Celebrating M. T. Anderson
National Book Award winner writes for thinking kids: “quirky teens who may be on the outs socially, but who see things their schoolmates don’t.
Matthew Tobin Anderson grew up in a small bedroom community for urban professionals. He describes his house as “1970s suburban,” yet out his back door a forest and a lake beckoned. “So much of my writing has come from that experience of being in the woods and making up stories about what goes on there.”
Anderson remembers writing simple stories at the age of six or seven, and by 7th or 8th grade, he wrote 30- to 40-page stories that he liked to call novels. By age 17 he wrote the first draft of The Game of Sunken Places and sent it to publishers. “It got universally rejected as you might expect,” he says, but the early experience of writing and submitting to publishers showed him that publication was not the most important part of writing for him. “The most important part of writing was actually that zone where I was sitting there and coming up with the material and getting excited by the plot and trying to think of how to best say what I wanted to say.” More…