Birthdays: Aleksandr Pushkin (1799), Thomas Mann (1875), Maxine Kumin (1925), Cynthia Rylant (1954), Peter Spier (1927), Mignon McLaughlin (1913), Sarah Dessen (1970), V.C. Andrews (1923)
Tip: Don’t clutter your manuscript with unnecessary items. According to Anton Chekov: If there’s a gun onstage in Act I, you’d better use it by Act III.
Thought for the day: “Editing is hard but nowhere NEAR as tough as facing that blank page and blinking cursor each day. You’re all alone and no one else can do it. At least with editing you have someone in the trench with you.” – Sarah Dessen
Jumpstart: Write a paragraph or scene without using the word “the”. Need more of a challenge? Don’t use words with the letter “e” either. Good luck!
Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) was a Russian author of the Romantic era who is considered to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. Pushkin wrote his famous play, Boris Godunov, under the surveillance of the Tsar’s political police. His novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, was serialised between 1825 and 1832. Pushkin fought 29 duels, the last of which ended his life when he was 37.
Thomas Mann (1875-1955) was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, essayist and philanthropist. He was awarded the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature. He was known for his series of symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, which included The Magic Mountain and Death in Venice.
Maxine Kumin (1925-2014) was an American poet and author. Her awards include the Pulitzer and Ruth Lilly Poetry Prizes, the Poets’ Prize, and the Harvard Arts and Robert Frost Medals. She was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1981–1982. Her memoir is The Pawnbroker’s Daughter.
Cynthia Rylant (1954) is an American author and librarian. She has written more than 100 children’s books, including works of fiction (picture books, short stories and novels), nonfiction, and poetry. Several of her books have won awards, including her novel Missing May, which won the 1993 Newbery Medal, and A Fine White Dust, which was a 1987 Newbery Honor book. Two of her books are Caldecott Honor Books.
Peter Spier (1927-2017) was a children’s writer and illustrator. He won the Caldecott Medal for “Noah’s Ark” as well as the National Book Award for Picture Books and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award
Mignon McLaughlin(1913-1983) was an American journalist and author. She wrote two volumes entitled The Neurotic’s Notebook and The Complete Neurotic’s Notebook. She became a journalist and a writer of short stories for Redbook, Cosmopolitan, and other women’s magazines. She worked for Vogue in the 1940s, and was Copy Editor and Managing Editor of Glamour magazine in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Sarah Dessen(1970) is an American writer. She is the author of several novels, including Someone Like You, Just Listen, and Lullaby.
V.C. Andrews (1923-1986) was an American author. Her best-known novel was the best-selling, Flowers in the Attic.