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How Young is Too Young to Publish?

By Edward Nawotka

Today’s lead story looks at the controversy surrounding a bogus 23-book-deal struck with a six-year-old boy.

On the face of it, it is simply absurd to think that a publisher would make such a deal, let alone with someone so very young. When I was five, I wrote a “book” called The Cat That Could Fly — but it was published in a limited edition of one, on construction paper, bound in yarn, with illustrations in crayon.

Youth in writers is desirable, largely for marketing purposes. Certainly prodigies exist in other artistic fields (music, especially), but in writing they are rare to non-existent. Yes, the occasional bestselling author can be shockingly youthful, think of Mattie Stepanek, or merely a teen, like Christopher Paolini. But how young is too young to publish?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

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  1. Posted September 13, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Our youngest author was 10 when she published her book, “Jazlyn’s Big Change” by Riley Pearson. Today’s child is much more sophisicated and better educated.
    We encourage the youth of today.

  2. Posted September 15, 2010 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    It’s all down to experience and skill. Different people are ready at different ages. The question “How young is too young to publish?” is unanswerable for that reason. Everyone’s different. The best antidote to a reader’s qualms over a youthful face is a darn good book.

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