1. Dee_xx
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    Dee_xx Member

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    What would my chances be?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Dee_xx, Feb 21, 2010.

    Just a question, but would the chances of getting published at age 12 be very high?

    I've had different answers from different people-but mostly I don't think who I have asked have the slightest idea what they're talking about. I was hoping you guys could help out.

    [Also I'm terribly sorry if this is in the wrong section.]
     
  2. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    My one question to you is:

    Are you a good writer?

    I had a girl in my sixth grade class publish a poetry book. She was darn good at poetry. So again.

    Are you good?
     
  3. Dee_xx
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    Dee_xx Member

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    Well I think I'm pretty good. But its not really my opinion that counts, right? Its the publishers.
     
  4. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    Yes it is. There are several people whom have published their books and are on this site. So if you post down some of your writing (Not the whole book. Otherwise you will have problems publishing it.) when they give you a review you can ask them if this would be able to be published materiel or if you should work harder.
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The chances of being published at any age are fairly low to begin with. Also, some magazines are easier to get accepted in than others. There are plenty of nonpaying markets out there that have high acceptance rates, so if you want to get published just for the sake of getting published, then try submitting to those. But I would recommend against that. Try to aim for the better magazines. Never sell yourself short. I believe there are some teen magazines that specifically need/want pieces from younger writers, so try for those.
     
  6. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    That this man says is true. Though, I would see it a little differently. If you can get yourself published in a nonpaying organization you can then get some recongnition and feedback on how the system works.

    But I would only send them short stories or something that didn't take me years to write. Then I would sell my more difficult pieces to better publishers. They would see that you have been published before and your chances will go up in most cases.
     
  7. FrankB
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    FrankB Member

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    I think your chances of publishing any fiction right now is very low.

    Non-fiction is much easier but you need to have expertise and/or insight in a given area. At your age, that expertise is likely somewhat limited. But you might become a voice for your age-group in media which targets them -- teen or tween magazines or websites.

    In a response I made a few minutes ago to another of your posts, I mentioned I wrote school reports for the local newspaper way-back when. If you have a small weekly paper where you live, you might consider approaching them with a similar idea if they aren't already doing so. Or maybe you could suggest yourself as a tv/movie/book reviewer for programs/films/books aimed at your age group.

    Small community papers are very approachable. They're receptive to working with local writers but you MUST be able to open their eyes with your ability. Prepare samples beforehand. Make sure they run about the same length as similar items in the paper. Make sure the samples are illustrative of your best work. Run the finished products past your English teacher, if possible, to catch typos or grammatical errors you may have missed.

    And be prepared to be offered either no money at all, or a token five or ten bucks. (But I'm assuming a byline is more important to you at this stage than getting rich.)

    How about your school? Does it have its own newsletter aimed at students? If not, why not? Write a sample or two and convince the principal it's a great idea. If they do have one, are you a contributor? If not, knock them out with something.

    Successful writers need to be creative and self-motivators.

    Good luck.
     
  8. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    It never hurts to try. When talented, the age doesn't matter. Regardless, you should ask others to look over your work before publishing.
     
  9. Dee_xx
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    Dee_xx Member

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    Thanks so much for opening up my eyes to the local newspaper. It honestly never crossed my mind to write for them.
    I'll defently talk to my mum about it. Thanks again!

    writewizard: thanks! =D
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    not 'fairly'... VERY!... as close to nil as they can get and still exist... and your young age just makes it worse, as far as books are concerned...

    however, there are magazines for children and teens that routinely publish works by young writers, so concentrate on that for now... you'll find them listed at: www.duotrope.com

    save novels for later, when you've been able to hone your skills and can write well enough to stand out among the beginners and compete with the pros...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  11. FrankB
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    FrankB Member

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    You're welcome.

    I have a hunch you've got the right stuff to make it as a writer, if you persevere.

    That's the missing ingredient for many who otherwise have what it takes to succeed -- perseverance.

    (Luck is really good, too. Try to get some of that going for you.) ;)
     
  12. Dee_xx
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    Dee_xx Member

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    Thanks so much for the link! [and advice.]

    I'll try. :D
     
  13. Michael Daaboul
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    Michael Daaboul Member

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    Just to add with the advice everyone else has suggested, you might want to think about starting a blog.

    Start to get your writing out there by using online mediums. I have spoken to many publishers in Australia and they're always scouting for popular bloggers who can write and have a large following.

    Something to keep in mind.
     
  14. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    I'd say that it could play to your advantage depending on what your story is about.

    For example, if you're writing a book about the presidency of Bill Clinton, your age may hurt you. But, if you're writing a book about some child going through adventures and growing up, it could probably help.

    From a business perspective, your age is a card that can be played to the publishers advantage. So, if it can be played, they'll like that.

    It's the same way that, if there are two novels of equal "goodness" and the publisher is deciding which to pick, if one is based on something that's proven to sell like teenage vampire novels, the publisher pics that one.

    It's also the same as, if you're story is incredibly original, as you submit to more and more publishers, one of them is bound to think it's a good bet to take whereas you don't have this advantage with a teenage vampire novel.
     
  15. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    Firstly, I know little.

    But, if the OP has a document written, wouldn't it be best to get an agent? It's my understanding that is the best way to get published since they hunt for publishers.

    Eragon
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eragon

    This was written by a 15 year old and I assume his desire to do so predates his start of the book. So, 12 is not so crazy a time to begin.

    I have never read the book or seen the movie, but I understand it's derivative of Star Wars. But, who cares for him since he likely enjoyed writing them and has had great success. Somehow, he generated enough confidence to get published so why not OP?
     
  16. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    As was indicated earlier, finding a good publisher, whatever your age, is not an easy task. The better the writer you are, and the better novel you write = the better chances you have.

    The best thing you can do is write and polish that work to the best you can make it, research markets/agents and send it off per their guidelines. Then, while you're waiting, write something else. Most writers continually improve the more they write, and maybe your second novel will succeed where your first one didn't.

    Is it difficult? Yes. Is it impossible? No.
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    fyi, eragon's author had his parents to publish it for him, so it doesn't relate to all young writers' chances of being published...
     
  18. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    What do you mean by that?

    Is the OP homeless?
     
  19. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Paolini's (author of Eragon) parents owned a publishing company, so Paolini basically self-published the book. If I remember correctly, the book was later picked up by a traditional publisher after Eragon started gaining popularity.
     
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  20. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    Oh hell!

    That kind of burns me up.

    Thanks for the response.
     
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    thanks for answering for me, tw!... i don't get here till well after you do, being at GMT+10...

    hugs, m
     
  22. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Eh, not just after it gained popularity, but after a lot of money and time was put into self-marketing, calling in contacts, etc.

    If nothing else, Eragon was a stroke of brilliance when it comes to marketing and creating a sensation.

    I haven't read it personally, nor seen the movie, but wonder how well received it would have been as a lone manuscript amid thousands in some publisher's slush pile, fighting for a second glance.

    Having read the first bit of the prologue, I'd have to say it's mediocre at best. Can't just a book by it's cover, and maybe not fair by the first few paragraphs either... but one does have to impress in such a short space to have a publisher/agent/editor read further than the first page.

    edit: and my point isn't to bash the book, but to point out how writing isn't always the only factor, and how one barely gets a chance to impress under most circumstances, and Eragon may not have found such success without multiple chances to impress (as many chances as his parents seem willing to put money into, really). No sour grapes, though, it's just how the industry works sometimes.
     
  23. lemurkat
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    lemurkat Senior Member

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    There was a short time when it seemed places were hunting down young authors - when "Eragon" made the bestsellers. Three authors that spring to mind are Nancy Yi Fan (book published, age 12 "Swordbird"), Flavia Bujor (age 12, "Prophecy of Gems") and Alexandra Adornetto (age 15, "The Shadow Thief"). I've read books by all of them. "Swordbird" was quite cute, if a little too anthropomorphic, and the Adornetto one I read was a more recent release when she was 19. "Prophecy of Gems" was pretty terrible, the author was trying to include romance - something she lacked the maturity, and (hopefully) experience to do convincingly. If you are a young author writing novels for publishing, I would strongly suggest sticking to what you know. And keep it short. You can check out these three authors if you like - maybe even find samples of their work. I would say for your work to be considered by a publisher you would have to be a very talented writer.

    RE:Eragon - it's cliched and not very well written, but it does draw on all the factors that appeals to that audience. From what I understand, his parents self-published it, and the son of a major author got his hands on it and liked it so much that his father got his publishing house to pick it up. Alledgely the original version bears very little semblance to the published - so it must have received a considerable amount of editting. But that is all just hearsay, rumour and gossip and may in fact be urban myth. I could probably find out more info with google, but I have other things to waste my time doing. Like editting my own novel...

    I am not a published writer, but I am a highly experienced reader. If you wish to share a small sample of your work - say a chapter or so, I would be delighted to give you my opinion. You can send me a PM or an email.

    but I think the idea of writing short stories is a good one.
     
  24. twopounder
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    Eragon was absolutely horrible. I realize that it was written by a child, but that doesn't excuse it from literary requirements. What happened with Eragon is similar to a 9 year old drawing some squiggly stick figures, then selling it as "moder art" for millions of dollars.

    That aside, I've been writing since 6th grade. Granted, my early works were rancid garbage that I wouldn't ask my most hated enemy to read. Oddly enough, people enjoyed them. Enough that I gathered some attention from the Warhammer 40k crowd, and my stories were featured on a website dedicated to hobby.

    Point is, talent can find the youngest of people. You may have a gift of literacy. Even if you do, you need to spend a lot of time practicing your writing and maturing ideas. My current book has been in the back of my mind since my sophomore year of high school (about 12 years). It has just now matured to the point that I am comfortable putting pen to paper. Writing is not simply an activity. It is a process that takes time. It also requires re-writing and re-thinking on a constant basis.
     
  25. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    A very successful and knowledgeable writer/teacher I know has pointed out how writing is one of the few 'arts' that doesn't really have child prodigies. One way or another, there seem to be things a writer must learn before they can be successful; whether tangible things related to the skill of writing/reading or intangible things regarding perspective and life experience, I don't know.

    Sure, some figure it all out faster, and these days there is better writing/reading/literacy instruction available even earlier, but when has anyone seen some kid that just seems to be a competent writer from childhood? We see musicians and artists all the time who seem to be child savants, on Oprah playing/singing/drawing/painting amazing things and just seem naturally gifted (but who imo almost always excel at competence but are still lacking soul and perspective and a depth to their works).

    But when was the last time a child writer just seemed a natural at it, a savant, a prodigy, a born writer? I've never seen one until after years of practice and experience.

    In one class, once, I think someone brought up 'but what about Eragon's writer?' Most of us just sorta laughed, and our instructor had to admit and suppose there was the ability for children to be prodigies of marketing and luck. But the kid was no savant when it came to even competent writing when judged against standards and expectations in the industry, much less excellence.

    And now, as with many areas of entertainment in our country (which I find creepy), kid-writers seem to be all the rage. But again, when you look at their writing it's usually only 'good for an -insert age-' or they're young but already have years of experience and training.

    But, it's neither here nor there, I suppose. Just interesting that babies can pop out of the womb with an ear for music or eye for visual arts, but rarely have a tongue for story telling, much less the natural hand of a writer. My whole life I've been told I was a natural story teller, destined to be a writer and teller of stories, entertainer with my words, etc. Why? Because I was better at it than any of the other kids, most of the time. And guess what, looking back it was all still pretty terrible and has taken years of focus, dedication and study to even become competent at writing and telling stories.

    Not saying it's impossible, but I'm still waiting for that first 13 year old to actually produce a work of quality, moving fiction without seeming nothing more than a construct of editors and parents and marketers, etc. Take heart, though, perhaps it really is impossible to be a child savant when it comes to writing, and we all have a fair shot if we work hard enough.
     

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