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Writers Who Started Late In Life


It’s never too late to start writing. Some famous examples to prove the point are Mary Wesly (The Camomile Lawn), Frank McCourt (Angela’s Ashes) and Charles Bukowski (Post Office).

Mary Wesley wrote her first novel at the age of 70 and went on to sell three million copies of her books including 10 best sellers.

Frank McCourt only started to write when he retired from teaching. His first book, Angela’s Ashes, was published when he was 66.

And, the whippersnapper of this group, Charles Bukowski, left the post office at the tender age of 49 to become a ‘starving writer’. Within four weeks of leaving he had written his first novel, Post Office. He went on to publish six novels along with thousands of poems and hundreds of short stories. He didn’t starve for very long!

But that’s not all, if you take a quick scoot around the internet you’ll find thousands of not-so-famous older folk merrily tapping away at keyboards sharing their lives, wisdom and woes on blogs, in articles and on websites.

Recently The Writers Bureau, the UK's largest writing college, found that 11% of their students are of retirement age. But they also discovered that this age group has a better than average chance of finding success as writers.

In their annual Writer of the Year Award for their students, 26% of Award winners and runners up in the last three years are retired. This shows that older people are punching above their weight when it comes to finding success.

Next to Writers Who Started Late in Life Part Two



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Sarah Plater Writers Bureau's Writer of the Year 2017

“I’m currently working on my fourth book, have been paid for my writing by at least 15 different magazines, and now earn half my income from writing – all thanks to The Writers Bureau’s course."

Sarah Plater - Writers Bureau Writer of the Year 2017

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