Kate DiCamillo

On November 3, 2001, Kate DiCamillo spoke at the University of Iowa's Festival of Children's Books.  Later that week she spoke at Coe College and presented her Ten Commandments of Writing.

Expansion of her points are contained in notes from the presentation that are now part of the Sharron L. McElmeel collection housed at the University of Iowa Libraries: Special Collections (BOX 5).

1. Look closely, carefully, curiously at the world around you.
2. Read, Read, Read.
3. Learn to lie.
4. Write -- you have to write.
5.Learn to deal with doubt.
6. Keep a journal.
7. Give up any hope of perfection.
8. Learn the rules.
9. Listen.
9 1/2 Forget everything I've told you -- writing is a mystery, a personal mystery that takes every writer in a different path.
10. (Verbal note from me - the note taker) Note from note taker (me).  I don't know where the  10th point  went it seems that we never got back to the list once she began talking about her own writing, her thoughts on Harry Potter, and beyond.  So maybe despite the fact that she clearly included the 9 1/2 point, perhaps that was really intended to be #10.  You figure it out. Complete notes are at the University of Iowa: special collection as well.

-- Sharron L. McElmeel
footer bar