Today I once againΒ Get All Grateful on Your A**Β on Katie DavisBrain Burps About Books podcast. It’s a special segment because it’s all about The Bologna Children’s Book Fair. I talk about specific people I met who inspired gratitude, but also about the overwhelming sense of honor I felt walking the halls and realizing that I am part of this amazing community and industry. The segment is about 10 minutes in, before the main interview, which is AWESOME! Author/Illustrator Maryann Cocca-Leffler talks about taking one of her books to the stage, and about how she sold more than a million copies of two of her books. Fascinating!

I haven’t written much about my experience in Bologna on the blog yet. I’m still writing my articles for SCBWI and CBI, and I don’t want to scoop my own self by publishing on the blog first. However, I would like to share some inspirational quotes with you from some interviews I caught in the Author’s Cafe.

Meeting Katherine Paterson

Katherine Paterson, Newbery Medal-winning author, Former U.S. National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and Recipient of the 2006 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (+ many others):

  • “I love to write because I can live so many lives.”
  • “The world is full of people with talent, but perseverance is rare. To be a writer, you need talent and perseverance.”
  • She writes for children because, “I have the same questions that children have, and I haven’t been able to answer them.”
  • “I don’t publish anything I don’t love.”
  • It is very humbling to have someone say that your book inspired them to become a writer.”

Sonya Hartnett, Australian author and recipient of the 2008 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

  • “When you write for children, you have to call upon every single ability you have as a writer to write a difficult scene (like war). Never do I have to reach as deep into my abilities to write for adults as I do for children.”
  • “A writer lives many times, and yet doesn’t live at all. I put my entire experience into my writing. I’ve given my life to fiction.” She said in reference to sometimes feeling existential angst with regard to questions such as, ‘Who am I?’, ‘What am I?’

Ryoji Arai, Japanese Illustrator and recipient of the 2005 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

  • “The ending of my stories are also a beginning. I think about that beginning when I write my stories.”
  • “An artist has to find space between the words.”
  • “People ask me, ‘How do you invent stories?’ I answer, ‘Well, how do you play?”
  • “A child equals hope.”

Lin Oliver, U.S. Author and Executive Director of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)

  • She became a children’s author because she went into the L.A. Unemployment Office and saw a sign that said, “Children’s Book Writer Wanted.” She went on to say that she “hasn’t seen those words before or since.”
  • “If you write for children, you are going back to your own childhood.”
  • On writing for boys: “They like to laugh or be scared.”
  • If you want to get published, “Read everything in the field. Write and practice your craft until you are good enough to be published.”
  • On why we need to support libraries. “Librarians are people who teach you how to find information.” This is a critical skill for 21st century kids.
  • “It is important that we all come to regard children’s literature as a global enterprise.” That is why SCBWI is now playing an active role in advocating diversity in children’s literature.

Which of these quotes inspires you the most?

Categories: Authors, Bologna Children's Book Fair, Brain Burps About Books, Children's Books, Italy, Picture Books, Publishing, SCBWI, Travel, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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20 Comments

  1. So many good, no, excellent quotes. I think I like the one about boys like being scared or laughing the best. I have been featuring Picture books for boys on my blog lately for Susanna’s PPBF and that quote is so true. And when my grandson comes to visit tomorrow for a week I know what I’ll be reading to him. lol.

    Maybe I’ll use it to write something. That is probably what you meant, right? πŸ™‚ So sorry to ramble on. πŸ™‚

  2. β€œI love to write because I can live so many lives.”

    That’s my favorite quote. And I love that there are ambassadors for young people’s literature. What better cause could there be?

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  3. Great quotes, Julie! They give me guidance as I think of my next story. Looking forward to hearing you on “Brain Burps”…

  4. Sorry…I left out my fav quote. I think it’s ‘boys like to laugh or be scared’…I’ll remember that one!
    http://4ambassadorsofchrist.blogspot.com/

  5. I can’t pick just one favorite. However, I think what strikes me is how many of these successful people carry a childlike curiosity into adulthood. And the process of researching and writing satiates that curiosity.

  6. Love the hopeful sentiment behind Katherine Paterson’s words “The world is full of people with talent, but perseverance is rare.” Here’s to perseverance!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing those wonderful quotes. It’s really hard to pick just one, but this is the one I relate to the most.
    β€œIf you write for children, you are going back to your own childhood.”
    And this is the one that convicts me the most.
    β€œThe world is full of people with talent, but perseverance is rare. To be a writer, you need talent and perseverance.”

  8. Great inspirational quotes! Thanks, Julie, and I’m looking forward to your articles.
    ~Tina Cho

  9. Ellen L. Ramsey

    β€œI love to write because I can live so many lives.”

    That’s a exciting way to think about writing!

  10. Lori Grusin Degman

    Great post, Julie! I’m SO jealous of you – I’m happy for you too, but definitely jealous!! I think Ryoji Arai’s quote, β€œThe ending of my stories are also a beginning. I think about that beginning when I write my stories.” is my favorite!

  11. Wow! Thanks for this post Julie. Lots of wisdom in these words.

  12. So many wonderful mentors with bits of wisdom to share from their own journeys. Loved the post. Thank you!

  13. Such inspiration! Thanks for sharing, Julie!

  14. I love the one about having the same questions children have. Thanks for the wisdom Julie!

  15. wonderful summary! sounds like this trip was well worth its weight in gold. glad you had such an inspiring time πŸ™‚

  16. What? Pick just one inspiring quote? I like them all πŸ™‚

  17. Stacy S. Jensen

    I’m thinking about Lin Oliver’s quote about boys. My son loves to laugh (and I am delighted when he does). I’m not a big fan of him being scared. πŸ™‚ Good advice. As a former journalist, loved the line about not scooping yourself. Wise!

  18. Julie…thank you so much for sharing all of this with us…I’m definitely a quote person. πŸ™‚
    They were all great…but these two really speak to me:
    “If you write for children, you are gong back to your own childhood.” – Lin Oliver
    “I love to write because I can live so many lives.” – Katherine Paterson

    Looking forward to hearing more about the Fair in later posts. πŸ™‚

  19. Julie,
    It was so great to meet you in Bologna!

  20. Christie Wright Wild

    Too many to choose from. They’re ALL great! It is true about boys and reading, though, that they like to laugh or be scared (or grossed out). Not sure why that is… But it does seem to be true.

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