Tuesday, April 9, 2013


More Writers' Quotes on Writing for Younger Readers
The whys, the wherefores, the reasons, and the doing.....

Jessica's Book
by Margaret Dyer (pastels)


Monica Kulling

"Don't shoot yourself in the foot--that is, don't indulge in putting up roadblocks. My biggest block is comparing myself to others. I read someone's work and think, "I could never do that. I really don't have the talent for writing. What am I doing?" So I stop doing what it is I'm able to do. Then I'm in trouble, because writing has been and always will be my salvation. It saved me when I was a teen as it's done so many times through my life. What do I mean by that? It's got me through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Joseph Chilton Pearce says it best: "To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong." So I must remember that there is no right way to write. Just do what you are doing and have fun. And that kind of thinking always clears the path for more writing.

Here are two of Monica Kulling's books...


Susan Hughes

"Why I do write for children? A very good question. For me, I guess I trace the beginnings back to my childhood desire to be a writer combined with happening to look at the U of T job board for summer work when I was a student and being lucky enough to end up working as a writer/editor/researcher/proofreader/photo researcher for a small publisher, alongside several other students. We were involved in the whole process-- from initial research to final pages -- of creating several books in a nonfiction series for kids that summer. I loved it! I think that's where I became hooked on writing nonfiction for kids -- and then it seemed only natural to begin directing my creative energies towards writing fiction for children, as opposed to adults, as well. I've never looked back."
Here are two of Susan Hughes' books... 


 Linda Granfield

"I have two quotes by me when I'm writing my books: the unknown source "Easy writing makes damn hard reading." and the wonderful Eleanor Roosevelt's "Do one thing every day that scares you." These quotes sum up my thoughts when creating factual, yet emotionally engaging books for young readers."
Here are two of Linda Granfield's books:


  Bobbi Miller
"It takes great courage to keep writing (or, as it happens, just about anything in life). Mark Twain (he’s my guy) defined courage as mastery of fear, not the absence of fear. Every writer fears. But a few keep going, despite the fear. James Bell (The Art of War for Writers) offers: 'A hero fights to make his writing worthy, even when no one’s noticing; a fool demands to be noticed all the time, even if his writing stinks. A hero gets knocked down and quietly regroups to write again; a fool gets knocked down and whines about it ever after. A hero keeps writing, no matter what, knowing effort is its own reward; a fool eventually quits and complains that the world is unfair.'

The lesson I am learning now is to let go of expectations (albeit, sometimes with a whine) and just enjoy the process. There’s no guarantee of any return of our time and investment when we write a story. So, be the hero."
Here are two of Bobbi Miller's books:

 Kristin Butcher 
"Writing for children keeps you honest. Kids can see through a lie before you've finished telling it."
Here are two of Kristin Butcher's books:
Susan Heyboer O'Keefe
"Young people don’t see all the opportunities for change that they have. Sometimes a single choice makes them feel as if their whole life has just been determined and fixed—usually not in a good way. They cannot see the endless opportunities for change stretching down the years before them. Fiction can show that much more effectively than nagging.

As adults we say, “If I knew then what I know now…” But we didn’t back then. Just like they don’t now. So write it for them in a character who will teach them how to see opportunities for change and make those opportunities, and above all, will teach them how to hope."
Here are two of Susan Heyboer O'Keefe's books... 
Ann Towell

"Writing for children, for me, is a need to recapture and share those Saturday afternoons spent at a Carnegie library amidst the musty smell of shelved books and rustling pages … the hushed expectancy."

Ann Towell is the author of:

Lisa Dalrymple

"As a child, I had such an imagination, and such a willingness to believe, that I would be truly absorbed into the books I read. I write to revisit that feeling–which may be why much of what I write is for children."

Lisa Dalrymple is the author of:



Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful post. So interesting. Thank you for including me, Margaret, among these other fine writers of books for children.


Margaret Buffie said...

You are so welcome, Monica. I found it so interesting to see everyone's different viewpoints. Loved it!

Laura Langston said...

Great post, Margaret! I have to say I don't think about writing for children. When people ask what I do, I never differentiate between writing for kids or writing for adults. I write for people. Some are young, some not so much. All I can do is write whatever story needs to be told, and hope that it resonates with someone, somewhere.

Margaret Buffie said...

I understand that completely Laura. A lot of my readers are adults. I write for every reader, too, but I have to say that I do like to explore that border line between childhood and adulthood, which, to me can be a very confusing time for a young person struggling toward adulthood. That border can be wide or narrow, but it can be a time of decisions, choices, and many mistakes - a passionate mix of dreams and failures and, for me, a fascinating and emotional place to try to express through my writing.