Friday, December 2, 2011

Why We Write for Children

At this time in the season, I always find myself sitting back and reflecting about the many things I'm thankful for such as my family, air in my lungs, a roof over my head, words in my head and memories to fill my heart. I'm also thankful for the wonderful writing community I belong to in Austin and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) for their support and encouragement. I wouldn't be as far along in my writer's journey without their guidance and the opportunities they provide through their organization. Every day, I become a better writer. And everyday there's a child out there who needs me to be a better writer. For it's through the stories we tell that children make connections, take journeys and discover the world beyond their back doors.

I write because of them. The children. The ones who need to feel that they, too, can tell their own stories. I mean  if I can write a story so can they. And when they see me writing, hear my voice, hear my stories, they know they can tell their story, too. Their stories are just as important to tell. They matter. And I'm eager to hear them. I write to share myself with them in the hopes that they'll make a connection, enjoy the ride and then begin their own journey of sharing their voice with the world. 

In the last month or so, several of my writer friends have been sharing and inspiring us through their essays on the blog produced by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), and I want to highlight a few of those blog posts today in the hopes that you'll be inspired to keep writing for the children who need us.

Author Jeanette Larson's essay "A New Dia is Dawning" can be found by clicking HERE.

Author Bethany Hegedus's essay "Meeting Gandhi's Grandson, The Making of a Picture Book" can be found by clicking HERE.

Author Liz Garton Scanlon's essay "Author Not Illustrator: My perspective on the Caldecott Honor" can be found by clicking HERE.

Author Greg Leitich Smith's essay "It Started with a Picture Book" can be found by clicking HERE.

Author Elizabeth White's essay "Love, Your Admiring Patron" can be found by clicking HERE.

Author Lindsey Lane's essay "A Digital Revelation" can be found by clicking HERE.

Author E. Kristin Anderson's essay "Social Networking: Making the World Smaller one Tweet at a Time" can be found by clicking HERE

Author and RA Debbie Gonzales's essay "Reader Guides - Pick Your Pleasure" can be found by clicking HERE.

And here is a lovely post by Cynthia Leitich Smith "Why Picture Books are Important" at the blog PICTURE BOOK MONTH A Celebration! Click HERE to read it! Also you'll find many other wonderful essays on the blog from talented authors and illustrators celebrating everything there is to love about the picture book. 

Peace, love and joy from my house to your house. Keep writing!

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