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Should You Mention Your Age in a Book Query?

Q. How old do you need to be in order to publish a book? Is there a specific age limit?
- Stacia

A. There is no age limit, Stacia. Didn't S.E. Hinton write The Outsiders when she was just 15?
The bigger question here is whether you should mention your young age in the query letter (your first contact with a literary agent). I get a lot of young people who ask this. My opinion is No. The fact is: A lot of people write books or screenplays when they are young. A lot of what's written by people in high school is just not that good. Mentioning that you're 16 will probably make the agent a little wary. Besides that, age really has nothing to do with it. You have to write a great story. After that, if the agent likes your work and contacts you to talk, she will probably be happy to discover that this awesome novel was written by a youngster, because that will generate publicity when the book comes out.

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The Outsiders was great and everything,
but come on, isn't it obvious that Rumble Fish
was Hinton's better book, and made
a better movie. By the way, Mickey
Rourke is the man.

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