I am a young writer, 19 at the time of writing this, and I just cannot achieve any progress with any of my work. I have written two novels. The first one, I know, is a fairly trashy effort and was just to see whether I could achieve a full length novel with a plot that made sense. I did not seek publication. However, I loved doing it so much I decided to try a second one. I did the next one by the book, making sure I read the genre and understood the conventions, putting it away for several months and then reworking it with fresh eyes, and making sure it was the best I could make it. Now, when submitting for consideration by an agent, I can't even get past a query letter.
Sure, perhaps my query is letter is trash, but I think it's fairly consistent with successful ones yourself and Miss Snark etc have posted.I know I'm not the next Dan Brown or Stephen King, and neither do I want to be, but I would like the chance to try to be a writer. So I guess my question comes down to how I might attract attention from an agent/publisher without any qualifications or credentials and a lack of "adult" world experience? (that last one I have been told by a rejecting agent). Should I draw attention to school and university based achievements, such as being part of an International Honour Society for Academic Excellence, or does that just sound trivial and make it seem like I'm bignoting myself?
Your age is a problem. Not because you're not necessarily a good writer - I don't know if you are or not - but because it sounds as though you're writing for adults, not teenagers, and no adult wants to read a teenager's take on the world unless they have a specific interest in young adult fiction. You as a teenaged writer would be almost an impossible sell for a publisher to booksellers and for booksellers to customers.
Here's the good part: you're going to turn 20 soon. And then 21. Both of these ages are probably more palatable to an agent and publisher. So just wait, and while you wait, work at your craft. Most published first novels are not first novels - they're third, fourth or fifth novels. You have time on your side - what a gift! Make the most of it.