04-29-2011, 09:44 PM
Is that plausible? I'm sixteen now with a finished novel and an adequate knowledge of agents and publishing companies. I'm sending out queries this summer with cautiously high hopes and I've got a pretty big support group when it comes to my writing. I think I can do it :)

Chris P
04-29-2011, 09:47 PM
I hope you can do it too! There are many teen authors, so why not you?

I know it takes some time to get published, especially via the agent route. it might take all of the two years you have before you're 18, but who cares if you're 18 and a few months or even 19? Shoot, I'm 40 and still a few years from my first book coming out (if anyone will represent the silly thing :()

Welcome to AW!

Phaeal
04-29-2011, 09:53 PM
Has happened many times before, could happen again, and good luck with this goal!

However, setting goals that depend on other people's decisions can be frustrating. Goals that depend on you (I'll write another novel in X months, I'll send out X queries per week, I'll read X books on craft a month, etc.) are more helpful, in my experience.

AngelaT.Marie
04-29-2011, 09:54 PM
@Chris P: Thanks! :) And I hope you'll find someone to represent your book! Good luck!

AngelaT.Marie
04-29-2011, 09:58 PM
@Phaeal: True. I guess its more like a dream. And as for queries... what is the healthy amount to send a week? 5?

Rowan
04-30-2011, 04:01 AM
Is that plausible? I'm sixteen now with a finished novel and an adequate knowledge of agents and publishing companies. I'm sending out queries this summer with cautiously high hopes and I've got a pretty big support group when it comes to my writing. I think I can do it :)

Of course it is! Just one example: http://kodymekellkeplinger.blogspot.com/ (I think she was 17 when she signed and sold her novel--18 at most.)

Dream big.

Everyone has a different strategy when it comes to submitting queries. I usually send out batches of 5 at a time--every week or so. That way if you don't get any responses or if you receive more rejections than requests, you can edit your query letter and/or revisit your first chapter (sample pages). :)

Good luck!

thothguard51
04-30-2011, 04:08 AM
I wish you nothing but good luck, but please bare in mind that anyone under 18 can not sign a legal and binding contract without their parents also signing. This reason alone may make some agents and publishers shy away.

My suggestion, look for teens who have published commercially, (Not self published), and research what agent represented them, or what publishers they published through. This will help when it comes time to do the submissions...

The school or local librarian might be able to help direct you to books by teens. Or good old Google search...teen authors.

AngelaT.Marie
04-30-2011, 07:20 AM
Of course it is! Just one example: http://kodymekellkeplinger.blogspot.com/ (I think she was 17 when she signed and sold her novel--18 at most.)

Dream big.

Everyone has a different strategy when it comes to submitting queries. I usually send out batches of 5 at a time--every week or so. That way if you don't get any responses or if you receive more rejections than requests, you can edit your query letter and/or revisit your first chapter (sample pages). :)

Good luck!

Thank you so much for showing me that!!!!! It really made my night. :) I hope I get as lucky as her :)

AngelaT.Marie
04-30-2011, 07:46 AM
I wish you nothing but good luck, but please bare in mind that anyone under 18 can not sign a legal and binding contract without their parents also signing. This reason alone may make some agents and publishers shy away.

My suggestion, look for teens who have published commercially, (Not self published), and research what agent represented them, or what publishers they published through. This will help when it comes time to do the submissions...

The school or local librarian might be able to help direct you to books by teens. Or good old Google search...teen authors.

Thanks for the advice! I'm definitely trying to stay realistic here but I can't help dreaming haha. I'll look into to the teen authors. I can't help but do so anyway. It's so inspiring :)

benbradley
04-30-2011, 09:58 AM
Isn't there at least one teen author on This Very Site that published before age 18, or darn close to it? Go start reading around in the YA section and see if you can find anyone like that. Look for published books in signatures. :)

Here's hoping you get your lucky Break. :D

RobJ
04-30-2011, 11:51 AM
Is that plausible?
Plausible, yes. Essential, no. I wish you every success, but remember that you have plenty of time ahead in which to achieve your ambitions. In other words, if you don't make it by the time you're 18, you shouldn't consider that a failure.

