3 Writing Tips From Authors at the 2014 National Book Festival

By Maryann Yin 

National Book FestOver the weekend, dozens of authors and illustrators appeared at the Library of Congress’ 14th annual National Book Festival. Children’s books creator Bob Staake designed this year’s official poster. We’ve collected three writing tips that some of the writers shared during their panels.

Joey Pigza book series author Jack Gantos suggests that one “stay as organized as possible.” He thinks that one should keep several notebooks. This helps to categorize different thoughts because one idea might be a good fit for the beginning a story and another could work for the middle.

Brown Girl Dreaming memoir writer Jacqueline Woodson credits Bridge to Terabithia author Katherine Paterson for coming up with the idea of “BIC.” The acronym stands for “butt in chair.” Woodson stresses that one stay focused and make writing a daily habit.

Shanghai Girls novelist Lisa See advises setting a goal of hitting “1000 words per day.” She also feels that one must stay passionate about the profession. She likens a writing career to marriage because of the commitment it requires.