Teen Author Bookshelf: List of Published Teen Authors

Updated: 3/22/14

Now that I’m updating this list, I wanted to make something clear: the intention of this post is not to sensationalize these authors, or to cast them as prodigies, or anything like that. As I’m sure many of these authors will tell you, they’re about as similar to prodigies as any sixty-year-old debut author is–meaning, they’re not. They didn’t just magically wake up one morning, never having written before, and write the next great novel. Most of them had written three, four, five, six, etc. full novels before ever getting a publishing contract. They worked extremely hard, learned what worked and what didn’t, got critiques from outside sources, and constantly improved their writing until it was finally “ready” to go out into the world–the same as all writers go through, regardless of age. Like I talk about in this post, there really is no such thing as a teen writer: if you write, you’re a writer. Period.

So why am I keeping this list up? Because the internet is riddled with discouraging posts for new teen writers who want to learn about the industry–I remember when I was thirteen and querying for the first time, trying to learn about how publishing worked, and seeing all of these people essentially saying I was not going to be “good enough” until I turned at least thirty–and I want to show other young writers that this isn’t always true, that teens can write well, too. And these published teens are just proof of it. (For example, The Outsiders, Frankenstein, and Anne Frank’s memoir were all written by teenagers, and are now widely considered to be classics.)

Now, I’m not saying that all people who start writing as teens will be ready to publish as teens. Like most things, writing requires tons of practice and improvement, and it will take varying amounts of time depending on the person, the work put in, and pure luck for a writer to improve enough to become “sellable”*–age is not a factor. All I’m saying is: don’t hold off writing until you’re much older just because you feel as though there is no point if you won’t even be “good enough” for ten to twenty years. Because that, frankly, is not always true. If you work at it, if you love it, you will be good enough. It won’t happen over night, but it will happen.

And now to the list itself. All of the books included were either sold or published when their authors were aged twenty or younger. So an author may have published more books than what is listed for them below, but that’s just because they were no longer teens when they sold those books to their publishers. Also, please remember that most of these authors are no longer teenagers; they just happened to have signed publishing contracts when they were. Finally, another thing to note is that this list only contains books published by traditional publishers, which is a pretty archaic way to narrow it down, I know, but I decided that including self-published and micro-press-published teen authors would widen the scope so much that this list wouldn’t resonate as much as I’d like it to. (Don’t get me wrong–I’m a big advocate for self-publishing. I just think that including ALL self-published books by teens will open the floodgates to some books that aren’t as quality-controlled.)

*which in itself is really subjective

And now, with that aside: the list! (If you have any books to add/see a mistake in the ages I’ve recorded below, please let me know! It’s possible that I got some of the authors’ ages wrong.)

***

Kody Keplinger

The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend  Shut Out A Midsummer's Nightmare

The Duff, Shut Out, A Midsummer’s Nightmare

Keplinger sold her debut, The Duff, when she was eighteen; the deal was for two books, the latter of which ended up becoming her third novel, A Midsummer’s Nightmare. She sold her second book, Shut Out,the following year, when she was nineteen.

***

Hannah Moskowitz

Break Invincible Summer Zombie Tag

Break, Invincible Summer, Zombie Tag

Moskowitz sold Break at seventeen; Invincible Summer at eighteen; Zombie Tag at nineteen.

***

Christopher Paolini

Eragon (Inheritance, #1) Eldest (Inheritance, #2) Brisingr (Inheritance, #3)

Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr

According to Publisher’s Marketplace, Paolini sold the first three books in the series when he was nineteen–not fifteen, despite popular belief. He started writing the first book, Eragon, (now a major motion picture!) at fifteen, but it didn’t sell to a publisher until four years later.

***

Vahini Naidoo

Fall to Pieces

Fall To Pieces

Fall To Pieces sold when Naidoo was seventeen.

***

Kat Zhang

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1) Once We Were (The Hybrid Chronicles, #2) 

What’s Left of Me, Once We Were, Echoes of Us

Zhang was twenty when she sold, in a three-book deal, her entire Hybrid Chronicles trilogy.

***

Stefan Bachmann

The Peculiar The Whatnot (The Peculiar, #2)

The Peculiar, The Whatnot

Bachmann sold both The Peculiar and its sequel, The Whatnot, when he was eighteen.

***

Rachel Coker

Interrupted: A Life Beyond Words Chasing Jupiter

Interrupted, Chasing Jupiter

Coker sold her debut, Interrupted, at fifteen; I couldn’t find data on when her sophomore novel, Chasing Jupiter, sold, but it released while she was seventeen when it released.

***

Steph Bowe

Girl Saves Boy

Girl Saves Boy

Bowe sold Girl Saves Boy when she was fifteen.

***

Dan Elconin

Never After

Never After

Never After sold while Elconin was seventeen.

