News room: 8 Authors who were Late Bloomers

8 Authors who were Late Bloomers by Jessica Barrah

Unlike footballers, or Olympic athletes, writers don’t have to reach the peak of their success before hitting thirty. Many authors finally get published later in life, after years of rejection slips. Others don’t even start writing until their children have grown up, or they’ve retired. So, whatever age you are, as Frank McCourt said, “Keep scribbling! Something will happen.”

1. Bram Stoker

Stoker had written various short stories, reviews and some non fiction, however he didn’t publish his first book, The Snake’s Pass, until he was 43. Seven years later he wrote Dracula, writing another seven novels in the next fifteen years.

2. Anna Sewell

Sewell only published one book – the classic Black Beauty which she began writing at aged 51, whilst in declining health. She dictated much of it to her mother, and died of hepatitis at 57, only months after her novel was published.

3. Laura Ingalls Wilder

Author of Little House on the Prairie, Ingalls Wilder began writing at 44 years old, working as a columnist, but published her first book, Little House in the Big Woods at the age of 64.

4. Raymond Chandler

At 44 years old, Chandler lost his job as an oil company executive and started writing, publishing his first short story the next year, in 1933, and his first and most famous novel, The Big Sleep, in 1939.

5. Charles Bukowski

Although Bukowski sold a few stories to magazines in his twenties, he became disillusioned and gave up writing to dedicate himself to a decade of drinking. He began to write poetry in the late ’50s, but he was 51 years old when his first novel was published in 1971.

6. Richard Adams

Civil servant Richard Adams wrote fiction in his spare time, telling stories about rabbits to his children on long car rides. The tales developed over time, and eventually he felt the need to write them down.Watership Down was finally published when Adams was fifty-four years old.

7. Mary Wesley

An inspiration to ‘ladies of a certain age’, Wesley’s first novel for adults was Jumping the Queue, published in 1983 when she was 70 years old. Her second novel, The Camomile Lawn was published the next year.

8. Frank McCourt

McCourt started writing only when he’d retired from teaching, when his wife told him to write down his stories, rather than just telling them down the pub. His first book, Angela’s Ashes, was published when he was 66 years old. He went on to win the Pulitzer, National Book Critics Circle Award, and L.A. Times Book Award. Angela’s Ashes was made into a film, and McCourt went on to write two more memoirs.

Further reading:

8 Posts

Purple_arrow_down-0d1dfe1ae10f7ada403ca338a776f4e2 Latest response Purple_arrow_down-0d1dfe1ae10f7ada403ca338a776f4e2 Most popular response
    Gillian Atack


    29 Jun 16:01

    You can add me to your list! I’ve just released my first book about Alzheimer’s on your website today. I’m 55 years old but I’m sure quite a few CN writers can beat me hands down!

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    Angela Maria


    06 Jun 12:50

    I think the piece of information which you have provided here would be useful to all those who are very much interested in writing. Could you please provide more details about these authors and their famous works? Hope you will update it soon.

    rizah collin


    05 Sep 10:59

    I think this is a valuable note for all those who wish to start writing. I believe that there is no certain age limit for writing. Some people start writing in their early stages of life but anther few start only after their olden days. It’s up to each person’s only. original orkopina cleaning service

    Natasha Miller


    08 Jun 10:37

    I am facing problems in writing your tips are going to guide me to overcome those problems. I agree with bestessay au that writing is not a child’s play but we can improve writing by hard working.

    milan joy


    23 Jun 12:37

    After years of rejection slips many authors have to reach the peak of their success. This article says that age was not a consideration for publishing your first novel. It’s good to see some of the authors experience you have shared through this article.Country wine and spirits order alcohol online

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Written by
Jessica Barrah
Published on
Writing, Publishing, Self-publishing, Authors, Late bloomers, and Older