I’m sorry to bother you, but recently an agent rejected me. At this point I’m used to it, but what bothered me was that she was afraid that I didn’t have “authorial authority”. I’ve looked it up, and what I can conclude is that she doesn’t think that I know what I’m talking about. My question is, do you think she thought that because I am so young?
It’s very possible that she was making an age-based assumption. It’s also possible you may not know your subject matter as well as you think. For example, if you’re a young writer who has never been in a relationship or married, but you’re writing about divorce, your portrayal may not feel authentic to people who have been through that. On the other hand, maybe you know about it because you went through it with your parents. If you know you know your subject matter, you can just ignore people who make snap judgments about your age. You may need to hold out a little longer for someone to give you a chance, but not everyone will judge you like that. Also, if there’s an opportunity in your query letter for you to say something like, “This is a subject near and dear to me because I went through it with my family…” it may help potential agents to see that you do have firsthand experience in what you’re writing about despite being younger. :)
Have a writing question? I’d love to hear from you! Prohibited questions: portrayal of diverse characters, portrayal of emotions, specialist knowledge questions (medical, military, mental health, etc.), “how to portray/describe,” asking for tropes/cliches, asking for resources; broad, vague, or complicated questions. See master list & main site for more info!