Writing for Young Readers: 3 Questions for Liz Garton Scanlon

There is nothing like finding joy in the process.” -Liz Garton Scanlon

Liz Garton Scanlon is the author of numerous beloved books for young people, including picture books Frances in the Country; Kate, Who Tamed the Wind; One Dark Bird; the Caldecott honored All the World, and many others, illustrated by some of the very best artists in the business. She’s also co-authored several books with her pal Audrey Vernick, including the hilarious Bob, Not Bob, and the brand new World’s Best Class Plant. Scanlon’s middle grade novels are The Great Good Summer and Lolo’s Light, and her chapter book series debuts in 2024. Liz has taught at Austin Community College, the Writing Barn, the Writers’ League of Texas, and at countless schools and conferences. She currently serves on the faculty of the Writing for Children and Young Adults program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and lives in Austin, Texas. Find more at www.LizGartonScanlon.com

On Saturday, April 20, Liz Garton Scanlon is teaching a class for the WLT called “Introduction to Picture Books: Writing for Young Readers. In this class, you’ll gain a broad understanding of the picture book form – from purpose and structure to today’s marketplace.

Here’s what Liz had to share with us:

Scribe: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you write? How did you come to writing?

Liz Garton Scanlon: I have always been someone who feels most comfortable thinking and feeling and expressing myself on paper. That leaning translated into children’s literature when I had my own daughters 20-some years ago and was reminded of the wonders of books like Where the Wild Things Are and Charlotte’s Web. I’ve never looked back.

Scribe: What piece of advice do you find yourself giving to writers again and again?

LGS: Read your own work aloud. No single, simple act has a more profound effect on your understanding of the piece at hand and the craft in general.

Scribe: What is one thing that people will take away from this class?

LGS: A sense of childlike curiosity and a willingness to play. There is nothing like finding joy in the process.

Thanks, Liz!

Click here to learn more about Liz Garton Scanlon’s upcoming class.

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