Why New Novelists Are Kinda Old

So someone asked John Scalzi: “Whenever I hear about a ‘new’ novelist, they turn out to be in their 30s. Why is that? It seems like you hear about new musicians and actors and other creative people in when they are in their 20s.”  Scalzi goes into the details of what makes that path to publication a long road:

“Craftsmen don’t make their masterpiece the first time they approach a potter’s wheel (or whatever). Most writers aren’t going to write a brilliant or even passable novel the first time they sit down in front of a keyboard and intone (to themselves if no one else) that today is the day they will commit art, in a convenient, novel-sized package. They usually have to work up to it, one way or another. That takes time, just as learning any craft takes time.”

Why New Novelists Are Kinda Old, or, Hey, Publishing is Slow

Along the way, he mentions in passing that the average age of the winners of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer is about 37.  (Which is kind of heartening for me to hear, since I’m — about that old.)