Jayne Anne Phillips, 27, scribbled a novel in a notebook when she was only 12. Her calling, however, turned out to be the short story. Black Tickets, her third and latest collection, led John (Garp) Irving to commend her as "a wonderful young writer" and critics to praise her as "an electric talent" with Fellini-like vision. Published last year by Delacorte and now in its second printing, Black Tickets is recommended reading at Vassar. "I never had any money until recently. My parents," she laughs, "still have fantasies of my ending up in the gutter." Actually, it's her tormented characters—drifters, strippers and jailbirds—who wind up there. Jayne scraped by, waitressing and peddling aluminum siding door to door before earning her master of fine arts in 1978 from the University of Iowa. Then a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship relieved her financial worries. The daughter of a road construction foreman and a schoolteacher (now divorced), Jayne grew up in rural Buckhannon, W.Va. and lives in arty Province-town, Mass. She produces slowly ("Two pages means a good day"), with no thought of a best-seller. Instead, she aims "to write something timeless."
Mike Glickman, 20, was looking to make a few dollars when, at 15, he agreed to deliver a brochure describing a home for sale to several real estate offices for a family friend. Now the Encino, Calif. youth has a million-dollar business. Realizing that brokers rarely wade through the sheaves of listings available to them, he founded Mike Glickman's Phenomenal Distribution Service, which prints and hand-delivers brochures describing select houses. (The messenger also makes a short pitch.) When Glickman went into business in 1975, he was too young to drive and made deliveries on foot. Now he has 33 employees (some pictured at left) handling different routes in the L.A. area. He usually hires teenage girls—"It's not looks. They usually make better salespeople than males." Glickman pays himself more than $100,000 in salary, which allows him to drive a Cadillac Eldorado. "I have to pretend it's my dad's car," says the sophomore at Cal State's Northridge campus, "so I don't embarrass the teachers." Mike once assumed he'd become a lawyer like his father, but now plans to major in business. He already owns two condominiums and has sold the distribution concept for a flat fee to believers in 63 cities. Although he discos on weeknights, Mike doesn't have a steady girlfriend. "I'm not even old enough to drink," he blushes.