Should publishing houses start hiring young writers?
Do you have a story to tell? Perhaps you’ve already written a great novel, but now are on the hunt for a publisher to support you? Or maybe you’re the head of a literary agency and you’re actively searching for your next big project?
It doesn’t matter what category you fall into—you will definitely find the fact that young writers are becoming more and more popular both interesting and helpful!
Just in the past five years, the debut novels by two young writers based out of Montreal have won the prestigious Giller Prize literary award—Canada’s biggest award for novelists. Specifically, Johanna Skibsrud won in 2010 at the age of 30; four years later, Sean Michaels won the award at age 32. Even more impressive, three of the six Giller finalists last year were young authors.
It seems that more and more younger novelists are coming into prominence. For example, Saleema Nawaz, Sina Queyras, Arjun Basu, Chistopher Di Raddo, Anna Leventhal, Gabe Forman, Leigh Kotsilidis and Linda Besnerare just a small list of those who are getting their literary voices heard via the forms of both novels and poetry.
Recently, Montreal author Heather O’Neil debuted her latest novel, Daydreams of Angels, at a Montreal bookstore. The event at Drawn & Quarterly drew so much attention that people actually had to be turned away.
So, is this a new trend? Is the Montreal market craving young writers and artists?
Not only are there more literary options for youthful writers, but those who also happen to live in Montreal. For example, more in-person readings are taking place throughout bookstores in the city. Furthermore, there are more literary opportunities and platform for artist to get the work viewed (i.e. Metatron Press).
Due to the large writing community that now offers more avenues, bookstore owners should also be cashing-in on this new trend. After all, hosting public readings and book signings could be a great way to not only get your store noticed (specifically during a time when e-readers and other types of electronics have been cutting into the publishing industry), but to also increase sales and gain repeat and loyal clients.
However, don’t assume that just because you’re a young writer that you’re going to find success—publishers beware, too! The writing has to be good. Publishers aren’t and shouldn’t invest in novels or projects that aren’t properly put together.
Reading and writing is important, but at the end of the day it’s still business.