Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

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

Related

hero-2.jpg

Top 50 romantic lines from literature

rexfeatures_950188a.jpg

The best new book releases of 2015

rexfeatures_1221742p.jpg

2014's most powerful and provocative longreads

Comments

More

Handmaid’s Tale fans, here’s what really happens to Ofglen in the book

As it's confirmed Alexis Bledel’s character will be returning for the second series

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jun 2017

Four of the best books so far this year, as chosen by Amazon and us

If you read nothing else, make sure you give these titles a whirl

by Anna Brech
22 Jun 2017

Emma Watson really, really wants you to read these 10 feminist books

She’s curated her very own “essential feminist bookshelf”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jun 2017

We need to talk about Offred’s secret weapon in The Handmaid’s Tale

This is the most important thing we can take from episode four

by Kayleigh Dray
19 Jun 2017

Little girl crashes stranger’s wedding for a seriously cute reason

And the photos are just perfect

by Kayleigh Dray
19 Jun 2017

JK Rowling flies to the rescue after Trump blocks Stephen King

This is getting ‘riddikulus’ now...

by Kayleigh Dray
14 Jun 2017

Bailey’s Prize winner Naomi Alderman on the importance of feminism

“If my novel is a dystopia, then we are living in a dystopia right now”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
08 Jun 2017

Boys ‘find it very hard’ to read a book starring a girl hero

Gender equality is still a problem for children's books, says leading author

by Anna Brech
08 Jun 2017

Dustbin man rescues books to create free community library

He's saved 20,000 books so far

by Sarah Biddlecombe
07 Jun 2017

Who is Arundhati Roy? The controversial author with an army of fans

The bestselling author’s much-anticipated second novel is out now.

by Moya Crockett
06 Jun 2017