At several recent signings, I’ve been approached by high school students interested in writing for childen. My responses to their questions will run over a series of blog posts. Perhaps they will assist other students and aspiring writers.
A: I graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. I LOVED Cornell and would encourage any self-motivated student with a strong desire to learn to consider Cornell. (The winters are cold, though, so be prepared!) As someone who may want to be a writer, you do not need to major in any specific field. Writers, by nature, are curious people. They want to find out new things, and whether they research nonfiction topics (like the fighter pilots and aircraft carriers I read about for Nugget on the Flight Deck) or discover new characters in their imaginations (like I did with “My Brother, Josh” published in Spider Magazine), they need to keep their minds open for story ideas. The more you practice, the better you get at finding story ideas. When you get to college, be sure you take classes or join activities that make you write–maybe you take a creative writing class; or maybe you write for the school newspaper; or maybe you write articles about some research you are doing for a professor. Practice putting words on paper.