At what age does a writer peak?

A case could be made for 28 (the age of Man Booker prize winner Eleanor Catton) or 90 (that of Babette Hughes, whose five decades of writing yield advice for others). That, and more.

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At what age are we at our peak as writers? The Man Booker committee gave support to the argument for youth this week, though a nonagenarian disputes that notion. Plus, a writing cheat sheet you’ll want to use, how to reclaim the urge to write, and tips for getting published in The New York Times‘ opinion pages.

What is the optimal age for writing?: The Man Booker prize—the U.K.’s version of the Pulitzer in literature—was awarded this week to a 28-year-old, the youngest-ever winner of the award. The Man Booker judges said, “Maturity is evident in every sentence” of Eleanor Catton’s “The Luminaries.”

Maturity seems like a necessary quality for good writing, but the news got me thinking: What is the age when most writers do their best work? Twenty-eight seems young, but if “The Luminaries” turns out to be Catton’s best, she certainly wouldn’t be the first fiction writer to peak in her 20s.

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