***

Alexandra Adornetto

1488204 The Lampo Circus (The Strangest Adventures, #2) Von Gobstopper's Arcade (The Strangest Adventures, #3) Halo (Halo, #1) Hades (Halo, #2) Heaven (Halo, #3)

The Shadow Thief, The Lampo Circus, Halo, Von Gobstopper’s Arcade, Hades, Heaven

Adornetto has a large repertoire of books: both her debut, The Shadow Thief, and its sequel, The Lampo Circus, released when she was fifteen, while the third and final released when she was sixteen; Halo, Hades, and Heaven in her much more popular Halo series released while she was eighteen, nineteen, and twenty, respectively.

(On a much less professional note: Alex, you are crazy!)

***

Nancy Yi Fan

Swordbird (Swordbird, #1) Sword Quest (Swordbird, #0) Sword Mountain (Swordbird, #2)

Swordbird, Sword Quest, Sword Mountain

I’m unsure of the dates they were sold (although I believe she was twelve when her publisher bought her debut, Swordbird), but Fan was thirteen when Swordbird released, fourteen when Sword Quest released, and eighteen when the third and final book in the trilogy, Sword Mountain, released.

***

Ned Vizzini

   Teen Angst?: Naaah...A Quasi-autobiography

Teen Angst? Naaah…

Vizzini is popular largely for his novel-turned-major-motion-picture, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, but he sold his debut memoir, Teen Angst? Naaah…, at nineteen years old.

***

Jessica Dunn, Danielle Dunn

A Teen's Guide to Getting Published: Publishing for Profit, Recognition, and Academic Success

Teens Guide To Getting Published

Google Books mentions that the twin sisters were eighth graders when they started writing this book; however, I don’t see any information on their exact age when it sold or was published. (I’ll give you a cookie if you can find it! LOL.)

***

Flavia Bujor

The Prophecy of the Stones

The Prophecy of the Stones

According to Publisher’s Marketplace, Bujor was just thirteen when she sold The Prophecy of the Stones.

***

Jack Heath

The Lab Remote Control

The Lab, Remote Control

Heath sold his debut, The Lab, and its sequel, Remote Control, when he was eighteen; they were published when he was nineteen.

***

S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders

The Outsiders

S.E. Hinton began writing The Outsiders when she was fifteen, and she was eighteen by the time it was published in 1967. In 1983, the book became a major motion picture.

***

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

In the Forests of the Night (Den of Shadows, #1)  Demon in My View (Den of Shadows, #2)    Shattered Mirror (Den of Shadows, #3) Midnight Predator (Den of Shadows, #4) Hawksong (The Kiesha'ra, #1) Snakecharm (The Kiesha'ra, #2)

In The Forests of the Night,Demon In My View, Shattered Mirror, Midnight Predator, Hawksong, Snakecharm

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes wrote her debut novel, In The Forests of the Night, at the age of thirteen; she had just turned fifteen by the time it was published. The next three books in the series, Demon in My View, Shattered Mirror, and Midnight Predator, released when Atwater-Rhodes was sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen, respectively. She was nineteen at the time of the release of the first book in her Kiesha’ra series, Hawksong, and was twenty when the second book, Snakecharm, came out.

***

Mary Shelley

Frankenstein (Penguin Classics)

Frankenstein

We all know Frankenstein, a book that is frequently referred to as the first ever science fiction novel, and guess what? Shelley was nineteen when she wrote it! (She was twenty-one when it released.)

***

Cayla Kluver

Legacy (Legacy, #1) 6056287 11262609

Legacy, Allegiance, Sacrifice,

According to one of her bios, Kluver self-published her debut, Legacy, at the age of fifteen. Through great reviews and some writing awards, she found an agent and later a contract with Amazon’s first initial trade publishing arm, AmazonEncore. Later, when she was seventeen, all three books in her trilogy were sold to HarlequinTEEN.

***

Jake Marcionette

Just Jake

Now a New York Times bestseller, Just Jake, Marcionette’s debut, as well as its two sequels, were published when he was thirteen.

***

Beth Reekles

13410943

The Kissing Booth

After garnering nineteen million Wattpad reads, The Kissing Booth and its two sequels sold to Random House when Reekles was seventeen.

***

Anne Frank

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank started writing what would later become her memoir at thirteen and continued it for the next two and a half years. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl was published posthumously.

***

Isamu Fukui

2513286 4954543

Truancy, Origins

Fukui had just turned eighteen when his debut, Truancy, was published; he was nineteen during the release of its prequel, Origins.

***

Susan Hill

The Enclosure

Hill, whose 1983 gothic The Woman in Black was recently made into a major motion picture starring Daniel Radcliffe, wrote (published?) her debut, The Enclosure, at age fifteen.

