Wednesday, October 28, 2009

rabbit hill festival of children's literature

My first Rabbit Hill Festival in Westport, CT was fantastic! The focus was on historical fiction and nonfiction. Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Tonya Bolden, Candace Fleming, Dennis and Judy Fradin, and Gary Schmidt all gave talks. They shared their fascination with history, their process and what guides them as they write.

Gary Schmidt was amazing to listen to. He is a gifted storyteller and held the audience spellbound. I was primed to hear him as I had just read Trouble and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy.

Gary said writers have to “recognize that all characters must become multi-dimensional and develop. They have to do more than change.” On language, he reminded writers that “every word has to do more than carry its own weight. It has to do more than it seems, perhaps through rhythm or pacing.” If you ever have the chance to hear Gary Schmidt, don’t pass it up.

Look for Rabbit Hill’s 10th anniversary next fall!

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