inkspatters
04-30-2011, 12:54 PM
Of course it's possible! Always allow yourself to dream. Just don't get too hung up on getting published before you're eighteen. Because, as Phael mentioned, often your timeline depends a lot on other people. Will agents and editors take forever to read your manuscript, or will they take a a few days? When will your publisher choose to release your book? (There's usually quite a bit of time between the sale of a book and it's release as other's have mentioned eg my agent sold my book just before I turned eighteen, but I'll be nineteen when it hits shelves.) Setting goals over things you can definitely control -- usually things to do directly with your writing -- keeps you from going insane.

Welcome to AW and good luck! :)

Parametric
04-30-2011, 01:34 PM
I have to say that my desperation to be published before I was 18 caused me nothing but disappointment. When I hit 18 without having accomplished my goal, I felt like a failure. I wasn't a kickass teenage writer any more, I was just another adult. Nothing special. And that was tough to deal with. So if I can pass along some advice, don't get too tied up in the idea of being the teenage prodigy. :)

seun
04-30-2011, 04:20 PM
Yeah, it's possible, but I wonder if it would be a good thing. Too much, too young and all that. Plus do you want to known as a writer or a particularly young writer? Do you want people to read your work because of your talent or your age?

See it as a goal by all means but make sure it's a goal you'll be happy to achieve just as you'll be OK with being published later in life. Good luck either way.

ETA: For what it's worth, my own original goal for publication was 25. Then it went to 30. Now it's some point before I die, hopefully.

RobJ
04-30-2011, 04:38 PM
ETA: For what it's worth, my own original goal for publication was 25. Then it went to 30. Now it's some point before I die, hopefully.
Let's not rule out being published posthumously, if it comes to that. Last resort, of course ;)

elindsen
04-30-2011, 08:07 PM
Totally possible. B7ut like others have said, don't consider yourself a failure if not. You've finished a book. That is a huge accompilishment. Good luck!

Belle_91
04-30-2011, 08:11 PM
I have to say that my desperation to be published before I was 18 caused me nothing but disappointment. When I hit 18 without having accomplished my goal, I felt like a failure. I wasn't a kickass teenage writer any more, I was just another adult. Nothing special. And that was tough to deal with. So if I can pass along some advice, don't get too tied up in the idea of being the teenage prodigy. :)

This. I wanted to be published before a finished high school. I had some sort of strange delusion that if I got published I could get some sort of scholarship and not have to pay my tutition. I didn't get published before high school, am almost finished with my freshman year of college, and completely happy. If I had published my book at 18, it would have been crap. I'm so glad I have taken the time to edit everything and make sure it shines like gold when I send it to agents :)

It's a good dream to have, being published so young, but know that your world won't end if you don't.

MsJudy
04-30-2011, 08:12 PM
Sure, some folks get published young. For some of them, it's the beginning of a long, steady career. And for others, it's a flash-in-the-pan, one-hit-wonder kind of thing where they haven't developed the skills or the maturity to keep consistently producing quality work. So...

Just be careful what you wish for. I know that for me, personally, the years of frustration and delay have been a good thing. My writing is much better for it, and so is my life. When I was 18, a negative review would have crushed me. Now, meh, I can deal with it better.

The important thing is to write because you love to write, and let the rest happen as it needs to.

kaitie
04-30-2011, 09:09 PM
It's possible, but really difficult. My goal had originally been to be published before I was 18, too. I wrote my first novel at 16, but never really had the guts to query it. I sent off a few short stories in college and I won a contest, but never really got anywhere.

I took a real hit to the self-esteem, and it wasn't until ten years later that I started getting really serious about trying again. This time instead of setting age goals, I set goals about finishing my books, polishing them, continuing to try, and learning about the craft, with the number one goal being to find an agent. I've actually met that one now, which is amazing to me (I just turned 30). It took two years of damned hard work, and about five of really working to improve my craft (looking back at my first novel, it totally sucked lol), but it was just a matter of perseverance.

