In July, I’ll travel up to Vermont (car loaded with a glut of shoes and clothes and books and more shoes – the majority of which I will never use) to begin my first semester in the Vermont College of Fine Art’s MFA program. My concentration – Writing for Children and Young Adult – of course! With a slight sense of panic, I’ve been reading the recommended “preparatory” texts, so that when I arrive, I’ll be able to jump right back into the world of literati. (No matter that it has been twenty years since I’ve written a critical paper, with the exception of the critical work I scrapped together as part of my application. No worry about that at all.)
The prescribed list is comprised of VCFA’s esteemed faculty’s suggested reading. In truth, there must have been dozens of books on the list. With only two months before I leave, I decided to narrow the list down to a good cross-section of books on the craft of writing from several different perspectives. In case you are looking for some new, inspiring reads on how to improve your writing and your creative spirit overall, or if you simply want to join me in my return to the world of academic reading, I’m sharing my abbreviated list with you. As I make my way through the books, I will, as usual, be offering up my opinions on the content covered in each volume. If you read them, feel free to share your opinions as well!
What’s Your Story: A Young Person’s Guide to Writing Fiction by Marion Dane Bauer
The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner
Writing Books for Young People by James Cross Giblin
Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Art of Fiction by David Lodge
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life by Twyla Tharp