rebelling against low expectations

How I Became One of the Youngest Published Authors in the World


“Submit manuscript.”

One of the most terrifying moments in my life—and yet one of the most fulfilling—was when I hit that button and officially submitted the final manuscript of my first chapter book to the self-publishing company.

After 10 years, my dream was coming true. Back when I decided that I wanted to become one of the youngest published authors in the world, I could have never foreseen all the work, heartache, and prayer that would go into it.

Ever since my toddler years, I’ve been a bookworm. Even before I could read, I memorized all my favorite books and enjoyed reciting them while I flipped the pages. As I grew up, my fascination with words grew as well. The power that they have to encourage and edify people intrigued me. Many of the most important lessons I’ve learned in life were communicated to me through written words on a page—one of the most notable being through Alex and Brett Harris’ book, Do Hard Things.

Inspired by the message that it IS possible to do ​great​ things when you are young, I rededicated myself to finishing the draft of my first chapter book. Multiple times inspiration for a story would strike, and it would die before I finished more than the first chapter or two. However, once the inspiration for this new book struck me, through prayer I found the words I needed to ​complete​ the manuscript.

After a three-year process, my novella was finally published. My Father’s Princess is the story of a young girl named Saranna who is adopted from France by a family in America, and it’s about the questions she faces as she goes on a spiritual journey to find out who she is in Christ.

Struck throughout the process with my own inadequacy, I sometimes feel lost in trying to share with others about my book. It’s amazing that when you do something “great” for God’s glory, He often uses the experience to paradoxically show you your own weakness in comparison to His master plan. I can’t take any credit for myself; instead I thank God for giving me the honor of ​communicating​ His ​truth​​ through my writing​. I would also like to thank Alex and Brett Harris for giving us the kind of inspiration we need to step out of our comfort zones and not waste the most productive time of our lives waiting to experience being a part of something so much more than ourselves.

The enemy is attacking our generation fiercely. It is uplifting to see young people responding to the attack by combating his hold and proclaiming God’s truth through networking, art, music, literature, and film. These truths are combating the lies that our world has been steeped in for so long, and are starting to take back ground that we have lost by being complacent.

That’s why I believe it is crucially important for Christians of all ages to truly shine as a light in this dark world, even in the realm of the arts. I struggled for many years to find God’s will for my life, but now I fee​l​ called to write novels that He might use to re-inspire faith and hope in others facing the battle.

If ​there is​ something outside of your comfort zone that you feel called to do, I would encourage you to just go for it! ​​Looking back at my writing from when I was 14 years old, I know that there are many things I could have done better. As a visionary, I have many different projects that I have failed multiple times on, but I have always learned valuable lessons through the experiences. Following God’s leading won’t always bring you success the way the world defines it, but He will certainly use it to bring you closer to Him. I can only pray that my meager efforts would somehow encourage and inspire others in the same way God has used other written works to encourage and inspire me.

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About the author

Ceylan Gunduz

is a 16-year-old teen defying all odds and living life to the fullest in New Hampshire. When she is not engrossed in reading and writing or busy rounding up goats and little siblings, she makes time to pursue some of her passions such as horses, filmmaking, American Sign Language, and inspiring others. If you want to keep up with her latest thoughts and projects, feel free to check out her blog at Ceylan Gunduz Books.


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  • Thank you for sharing your writing story, Ceylan! It was quite inspiring to read about another young author pursuing their dreams. I also just finished the first chapter of your book on Wattpad. Wonderful job! Love the deep emotion, deep sorrow, and deep aching for hope of love woven throughout.

  • So good, Ceylan!! I love ASL and horses too. 🙂 I hope to join you as a young published author in the near future!

  • Thanks so much for sharing, Ceylan! Your dedication to writing and passionate pursuit of God’s calling on you is very inspiring, and definitely helpful to me as a fellow teen writer. Keep up the great work – I hope to read your book soon!

  • Thank you Ceylan. I’ve known this site for 24hrs and as a writer i found your post encouraging

  • Ceylan, you were able to put into words exactly some of the things I have been thinking. I was especially encouraged by the last 3 paragraphs! I also dream of publishing a book as a teen and am so encouraged by your post and by the YWW that Brett and Jaquelle are doing. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am definitely going to start working again on my novels.

  • Thank you so much Ceylan! I have a bit over 50 characters of my own and all of them have different personalities and traits. I’ll be on the look out for publishing companies willing to take my stories to the next level.

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →