So making a promise to blog once a week was probably not the most prescient decision given that I moved over the weekend and will not have internet at home until next week. Luckily I can type at home, then cut and paste and post at work.

One of the ideas I had for a recurring post was book lists related to a writing-related issue. This might be a stylistic issue, an internal struggle, or just some news story that catches my eye. So, without further ado, I give you Read Write: Booklists for Writers.

Film poster for Young Guns - Copyright 2003, 20th Century Fox. Does Megan love this movie? Yes, yes she does.

The National Book Foundation just announced it’s 5 Under 35, and amongst them was Young Adult author John Corey Whaley. I have not yet had the chance to read Where Things Come Back, but after reading the description, I desperately want to. Reading Rants calls it “Weird, wonderful, and rare”, which is exactly what I look for in a book.

I’m glad that the National Book Foundation was audience age-blind when picking writers to honor. As Sara Zarr puts it, “young adult authors are not the J.V. team of literature.” I have to admit that announcements like this make me a little sad because I am barreling toward 35 myself, and therefore, it seems, no longer a young author. The Young Lion’s Award, too, is for authors up to 35. Not that I ever expected to win these awards, but I don’t like seeing things taken off the table. I feel like I’m just hitting my stride as a writer and as a person, so it’s a bit of hand-smack to hear that I’m actually on my way down. Ah, well, the folks at the MacArthur Foundation can still keep me in mind.

At any rate, in honor of John Corey Whaley’s nomination, here are some authors who made their mark at a young age.

S.E. Hinton was 16 in 1967 when she published The Outsiders, perhaps that’s why the emotions are so palpable, and why it still resonates with teens.

Jackson Pearce was only 25 when she published As You Wish. Sister’s Red and Sweetly followed soon after.

Homeschooled wonderkid Chrisopher Paolini was still in his teens when Eragon hit shelves. And though he managed to graduate by age fifteen, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes has him beat in the publishing race, selling her first book to a major publisher at age fourteen.

Ned Vizzini was writing for The New York Press while still in high school, and his columns were collected into his first book, Teen Angst? Naaah . . . His fourth book, The Other Normals, will be out next fall.

Wondering how Gordon Korman has managed to publish so many fantastic books? It helps that his first book, This Can’t be Happening at Macdonald Hall! was published when he was only fourteen.

All of these writers can be inspirations for teens, though I sometimes fear that they give teen writers misconceptions about the publishing world. Who are your favorite writers in their teens and twenties?

Read Write: Young Guns

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