Sunday, November 7, 2010

Teen Authors Who Got Published

There are a lot of teens who, like me, dream of getting published before they hit 20.  There are also a lot of experienced editors, publishers, and authors who say it's all good and well for teens to practice writing for their future careers as authors, but that the inexperience of teens and the publishing industry usually doesn't mix and teens should wait until they are older and have polished their craft before they start submitting manuscripts.  I'm a believer in lots of practice (and plenty of trial and error) when it comes to writing. 

But in the spirit of NaNoWriMo (and since I'm a hardcore procrastinator), I decided to list a few noteworthy teens who didn't let age and inexperience stop their books from hitting the shelves.  Hopefully it might serve as inspiration and a mental pick-up for those of us who are hard at work on our NaNoWriMo and otherwise manuscripts. :)

Christoper Paolini: Author of The Inheritance Cycle

Christoper Paolini graduated from homeschool at the age of 15 and subsequently began working on his debut novel, Eragon, a Tolkien-style fantasy of dragons and civil war starring a young farm boy who discovers he is the last of one of the fabled Dragon Riders.  (Which, if you haven't yet read, you should.  It's an awesome book.)  Eragon was published by Christopher's parents company Paolini International LLC-- he even drew the picture for the first edition cover himself.  A few years later Eragon was picked up by a major publishing co and became a bestseller, Paolini an instant literary rockstar.  Since then Christoper Paolini has published two equally amazing sequels to Eragon: Eldest and Brisingr.  The last-- yet untitled-- book in the series will hopefully be published sometime next year.  Here's a link to Christopher Paolini's website:

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes: Author of The Den of Shadows Quartet
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes published her first YA novel In The Forests of Night when she was only fourteen. Since then she has never failed to publish a new YA novel every single year after the release of her first.  She is best known for her Den of Shadows Quartet: In The Forests of Night, Demon In My View (my favorite), Midnight Predator, and Shattered Mirror. Most of Amelia's novels feature vampires and shapeshifters-- she has been called a 'teen Anne Rice'. She maintains a website about her books, life, and canon at

SE Hinton: Author of The Outsiders and other books 

Tulsa-born SE (aka Susan Eloise) Hinton's first novel The Outsiders was published in 1967, when she was sixteen years old.  The Outsiders is the story of Pony-Boy, an outcast teen who lives with his brothers on the 'wrong side of town' and ends up getting blamed and going on the run for a murder a friend committed.  The Outsiders quickly became a bestseller and later a classic YA novel.  It was also adapted into a (fairly awesome) movie.  Her second book That Was Then, This is Now was published four years later, followed by Rumble Fish and Tex, each marking a period of four years.  There are also movie adaptations of That Was Then, This is Now and Rumble Fish.  Today SE Hinton writes books for elementary-age kids.

Walter Farley: Author of the Black Stallion Books

Wow, I started reading the Black Stallion series when I was only seven years old.  What I didn't know is that their author Walter Farley wrote the first book in the series when he was in high school.  (Granted the book was not actually published until he was twenty-six, but that's still quite an accomplishment considering the popularity and general brilliance of The Black Stallion.  This debut novel, followed by literally dozens of sequels, was later adapted into an excellent movie of the same title.  If you'd like to check out these books (which I recommend to any fellow horse lover), then the series website is The Black

Alexandra Adornetto: Author of Halo and several other books

Australian author Alexandra Adornetto was thirteen years old when she decided to 'become a recluse' and begin writing her first novel, The Shadow Thief.  The book was published in 2007, when Alexandra was 15, and she was written and published another book every year since, continuing with The Lampo Circus and Von Gobstopper's Arcade.  Her newest book, Halo, has gotten a lot of publicity on book blogs recently. (Though I've yet to read it!)  It's about an angel, Gabriel, and his sisters Ivy and Beth, the youngest angel, whom comes to Earth with her siblings and proceeds to fall in love with a mortal boy.  Halo is apparently the first in a new trilogy.

I stumbled across a few more teen authors while Googling, but in the end I only included the ones whose books I have read or that I've heard about before.  Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this little article.  Now disable your Wi-Fi and get back to writing! :)


Vee said...

There's also Kody Keplinger, Hannah Moskowitz, Steph Bowe and William Kostakis and LM Fuge (those are the ones I can think of off hand). Tbh, though, I don't think the industry is as anti-teenager as it can sometimes appear to be. My agent's had my manuscript on submissions to editors for a while, and there hasn't been anything overly condescending about my age etc. It's kind of just being measured by the same standard as adult authors, which is good :)

Great post and good luck with NaNo! :D

Kat said...

It's great to hear that the publishing industry is more open to teens than I thought. Good luck getting your manuscript accepted!!

GABY said...

I like when teenagers get published, but at the same time I'm not sure about it because probably they haven't find their author voice or something.

But I can say that Christopher Paolini is an excellent writer. I'm actually waiting for the last book of Eragon.

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