Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

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

 Mishpacha image

Photo: Shutterstock

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!

Related Stories

From Gags to Riches

Rochel Burstyn

“Seriously? Someone paid money for that?!” Some of these crazy inventions were popular for just a s...

Jr. Tales: Idea Man

Rivka Small

Suddenly, Yitzy realized that the voice that had said “Enter” belonged to Uri’s grandfather. By then...

Considering the Future: Occupational Therapy

Elky Pascal

I decided to be a pediatric OT because if you help kids at a young age, their problems don’t have a ...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Top-Down Theory
Shoshana Friedman Our true currency, the accomplishments we value most
Strive for What Binds Us
Yonoson Rosenblum The chareidi community represents something of an oasis
Embracing Victimhood
Eytan Kobre Combating the allure of victimhood
The Kids Are Going to Camp, the Parents Are Going Broke
Miriam Klein Adelman Mindy has to feel good; it doesn’t matter that I feel ba...
Work/Life Solutions with Carlos Wigle
Moe Mernick “Rejection is Hashem’s protection” 
How to Create a Simple 900-Page Novel
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman All of us can reset the titles of our own lives
Stand There or Do Something
Baruch S. Fertel, MD, MPA, FACEP It’s called collaborative care, and it works miracles
I'm Here — Are You Ready?
Riki Goldstein Upbeat and catchy, but still makes listeners think
Back in Time
Riki Goldstein "I wish I could recapture that excitement"
Mixed Messages
Riki Goldstein The unsung craftsmen who give albums their special touch
Go in Peace
Faigy Peritzman Inner peace makes us vessels for blessing
All Work and No Play
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A life only about doing your duties loses all its color
Dying to Believe
With Rav Moshe Wolfson, written by Baila Vorhand Emunah peshutah is the force behind Jewish continuity