Late Bloomers, Rejoice: Website Celebrates 35 Debut Authors Over 35


Many of the awards for literature, media and other industries crown writers under 30, 35 or 40. One website seeks to buck the trend by celebrating a more moderately-aged assortment of writers.

Curated by book industry veterans Kera Yonker and Sarah Russo and designer Charles Orr, the lovely 35over35 website simply presents 35 of the year’s debut writers who published their first book over age 35. Many of Flavorwire’s favorite writers of the year can be seen on the list, including Sweetest Debut entrants Sarah Jaffe, Fiona Davis, Jennifer S. Brown, and Jade Chang.

The website creators note:

Writing a book is a significant accomplishment but publishing one successfully is a major accomplishment. To do both of these things early in one’s career is a feat that is often celebrated. But few authors find such early success. Others must persevere or experience an event that drives them to put a story down in writing. Many of these writers have kept their day jobs longer, clocked more hours in workshops, and received more rejection letters than their younger peers, and still they write.”

There’s been a recent trend towards appreciation of late bloomers in various arenas; our culture tends to reward things done early and fast, but as the cliché goes — like wine, many qualities improve with age. The good reviews which have gone to the 35 over 35 writers indicate the saying may be true for a reason.