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Sophia Choukas-Bradley has been paying attention — not just to her professors at Brown, but to the current literary landscape. She knows that to have a truly impressive writing career — like a Foer brother or a Nick McDonell or a Marisha Pessl — you have to sell yourself based on that most valuable and fleeting of commodities: your precious talent youth. So she was completely correct to freak out as her 20th birthday approached:

What worried me most about turning 20 was that it would mark my failure to fulfill my No. 1 goal thus far — publishing a piece of my writing while I was still a child or teenager, in something other than a school publication.

Failure alert!

Unfortunately, at some point, Sophia got some ill-advised 'perspective' or something about her tragic unpublished state:

After spending the summer learning firsthand about the challenges so many young people face, my battle with the big two-oh doesn't seem so significant. Publishing a piece of my writing no longer seems like the biggest deal in the world, either.

Wrong-o! But wait, you're probably asking yourself: how are we reading these words if Choukas-Bradley really is all washed up? Well, she did manage to get this article about her prequarterlife crisis published, in the ultra-choosy Washington Post, no less. Congratulations, Sophia Choukas-Bradley! You may have missed the boat on being a famous young writer, but at least you have one clip in your little clips binder, and that's one more than at least three other kids in your journalism class have. And hey, maybe a helpful alum might be able to get you a few assignments at the Providence Journal, you never know.

Turning 20, With Concerns Beyond My Years [WaPo]