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Am I Too Young To Get Published?

question about freelance writingHello Anne,

I am a student at Antioch High School in Antioch, California.

For quite some time now, I have been in search of freelance writing gigs; however, there is one major problem. No one, and I mean no one, seems to be able to look past the fact that I am only 16 years old. What they do not know is that writing is the first thing on my mind when I wake up in the morning, and one of the main thrills I get out of life.

I am currently in my second year of Advanced Publications, but I have taken three years of journalism. In addition to this, I am currently enrolled in an Advanced English class, which will most definitely strengthen my writing skills.

While I am fully aware that my writing may need some work, I am extremely hard-working and appreciative of constructive criticism.

I was wondering if you could help me out.

Attached are a few of the articles I wrote during my very first year of Advanced Publications, and your opinions are more than welcome. In fact, I would really appreciate them.

Thank you for your time,

QS

Hi QS,

I know where Antioch is! I’ve been there as a matter of fact.

Publishers and editors have no way of knowing how old you are unless you tell them. So no, you’re not too young to get published. Your writing will be judged just like anyone’s will, regardless of age. I’d suggest you say nothing about your age.


That said, your age means you’ve only lived through to the age you are, which puts some kind of limit on your experience. Experience shows up in our writing. On the other hand, you have a real shot at what’s known as a ‘fresh voice.’ Don’t hesitate to submit to magazines and apply for writing jobs. In fact, there are very occasionally ads asking for teenage or young writers. In that case, stating your age might actually help.

Thanks for trusting me with manuscript. However, I charge for evaluations so I just deleted them without reading.

Good luck with your writing career!

[askanne]

[sig]

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Chris

    QS, a woman called C. Hope Clark has a blog called http://www.fundsforwriters.com. She has three very good newsletters that you can subscribe to for free, but one in particular is for young writers, Writing Kid. It has competitions, grants and markets that welcome the work of young writers.

    Off the top of my head Girl’s Life magazine, Shameless magazine and New Moon Girls welcome fresh writing from young women like yourself. The first two are quite well-paying markets, too, IIRC. I’d recommend contacting publications aimed at your age group and offering them the chance to publish the true voice of their readership.

    Best of luck!

    Chris

    • Yes, Hope does an outstanding job… thanks Chris for mentioning her.

  • I started in published writing when I was about your age. My local newspaper had a special teens’ page that ran fortnightly (if memory serves), where a group of high school students would write articles on things that mattered to teenagers, some serious (safe sex), some silly (stupid things to yell out of cars), some just interesting (student exchanges). Maybe there’s something like that where you are? Or maybe you could suggest it to the editor? Ours met its demise when the journo in charge went over to the dark(er) side of PR but you never know unless you ask.
    Lucy Smith recently posted..A new year- a new challengeMy Profile

    • Lucy, thanks… I didn’t start nearly that early. Would love to have a guest post on this topic.

      • Send me an email and we can talk 🙂

        Tell you what though, I found my file of stories I wrote for that and it’s absolutely shocking. It makes very, very entertaining reading!
        Lucy Smith recently posted..A new year- a new challengeMy Profile

  • QS – you might want to target some non-profits in your area. Non-profits often look for writing assistance, but can rarely pay professional rates. I’m not saying you’re not a professional, just that with minimal experience, you might be a good fit. As far as getting a critique of your work, you might want to try some online writing groups. One I recommend is http://www.critters.org. Don’t let the name fool you, it started as a critique group for horror writers (thus the name), but have added several workshops, including non-fiction. You can submit your work and receive critiques at no cost to you, however, you will be asked to critique others in return. Hope this helps.

    Trace

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