After reading our article on Christopher Paolini from November 2016, I was impressed by his expression of talent at such an early age. Being a comparatively late bloomer, it is wonderful to see such dedication to their passion, and, in many cases, some well-deserved recognition.
I went looking for some other inspiring young authors, and came across these…
Dorothy Straight was born on the 25th of May, 1958, in Washington, D.C., and starts our list off by being officially the youngest published author. In 1962 Dorthy wrote How the World Began for her grandmother. As proud parents are wont to do, they thought it was the best thing ever and decided to send it to the good people at Pantheon Books. It was eventually published in 1964, and Dorothy Straight was a 6 year old published author!
Michele Nkamankeng of Kensington in Johannesburg, was just six years old when she completed her first book, and now at age seven she has finished the fourth in her series, The Golden Ring. Her fully supportive parents have encouraged reading and writing as a natural part of every day life, and Michelle was a keen reader from a young age. She said at the time: “I feel happy, excited and very proud of myself. I loved reading from the age of four. Writing is fun to me and I love writing in my spare time.”
Libby Rees, of Hampshire, England, was nine years old when she wrote 60 pages on how she dealt with her mother and father’s divorce. She sent her manuscripts to various publishers and Aultbea Publishing got in touch to help her sign a deal. Her book, Help, Hope, Happiness is full of positive messages and tips on self-help, such as: take time to be alone, or to focus on the positive things, and to do things that make them happy or can release frustration. Libby hoped her book helped many other children who were having a hard time.
Nancy Yi Fan was born in Beijing in 1993 and now resides in Florida, USA. Nancy and her family moved to New York state when she was seven and Nancy began writing her first novel three years later. She became a New York Bestseller and gained recognition from Oprah with her book Swordbird, which Nancy had written as a message of peace for whoever was willing to read it. She has since written two more in that series, Sword Quest and Sword Mountain, and attended Harvard university in 2011.
Mattie Stepanek was born in 1990, and in his 14 short years on the planet he became known for his poetry, and his philosophical outlook. Mattie, was born with a rare disorder, dysautonomic mitochondrial myopathy which had claimed the lives of his siblings also. His poetry was published in six best-selling books, as well as a collection of peace essays, and lyrics for Music Through Heartsong. This was all quite something to achieve, especially before the age of 14.