As a young writer, I’ve heard many times to play my age close to the chest as long as I can.
I mean, on one hand I get it. I still microwave every meal. It’s been less than six months since I attended my last frat party and, hey, let’s face it, I still use the word “like” where it doesn’t belong.
But, then I’m thinking, it’s not as if I graduated from Huggies last week. I have a college degree. I’ve been able to write words for the past, oh, eighteen years. (Can four-year-olds write?) And I’m in law school, darnit!
So what’s the deal? Is age a barrier to getting an agent? A publisher?
At a whopping 22 years old, how much experience could I have?
And yet, there’s a whole bunch of writers that are extremely successful young authors. Jennifer Lynn Barnes is the first that comes to mind. Her debut novel, Golden, sold just a few days before her twenty-first birthday. And I’ve got to admit that her relative youth was one of the reasons I picked up her book, Tattoo, in the first place. Is some of Paolini’s success based on the fact that he’s so young? I think so.
So, in that case, shouldn’t agents/publishers be pumped to get their hands on a young author? After all, we’ve got long careers ahead of us. I’ve got a good forty-five years left in me. And that’s retiring early!
So what do y’all think? How does ageism work in the publishing industry?