Ask Sam letter


To Sam

writing a book is my dream

Dear Sam, as the coronavirus brought me a lockdown, i read some of Jacqueline Wilson's books and I wrote one my own.

I didn't tell anyone in my home as my parents are that type of controlling Chinese parents.

People online said people my age shouldn't write book, and they should learn all day. but writing is something that i really enjoy and i really want to publish my book. i hope you will reply and suggest something that i could do.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

There are plenty of people who’ll tell you that you can't do something because of your age, but it doesn't mean they’re right. There are lots of examples of young people achieving big things when people told them they couldn't.

Writing a book is a big task - professional authors can sometimes take years to write novels. When an author writes a book they usually have an agent. A literary agent is someone who will agree to finding you a publisher but will then take a percentage of money you make from your book. It's very difficult to get a publisher without an agent as most publishers won't take manuscripts from everyday people.

A good way to get noticed by a literary agent is to enter novel writing competitions. There are reputable competitions run every year which can offer introductions to literary agents or publishers as part of the prize. If you look online you might find some, but be careful about which competitions you enter as some might have entry fees. It's always best to get an adult to help if you're not sure if something is legitimate or not.

It's also really important to remember that not succeeding straight away is normal. The majority of success comes after lots of failure and it's likely that you will be rejected lots of times before you get published. Even J. K. Rowling was rejected 12 times before the Harry Potter books were finally published. Try to learn from every rejection by looking at what you can do better next time. This can help increase your chances of success as you gain more experience, and stop you feeling demotivated. Failure can be a very positive thing if you want it to be as it tells you what you need to do to succeed.

If you can't find a publisher or literary agent, there is the option of self-publishing. Look online for tips on getting published and self-publishing as there is plenty of advice for aspiring authors. You could also post your novel online to get feedback from other aspiring writers.

Whatever happens, remind yourself that your age shouldn't stop you from following your dreams. There are many inspiring people who achieved great things in their teenage years - people like Malala Youzafi and Greta Thunberg are just the start. Whether you’re published or not, writing a book is a big task and you should be very proud of finishing yours.

Childline counsellors are always here for you if you want to talk about anything that’s worrying you.

Thanks for your letter and good luck with your book.


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