Writers Gratitude: From the Mixed Files

Today we would like to share what we are grateful for as children’s writers. So, I asked the Mixed-Up Files contributors to write a little bit about what they are grateful for as authors. I hope you enjoy our thoughts.


“I am grateful for the children’s community. I’ve been to other writing communities and the creators of children’s literature are the best. They are like a family, they support each other and encourage each other. We have a higher purpose, to create books that make children readers for life, and I am grateful that we do it together.

Samantha M Clark, author of ARROW and the GEMSTONE DRAGONS books

Image: Tarpon Springs Public Library, Tarpon Springs, FL via tarponlibrary.org

I am thankful for…. Public Libraries

My most powerful and wonderful memories around books are thanks to public libraries.
For years, every Saturday, my mother and I would walk to the public library near our apartment, go up the

stairs to the children’s section on the second floor, and I would choose a stack of books to read for the week. Like the best shopping trip ever, where the only limiting factor was how much we could carry. Then there was a long, hot summer with no air conditioning in Florida, where I lived with my father, where I worked in the little “YA” book shelf at the local library. I stumbled upon a novel I had never heard of before, SE Hinton’s The outsidersmy favorite book of my middle grade reading years by a mile.

Reading has been a constant companion and source of joy and comfort in my life. So thank you, libraries and librarians, for all you do for your communities.

“When my latest MG manuscript failed to attract the attention (I thought) it deserved, I fell into a dark hole of despair. Then I did what many writers do when faced with existential exhaustion. I stopped writing.

But then last summer, while I was cleaning my mom’s apartment, I found a black garbage bag in a kitchen drawer. I looked inside and discovered a treasure trove of letters. Me letters—hundreds of them—written to my parents from a sleepover camp. Naturally, I made myself comfortable and began to read.

Hours later, I knew I had found the inspiration for my next book. I didn’t know what the book would be about at this point, but I knew it had top-notch material. I grabbed my notebook and started writing.

Four months later, he had a first draft. I sent it to my agent, who replied: “Every time an exhausted writer catches his second wind and writes a great novel, an angel gets his wings.”

My agent’s words made me glow inside. I found my second wind, and I’m grateful for it, wherever it takes me.”

melissa roske

“I am grateful to be able to write while stroking a kitten on my lap and looking at beautiful trees. It may sound simple, but the deep peace of this space helps to free my
mind to create.”

“I am thankful for amazing teachers like Ms. Klipfel who encourage and inspire their children to use STEMbooks to explore their imaginations! Let’s go STEM/STEAM!”

jennifer swanson

“I am so grateful for all the support my first novel Honey and Me is receiving from friends, family, the larger communities that I am a part of that I didn’t even know about. Thank you!”

More Drazin

Image: Trisha Speed ​​Shaskan, trishaspeedshaskan.com

“I appreciate book events with local and national authors. They give me a reason to celebrate books, meet and talk with local authors, and discover new authors and their books. It is inspiring and motivating to be surrounded by such talented writers.”

Karen Latchana Kenney

We are also all thankful for YOU, our wonderful readers!

Karen Latchana Kenney

Karen Latchana Kenney writes books on nature, biodiversity, conservation, and groundbreaking scientific discovery. Born in Guyana, she moved to Minnesota at a young age. She is now a full-time children’s book author and editor and lives in Minnetonka with her husband and her son. Visit it online at http://latchanakenney.wordpress.com.

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