***

Marni Bates

6400348

Bates’ was hired to write her autobiography, Marni: My True Story of Stress, Hair-Pulling, and Other Obsessions, at age eighteen; it was published when she was nineteen.

***

Isabel Kaplan

6080318

Hancock Park

Kaplan sold her debut, Hancock Park, when she was sixteen.

***

Jessica Bukhart

2865641 6184251 6184250 6184252

Take the Reins, Chasing Blue, Behind the Bit, Triple Fault

At the age of twenty, Bukhart signed a deal for the first four books in her Canterwood Crest series (seen above.)

***

Alex and Brent Harris

Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations

The duo wrote their debut, Do Hard Things, when they were eighteen.

***

Gordon Korman

   

This Can’t Be Happening at McDougal Hall, Go Jump in the Pool, Beware the Fish, The War with Mr. Wizzle

At age fourteen, Korman’s debut, This Can’t Be Happening at McDougal Hall, released from Scholastic. The next three books in the series, Go Jump in the Pool, Beware the Fish, and The War with Mr. Wizzle, released when he was fifteen, sixteen, and eighteen, respectively.

***

Abigail Gibbs

15998621 16038278

Dinner with a Vampire, Autumn Rose

Gibbs sold both books in her The Dark Heroine series–Dinner with a Vampire and Autumn Rose–at the age of seventeen.

***

Lindsay Cummings

 13576132 

The Murder Complex

Cummings sold her debut, The Murder Complex, and its as-of-yet untitled sequel when she was twenty years old. The Murder Complex releases from HarperCollins on June 10th, 2014.

***

Stephanie Diaz

16210411

Extraction

Diaz sold her Extraction trilogy at the age of nineteen. The first book, Extraction, releases from St. Martin’s on July 22nd, 2014.

***

Katherine Ewell

16179216

Dear Killer

Ewell sold Dear Killer when she was seventeen. It releases from HarperCollins April 1, 2014.

***

Stephanie Savell

Paper Hearts

Paper Hearts

Savell was nineteen when she sold Paper Hearts, which will release from Medallion Press on April 15th, 2014.

***

Amy Zhang

18163646

Falling Into Place

Zhang’s book deal for Falling Into Place was announced when she was seventeen. It will release on September 9th, 2014.

***

Maya Van Wagenen

18667753

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for the Modern Geek

Having sold the book at fifteen, Van Wagenen’s debut, Popular, releases from Penguin on April 15th.

***

Karen Bao

18782912

Dove Arising

At the age of nineteen, Bao sold her sci-fi trilogy to Viking Children’s, already with a blurb from Christopher Paolini. The first book is set to release August 19th, 2014.

***

Irina Denezhkina

1580968

Give Me

At the age of nineteen, Denezhkina sold her debut, Give Me, to Simon & Schuster.

***

Malala Yousafzai

17851885

The incredible memoir by “the 15-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the face because stood up to the Taliban and advocated for education, beginning with her once-anonymous blog that received international attention.” (via Publisher’s Marketplace.)

***

Samantha Shannon 

17199504 17901125

The Bone Season, The Mime Order

Shannon sold her debut, The Bone Season series, in a 7-book deal at the age of 19. Film rights were later optioned, and the first book hit the NYT bestseller list upon its release.

***

Rachael Wing

4780379 4780378

Star-Crossed, Love Struck

Wing sold her debut, Star-Crossed, to Scholastic at the age of 14[?], and it released when she was 16. Its sequel, Love Struck, came out the next year.

***

Lucy Saxon

18594501

Take Back the Skies

Saxon sold her debut, Take Back the Skies, along with the rest of her series at the age of seventeen. Take Back the Skies is set to release from Bloomsbury on June 3rd, 2014.

***

Francesca Zappia

Made You Up

*Cover not yet revealed.*

Zappia sold her debut, Made You Up, to HarperCollins at the age of twenty.

***

There are also a handful of other authors who published books as teens a good deal while ago–Daisy Ashford, Thomas Chatterton, Ford Madox Brown, and more.

About these ads

37 thoughts on “Teen Author Bookshelf: List of Published Teen Authors

  1. It’s funny. I never encountered the negativity you seem to have come across, except from family and friends. But I think that’s because I never looked for writing advice for teens. I didn’t realise there WAS writing advice for teens. I hadn’t yet come out into the world of the internet and I didn’t realise I wasn’t the only one who wrote novels at the age of twelve… so I just looked for the general advice. I behaved, to all intents and purposes, like I was an adult writer. It never even occurred to me that there might be advice directed at people my own age.

  2. Hi John!
    I’m sorry you weren’t encouraged by more adults. I don’t like to hear that! Good for you for ignoring the negative and persevering your dreams. I’m proud of you. Thanks for including these books here. I’m going to tweet this. Thanks.
    M

  3. I had that same advice when I first started doing writing courses. In a nutshell? “Don’t write until you’re 30 because you haven’t experienced enough.” I couldn’t BELIEVE it! What have I been doing for the last 5 years?! Least to say, I don’t believe it. Teens can write rubbish, but so can adults. And if we want to write, then heck, we jolly well should write.

