Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Bestselling female authors who nailed their biggest hit novel under the age of 30

It's slightly depressing to think that while we squandered our college days on endless rounds of Snakebite, some of our contemporaries were signing their first book deals. 

Award-winning novelist Helen Oyeyemi secured rights for her first novel The Icarus Girl when she was studying for A-Levels at school. Mary Shelley wrote her gothic masterpiece Frankenstein at the tender age of 19, inspired by a holiday with friends that was spent telling ghost stories. And at 25, Téa Obreht became the youngest person ever to win the Orange prize for her Balkans war story The Tiger's Wife.

These young writers and others like them breezily implode the myth that you have to have had years of life experience behind you to become an established author. Their fresh and original voices conjure up imaginative, sharply observed prose that easily rivals that of veteran literary heavyweights. 

Meet the bright young things of literature, both past and present, who have set the publishing world alight: 

Words: Anna Brech, Images: Rex Features and Getty Images



Top 50 romantic lines from literature


The best new book releases of 2015


2014's most powerful and provocative longreads



Harry Potter fans, there's a Roald Dahl collaboration in the works

Are you ready for a magical Willy Wonka prequel?

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016

Sarah Jessica Parker is launching a new line of fiction books

She’s channelling her inner Carrie Bradshaw…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016

New Ladybird books for grown-ups are all our work woes

Old pics, new problems

by Anna Pollitt
18 Oct 2016

These are the UK’s favourite pearls of Winnie-the-Pooh wisdom

He’s far more than a bear of very little brain, you know.

by Moya Crockett
14 Oct 2016

Bridget Jones's author on life, love and the importance of friendship

“No one can have it all”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
12 Oct 2016

There's now going to be a Good Sex in Fiction award

“We have laughed enough”

by Amy Swales
12 Oct 2016

Meet the winner of Stylist’s gothic short story competition

The big short

by The Stylist web team
10 Oct 2016

9 important life lessons from cult feminist Instagram poet Rupi Kaur

Happy National Poetry Day.

by Moya Crockett
06 Oct 2016

Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz to star in adaptation of Disobedience

They will bring Naomi Alderman’s debut novel to life on the silver screen

by Kayleigh Dray
05 Oct 2016

Watch eerie trailer for Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events

We’re sorry to say that the trailer you’re about to watch is extremely unpleasant…

by Kayleigh Dray
05 Oct 2016