Too Old To Write For Children?

The other day, a non-writer friend and I were talking about children's books and she mentioned recently discovering the age of a popular MG/YA author. "She's too old to write for kids," she said. I practically choked on my caramel latte. I was shocked to say the least. After all, the writer in question was only five years older than me.

Later that evening, after dismissing the comment as silly and questioning my taste in friends, I did some research on my favorite authors. Turns out quite a few are beyond twenty-something including J.K. Rowling (hello?), Daniel Handler (the awesome Lemony Snicket), Rick Riordan (LOVE Percy Jackson), Judy Blume (how I learned about that time of the month) and Meg Cabot (have you been living under a rock?).

Of course there are many younger writers that I also love. Watch out for Kiersten White (Paranormalcy) and Stephanie Perkins (Anna And The French Kiss). They're gonna be big, just sayin'.

I don't believe that the age of the author has anything to do with whether or not they can write for children, although I do think you need to read current books and practice writing every day to get the voice down (that pesky 10,000 hour rule-thingy).

Of course, it never hurts to have test subjects at the target age living under the same roof as you; so brutally honest it's downright scary and dependent on you for food.


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