    • And we jolly well will! I disagree with the “experience” thing too. What, did JK Rowling go to Hogwarts before she wrote Harry Potter? A teenager starting to write is the same as a 60-year-old starting to write :)

      • Yeah, I hate the “experience” thing as well. Actually, I wrote a post on this in May of this year. You don’t need experience to write fiction. You just need to research, and to sensibly imagine what your character is going through and their emotions and everything. Plus, teens are in the best position to do that in YA, because we’re there EVERY DAY.

  4. I came across EXACTLY the same website as you. Funny how that happens. I believed it, too, when I was thirteen…which is not a good thing, because I didn’t have the courage to start writing again for a while. I’m so glad you’re running this and giving teens a chance to shine :)

  5. Teen writing is awesome, usually because we’re young-we’re not jaded or cynical yet. People don’t tend to take us seriously because our lives are so freaking awkward. This is just an awkward time, so publishers think we write awkwardly too.
    Great post though, I’ll definitely check these out!
    P.S Can you do a post on ideas for novels(how to get them ect.) and how to pursue them (e.g making time through school, keeping at it, warding off procrastination ect.)?

  6. Pingback: Why Teen Writers Are Taking Over The Universe « Teens Can Write, Too!

  7. Pingback: On Teen Writing and its Non-Suckage | The Loony Teen Writer

  8. Hi all I like the post I am a 13 and I am writing a book it’s nice to know that I can still make my book thanks for the help for making me happy :)

  9. That’s great that you could overcome all of that negativity! :D TCWT is a wonderful program! I’ve heard of so many of those books, and I’ve always heard GOOD things about them. Teens can do it!

    (My mom LOVED “It’s Kind of a Funny Story.” Well, she watched the movie. She didn’t realize it was a book until afterwards. I wonder if she knows it was written by a teen).

  10. This was really an inspiring post, thank you so much. As a 17 year old working on publishing my first novel, it was great to see so many other teen writers out there. I will definitely be using this list as a reference to check out and read all these talented young writer’s works. So far the only one I’ve read is Frankenstein, but that should change pretty soon…

  11. Great list of teen authors! Love seeing kids excel and succeed! My 13 year old daughter signed a 3 book deal May 2012. I’m her co-author and our first book, CInderskella, will release October 26th, 2013.

  12. Pingback: Five Myths about Teen Writers | Writers Write, Right?

  13. Pingback: Being a Teen Is Not the End | Teens Can Write, Too!

  14. Pingback: If You Had An Agent At 15… | Teens Can Write, Too!

  15. Pingback: Why There Is No Such Thing as a Teen Writer | Teens Can Write, Too!

  16. Pingback: Upcoming 2014 Books By Teen Authors | Teens Can Write, Too!

  17. Pingback: Writing Advice, Agent Interviews, Teen Authors, And More | Teens Can Write, Too!

  18. Pingback: 7 Popular TV Shows If They Were Made for a Publishing Audience | Teens Can Write, Too!

  19. Yo, John *waves*
    Was thinking about this recently and you’ve left off a couple of Brit authors:
    - Samantha Shannon, THE BONE SEASON (released August ’13 when she was 21; 7-book Bloomsbury deal acquired aged 19). Film rights optioned by Andy Serkis (aka Gollum). The sequel’s cover was revealed recently and it is gorgeous. Also, I have met Samantha. She’s so nice and bubbly!
    - Rachael Wing, STAR-CROSSED (Released when she was 16; deal announced at 14 [I think]. Sequel LOVE STRUCK released the following year).
    Probably not so well known, but she was a local gal and in the year above me at the time. So local, in fact, that I almost went to her school and half my friends actually did. I met her briefly at a mini book challenge my school held (she was one of the judges).

    Trying to find info about my friend’s book, but evidently Bloomsbury hasn’t even released the cover yet (though it is a nice cover). Book – YA contemp. about teens who fall in love before finding out they’re estranged brother and sister, yet continue their relationship despite the prejudice – bought when she was 13. Should be due for release later this year. I’ll try and keep you posted.

    • Thank you so much for the info! I just added the first two to the list. Do you have a name/title for your friend’s book? It doesn’t matter if there’s a cover yet. I’d just like to add her to both our 2014 bookshelf and this one. :)

      • It’s called LOVE ME and I’m not sure if she’s using a pseudonym to publish (she considered it for a while, but I think she decided against it), but her name is Rachel Brahams.

      • Hmmm, yeah, I couldn’t find anything on it. So just let me know when everything is figured out. I’d love to add it!

  20. Pingback: Teen authors for teen readers | Girls Heart Books

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s