So I'd say it's possible, but don't be upset if you don't reach it, either. Think of a goal is more of a guideline than a requirement, and just keep working. It's a tough business, and honing the craft is tough, and rejection is tough, so staying positive and loving the process is one of the big keys to sticking with it, I think. :) Good luck!

PinkAmy
04-30-2011, 11:08 PM
I have to say that my desperation to be published before I was 18 caused me nothing but disappointment. When I hit 18 without having accomplished my goal, I felt like a failure. I wasn't a kickass teenage writer any more, I was just another adult. Nothing special. And that was tough to deal with. So if I can pass along some advice, don't get too tied up in the idea of being the teenage prodigy. :)

This is very good advice.
You've created an artificial goal for yourself. To be published by a certain time. You could have created be married by the same date, but neither is entirely in your control (unless you self publish.)
What would it mean to you to be published before you're 18?

What would it mean if you weren't?

The answers to those questions are what you're telling yourself, the meaning you are placing on this goal. Don't rest your self esteem or happiness on this goal, because it's not in your control.

Confidence is a good thing, especially in the publishing business. because you'll here NO a lot more than yes. Being optimistically-realistic is your best bet. Good luck.

Jamesaritchie
05-01-2011, 12:21 AM
Is that plausible? I'm sixteen now with a finished novel and an adequate knowledge of agents and publishing companies. I'm sending out queries this summer with cautiously high hopes and I've got a pretty big support group when it comes to my writing. I think I can do it :)

Of course it's possible. The big problem with goals such as this one is what happens if you aren't published by the time you're eighteen?

Some things are fully under a writer's control, and some simply are not. When you get published isn't.

But it sounds like you;re doing everything right. You're not only writing, but finishing what you write, and you're studying the business. It's amazing how many who have been writing for years, or even decades, who can't claim this.

My advice is to forget all about age eighteen. If it happens, it happens, but it simply is not under your control. Never set a goal unless you can make it happen.

What you can do, what is fully under your control, is how often you write, how many projects you finish, how many of these projects you submit, and how well you know the business.

The simple flat out truth is that Heinlein's Rules work. Each one is 100% within your control, and if you have even a speck of talent, and a tiny modicum of common sense, following these rules will make you a published writer.

Make following these rules your goal, and as long as you have that speck of talent, that modicum of common sense, you'll succeed.

Read this by Award winning writer Robert J. Sawyer, and believe every word of it: http://www.sfwriter.com/ow05.htm

Shallee
05-01-2011, 05:03 AM
I have a friend who's 18 and just got agented. It's always possible! But even if you don't get published before then, you've still got plenty of years ahead to be a great writer. Good luck!

honeysock
05-01-2011, 08:33 AM
And then there's AWer http://hannahmosk.blogspot.com/ , author of B r e a k and Invincible Summer.

Is that who you were talking about, BenBradley???

(Hannah, where are you?)

Fiona
05-01-2011, 08:03 PM
Good luck! Of course there is no reason why you shouldn't set yourself a goal and strive for that. If you don't get there, you won't have lost anything by trying - and the great thing is, you are so young that you have many years ahead to achieve this.

I wish I started at your age.

AngelaT.Marie
05-01-2011, 08:19 PM
WOAH! This thread has gotten popular!

To answer a few questions:

Eighteen is really just a number for me. When I was fourteen I was saying sixteen. I really just want to keep myself motivated and keep trying to get published. If I don't get published by the time I'm eighteen, I won't die. I promise you.

I guess I should say I'd like to get an agent before I'm 18. The publishing companies seem to be on their own clock and you guys are right, I should have a more personal goal. Even that, isn't one though really. My original goal was to finish writing a book (check(: ) So now I guess my next goal can be to get the guts up to send out queries.

If I didn't get an agent before college, I'd probably go to a music college and pursue my music and leave my writing as a hobby. It's not that I would think I failed, it's just, I can't decide which career path to follow. Both author and musician are risky businesses that rely on appeasing mass crowds and lots of talent for success. So if I can't get an positive reaction from strangers with my writing like I do with my music then... It would seem music would be the better choice. (I hope this makes sense)

Oh and does anybody know any agents that are known to represent teens? If so, that would be muy helpful. Thanks(:

AngelaT.Marie
05-01-2011, 08:30 PM
The simple flat out truth is that Heinlein's Rules work. Each one is 100% within your control, and if you have even a speck of talent, and a tiny modicum of common sense, following these rules will make you a published writer.

