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The Power of the Pen

Suri Munk

Have you ever dreamed of getting published? Is it even feasible for teenaged writers to get published? With enough perseverance, the answer is yes! But how?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

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F lavia Bujor was 14 when her first novel was published in France — and it was very successful. The Guptara twins from Switzerland were only 11 when they completed the first draft of their novel. By the time they were 17 years old, it was a bestseller!

Recent years have also brought to the public a number of frum, teenage authors who have published books of their own. Not to mention the many talented teen writers whose creative and original works grace these pages!

TP spoke to handful of popular, frum authors who shared their personal experiences.

C.B. (Gavant) Lieber When I was about 13, I wrote a story based on Bisyah bas Pharaoh that was published in a magazine called Merlyn’s Pen, and I wrote a fantasy story published in a children’s anthology called Beware of the Next Door Neighbor. Really, though, I’ve been writing since I was six; I still have the first book I wrote (and illustrated) at that age. It was called Kaganoff Family and it was about my family! I showed it to one of my nieces recently and she was enthralled. I started several novels when I was in elementary school, but most of them didn’t get past the second chapter.

Then I wrote two full-length books in high school, which I submitted to Targum, both of which were rejected. At 18, I started writing essays for Horizons, and I’ve been at it ever since. Mission Control to Mars was my first full-length book to be published.


Chaya Sara Ben Shachar I started writing my first book when I was 13. It was finished by the time I was 15, but it was rejected by all of the publishers so I turned it into a bound book on my own and printed 11 copies for family members. I later had my first book accepted for publication by Targum Press at the age of 19. I also published one article at age 18 and one “letter to the editor” that I was exceptionally proud of at the age of 16!

Sarah Massry I was just out of my teens when I began writing for magazines. Throughout my e-mail correspondences with the editor, my age or stage in life never came up. That was until one summer afternoon when she asked me to stop by at her office.

She was rather shocked when I walked in! She couldn’t get over how young I was. I do remember bumping into my 8th-grade English teacher one day and she was very proud when she heard of my accomplishments!

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