March 29, 2013

Are You Young Enough to Be Published

Filed under: book festival,talk — Tags: , , — Rhiannon Lassiter @ 12:05 pm

On Saturday 23 March I appeared at the Oxford Literary Festival alongside Abigail Gibbs and Bidisha on a panel composed of authors who’d all been published at a young age, chaired by Geraldine Brennan.

We met before the panel in the Green Room and were given bags of loot, pictured left, containing a bottle of wine, box of tea and packet of chocolate. And a book, of course.

The panel seemed to go very well. The audience was full of young people, each with a parent in tow, clearly planning their domination of publishing. We got good questions from the chair and from the audience. “How do I keep interested in what I’m writing?” “Should I look for an agent or a publisher first?” “Have you suffered from second book syndrome?” (I answered that one here on the blog last year.)

If you’re wondering about the panel title (I was) the reason why it’s “Are you young enough to be published?” is that there’s a theory that publishers and reviewers are more excited by authors in their teens or their 80s than by those who are somewhere in between: the mid-list middle-aged middle-children of the industry! So if you missed your window of publication as a teen, hold on for your second lease of life as a pensioner…

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