Make following these rules your goal, and as long as you have that speck of talent, that modicum of common sense, you'll succeed.

Read this by Award winning writer Robert J. Sawyer, and believe every word of it: http://www.sfwriter.com/ow05.htm

It makes me so happy that I have followed the first three and plan on following the last three. Thank you for those. I think I print them out and keep them at my desk. :)

MsJudy
05-01-2011, 08:36 PM
Absolutely don't limit yourself in any way. One of the beautiful things about writing, compared to all the other arts, is you can do it anywhere, no special tools or equipment required. So, go to music college, pursue that dream with all your energy, and keep writing every chance you get. there's no either/or. What you will find is that the two arts will feed each other. Things you learn about structure and discipline and craft and art and history through music will find a place in your writing.

I did that. "Oh, well, I'm not published yet, so I should move on." I got my teaching credential and stopped writing for a little while.

What I found was that teaching actually led me to the sort of writing I should have been doing all along. Working with kids, being immersed in kids' literature, helping misfit kids find their place in the world--those all became what I write. If I had resisted making a real career out of teaching, I would have missed out on what makes me a good writer.

Look at people like Hemingway and Jack London. They didn't sit home waiting to become famous writers. They went out and lived amazing lives, which then became amazing stories. Pat Conroy is another who got his first big break by writing about the job he got while he was waiting to get his first big break... It happens all the time.

Dive in headfirst to life. Even the yucky parts make good stories.

Amarie
05-01-2011, 08:42 PM
Look at people like Hemingway and Jack London. They didn't sit home waiting to become famous writers. They went out and lived amazing lives, which then became amazing stories. Pat Conroy is another who got his first big break by writing about the job he got while he was waiting to get his first big break... It happens all the time.

Dive in headfirst to life. Even the yucky parts make good stories.


I agree with this 100%. I didn't get published until I was fifty, but I've had so many great experiences and really low points in my life, all of which has made me better able to tell stories.

AngelaT.Marie
05-01-2011, 08:52 PM
Absolutely don't limit yourself in any way. One of the beautiful things about writing, compared to all the other arts, is you can do it anywhere, no special tools or equipment required. So, go to music college, pursue that dream with all your energy, and keep writing every chance you get. there's no either/or. What you will find is that the two arts will feed each other. Things you learn about structure and discipline and craft and art and history through music will find a place in your writing.


You're absolutely right! I never thought of it that way... I always thought that my writing could feed into my music but I never really thought that my music could feed into my writing. Thanks for that!

PinkAmy
05-02-2011, 07:24 PM
So if I can't get an positive reaction from strangers with my writing like I do with my music then... It would seem music would be the better choice. (I hope this makes sense)
:
You are giving away your power and putting too much emphasis on things you cannot control. Is a positive reaction strangers telling you that you write great? If so there are enough enablers who would tell anyone that what they've written is good, just to be encouraging. What if a positive reaction is lots of constructive criticism, so much that it elevates your writing to a whole new level. That might even be more valuable to you than getting an agent, especially if you want a career in which you improve your craft. If everyone who didn't have an agent by 18 decided to forgo writing, there wouldn't be very many writers. I assume you're going to college to learn, not just for the piece of parchment they give you at the end of your course work. If you love writing, go for it. Don't choose music because you haven't had what you have artificially defined as success.
Why not go to a school where you can do a double major, even if you eventually decide to choose one over another, you've given yourself enough time to further know which avenue you want to pursue. Or do a major and a minor.
You're too young to limit yourself and limit your passions.
If five years you will look back at this post and smile at how much you've learned and grown since writing this. :)

