Monday, January 13, 2014

Young Writers

NPR recently featured an article about St. Nicholas Magazine, a children's monthly magazine that was published from 1873-1941 (Mary Mapes Dodge, author of Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates, was its first editor). Like the magazine Stone Soup today, it featured contributions, art and writing, from children.  But what a interesting array of children!

Many famous writers were first published in St. Nicholas League, a department of the magazine created in 1899 with the slogan "Live to learn and learn to live", which offered monthly awards and cash prizes to the best work submitted by its juvenile readers. Edna St. Vincent Millay, F. Scott Fitzgerald, E. B. White, and Stephen Vincent Benet were all St. Nicholas League winners. [WikipediaEudora Welty contributed a pen-and-ink drawing to the magazine in 1920; Mildred Benson, who wrote the earliest Nancy Drew books using the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, was sending stories to the magazine by age 13; Bennett Cerf, one of the founders of Random House, won an essay contest; William Faulkner made the honor roll for his drawings; Ring Lardner sent in poetry and puzzles.

Are you interested in reading books by teen authors, or the early works of famous authors? Perhaps the most famous teen authors are Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl, written before she perished at the age of 15) and Mary Shelley (Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus, which she started writing at the age of 19). However, many authors' published juvenilia can be read these days - Jane Austen's spoof History of England (written when she was just 16 years old!); S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders, written when she was still in high school; Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, whose In The Forests of the Night was written she was just thirteen; Christopher Paolini's Eragon, self-published when he was only 19.

If you'd like to find out more about St. Nicholas Magazine or find more books by young authors, check the links below!


"Today, Magazine's Kid Bylines Read Like 'Pulitzer Prize Roll Call'"

About St. Nicholas Magazine

St. Nicholas Magazine at Project Gutenberg 

"10 Talented Child and Teen Authors"

Goodreads: YA Books by Teen Authors

"Teen Author Bookshelf: List of Published Teen Authors"

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