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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A Writers' Role Model

“Armenian folklore has it that three apples fell from Heaven: one for the teller of a story, one for the listener, and the third for the one who 'took it to heart.' What a pity Heaven awarded no apple to the one who wrote the story down.” – Nancy Willard

Willard, born in Ann Arbor, MI, on this date in 1936, was a novelist, poet and both author and illustrator of children’s books and won the coveted Newbery Medal for her combination poetry-prose children’s book A Visit To William Blake’s Inn.

After growing up “surrounded by stories and storytellers,” she studied writing at the University of Michigan, where she earned both her B.A. and Ph.D.  (sandwiched around a Master’s degree from Stanford).   She started her career by teaching writing at Vassar and then branched off to her writing, particularly children’s and young adult books, combining writing and teaching throughout her life.   Over the years she authored 4 novels, 4 nonfiction books, 18 books of poetry, and a remarkable 43 children’s books, the last one, Gum, published just months before her death in 2017.  
     Among her many awards besides the Newbery Medal were an O.Henry Prize, 2 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowships, and a Devins Award for Poetry.

“When I was growing up,” Willard said,  “I loved stories in which a girl sets out on a quest to rescue the prince instead of the other way around.”

Writer’s Moment with a friend at httpe://writersmoment.blogspot.com

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