AngelaT.Marie
05-03-2011, 02:29 AM
See the problem is... I love music. BUT I know nothing about it besides the basics I learned in choir and from the performances I've given. So either way I'll probably be going to a music college. And I WILL NEVER GIVE UP WRITING! If I do the characters in my head will rebel and drive me insane haha. I'd love to double major but their aren't many well accredited colleges that have both majors and teach them well. Tis a sad fact :(

kellion92
05-03-2011, 03:12 AM
Good luck, Angela. But there are many colleges that teach writing and music well. Most flagship state universities do. My alma mater is private, but it has a top music conservatory and writing program. I can't believe this is rare.

kaitie
05-03-2011, 04:53 AM
I wasn't a big fan of writing classes, anyway. ;) I have three degrees and none are in writing, and I have a day job and I continue to write, as does almost everyone here. Go for whatever you want, and you can always write on the side. :) Actually, it's a better idea because it's so incredibly difficult to make a living solely writing anyway.

TerraAnn
05-04-2011, 01:44 AM
I wish you the best of luck! I think anything is possible, so you never know. And I'm one of those people who likes to prove people wrong when they say I can't. I say go for it and I hope you make it!

Ashes Oh Ashes
05-04-2011, 08:50 AM
If Christopher Paolini can do it, so can you. :)

Whimsigirl
05-04-2011, 05:54 PM
Wow, I feel like you're a twin of who I was in high school. I finished writing a novel around 16, queried for a little bit, then my writing sort of dwindled because I was a very serious musician and I decided to focus on my music instead.

Went to a fantastic liberal arts school where I majored in music and took creative writing classes, but the ironic thing is after I graduated I started to write again, got an agent, now am very confused about my career path lol.

Anyway, what I wanted to tell you is that you don't have to give up music or writing. In fact, it might be good to let either way bake for a little bit. I certainly think that as a musician/writer I have the luxury of going back and forth from one to another, and actually I think both arts feed off each other.

Good luck!

Rowan
05-06-2011, 11:17 PM
Thank you so much for showing me that!!!!! It really made my night. :) I hope I get as lucky as her :)

She's an AW Member ("Blind Writer"). :)

Here's a link: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=176524

benbradley
05-07-2011, 12:20 AM
And then there's AWer http://hannahmosk.blogspot.com/ , author of B r e a k and Invincible Summer.

Is that who you were talking about, BenBradley???

(Hannah, where are you?)
I suppose you saw me capitalize Break. :D

Shady Lane
05-07-2011, 12:44 AM
And then there's AWer http://hannahmosk.blogspot.com/ , author of B r e a k and Invincible Summer.

Is that who you were talking about, BenBradley???

(Hannah, where are you?)

Heeeeeeeeere

Satori1977
05-07-2011, 04:15 AM
Of course you can do it. But in no way should you give up if it doesn't happen. Many great writers only became that way after gaining more experience. By simply living. You don't have to take writing classes or major in writing to be an author. (Though taking some classes in the basics would be helpful if you need help with that).

In fact, I would say most of the people on this site are double your age or more.

TerraAnn
05-08-2011, 02:05 AM
Of course you can do it. But in no way should you give up if it doesn't happen. Many great writers only became that way after gaining more experience. By simply living. You don't have to take writing classes or major in writing to be an author. (Though taking some classes in the basics would be helpful if you need help with that).

Good point! I would like to cosign this.

I'm 21, so I'm relatively young myself. I of course want to get my book published right now. Right this very second. So you can trust me when I say that I get your hunger for wanting to get published right now. But at the same time, alot of great authors had to work a very long time to get to where they are at. Some get published faster than others. And it isn't necessarily about talent. It could also be about the timing. Timing can mean alot. I think when it comes down to it, what's meant to be will always find it's way. That's not to say don't keep trying. I think you should definately keep working hard towards your goal. And I do wish you success. But just know that if it doesn't happen right away, you still should keep working hard. Don't give up on yourself. If you're meant to make it, then you will make it when the timing is right. :)

Little1
05-19-2011, 04:44 PM
I just want to take a second to second what the others have said. It is WONDERFUL that you want to try and get published and that you have FINISHED a book. Most don't even get that far! CONGRATS and WELCOME :) Pls don't be discuraged if you don't get published before your 18 (I hope you do but..