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"Underage Writer: the Pros and Cons"
By: Audball audball


Revealing your age when you query an editor or publisher can be a glorious advantage or a terrible mistake. Here list of pros and cons of revealing your age to officials in the writing industry.

Pros-
1. It would certainly get their attention. ("Dear Putnam Penguin, I am a fourteen year old novelist..." the editor will spit out his coffee and run it to his supervisor. "Ed, you see this? A fourteen year old, with a promising story too."
2. The truth is the best policy. Being straight forward about your age in the querying process could prevent problems later. What if a company loved your poem but couldn't publish it because there was a law about age?
3. Scholarships. They would be easier to obtain if it was well known that you were underage when you wrote something good enough to be published.
4. Some publishing companies love the idea of the young writer.

Cons
1. It would certainly get their attention. And not always in a good way. The editor may assume that since you're young, you haven't the life experience or talent to write well, and your query letter could be dumped in the trash without being read past the third sentence.
2. Legal problems may arise if you are not quite honest about your age.
3. Your chances of working with a particular company might be greater if you wait a few years and sharpen the piece you've written and submit it later, rather than pestering them about it now.
4. Whenever you get a rejection letter, (one in which you told them how old you were) you'll wonder if you were rejected because of your age, or because they didn't like your idea. Publishers rarely specify why they're rejecting something.

And so the list is even. Really, it's up the particular writer in their particular circumstances. I might note that I've been trying to publish my work since I was 14, and when a company finally accepted my work, I realized it was the one company I hadn't notified of my age. This could be entirely coincidental.
One final note: DON'T LIE! Never lie to a publisher about your age, your resume... or ANYTHING! It could haunt your for years.
Good Luck!


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