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Mentioning Age in a Query


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#1 ballplaying

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 09:34 AM

I am 17 years old and wrote my first novel when I was 15.  I am currently querying agents to try to publish it, and am wondering whether mentioning my age might give me an advantage or might catch an agent's eye.  I know some young authors, such as Christopher Paolini, for instance, found great success partly because of how young they were when they wrote their book.  So should I mention my age or not?



#2 Springfield

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 10:13 AM

I am 17 years old and wrote my first novel when I was 15.  I am currently querying agents to try to publish it, and am wondering whether mentioning my age might give me an advantage or might catch an agent's eye.  I know some young authors, such as Christopher Paolini, for instance, found great success partly because of how young they were when they wrote their book.  So should I mention my age or not?

No. Paolini didn't find success because of his age; he found success because a famous author's nephew found his self-pubbed book and brought it the author, who handed it to his own editors. 



#3 Litgal

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 03:38 PM

No. Because being under legal age can actually complicate things and more than that because of what Springfield said--your work needs to speak for itself.


Lit. (aka Sophie Perinot)

#4 Constantine Singer

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 04:39 PM

It will depend on what you're writing.

 

If you're writing serious Literary or Genre fiction for adults, hell no.  Nobody wants to read a book about the travails of adulting written by someone who's never even tried it.

 

If you're writing YA, then hell yes.  There is no better evidence that you understand the mind of the target reader than being one yourself.  There have been several minor YA writers I've watched get agented and then published from this very site (Anticipa comes to mind).  They weren't shy about their age.

 

As a minor, you'll need to have your guardian sign off on any paperwork and depending what state you're in there are tax and labor laws regarding how money from sales needs to be dealt with, but that's getting ahead of where you are right now.

 

Best of luck!


Look for NeverWhen, my debut novel from Putnam/Penguin Teen in bookstores everywhere in 2018!





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