“Yes, anyone can be published, either traditionally or self-published?”
On Saturday I had the distinct pleasure of meeting a young lady of 13 who is a budding author. She is already published (self) on WATTPAD. Her ability to write is stunning, and she will soon become a household name as an author if she keeps it up. Understand, that WATTPAD will allow for those people under the age of majority to self-publish.
Traditional publishing is more difficult for those of a younger age. There is no background in writing, articles or any other history for the publisher to go on, so the big names will probably not accept the work unless they are represented by a well-known agent.
Small press (or micro) publishers will usually shy away from someone under “legal” age. It is a headache. The publisher will need to set-up a trust fund for the author and deposit directly to it. When the author needs to do a signing the publisher must make sure a guardian is there (parent or such), and thus may need to negotiate their attendance (extra cost). There is also the legal aspect of contracts which, when the young person reaches that magical age, may need to be renegotiated for they become non-binding when the author comes of legal age.
We’ve had three submissions from people under 18, and even though we wanted to publish their work, a decline needed to be sent. The legalities can sometimes be overwhelming for a small press to publish such an author.
So, can they be published? Yes. Will they be published? Probably not until they reach the age of majority.