Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
I can relate to this author, who bemoans the fact that there are so many literary prizes thrown at writers under forty, or thirty-five, or thirty, or… ten. And it’s true. Because our culture worships youth, we seem to have this need to anoint young writers before they’ve had a chance to develop fully. Or have a few experiences to write about.
The writer of this article published her first novels at 48 and 52. My first came out when I was 45, and I knew right out of the gate that I never had a shot at a Young Writers To Watch award. I couldn’t be described as emerging. I’d been emerging for decades. Maybe I was fermenting, but not emerging.
Anyway, it’d be nice to have a prize that’s geared toward older farts who’ve been slogging away in the trenches for years. And getting better. We are fully formed, we’ve found our own voices, and we’re stubborn enough to keep doing this because, God damn it, we deserve some attention!
Sour grapes, perhaps, but when I hear about anyone under thirty who has won a prestigious prize, I go, “Talk to me in twenty years, you little twerp.”
Usually they’ve come and gone by then.