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Katherine Rundell On Writing For Children Oct 03, 2021

From the Desk of Katherine Rundell

(Our guest for Monday's Live Author Session. See our forthcoming events for October here.)

Children’s fiction has a long and noble history of being dismissed. Martin Amis once said in an interview: ‘People ask me if I ever thought of writing a children's book. I say, “If I had a serious brain injury I might well write a children's book”.’

There is a particular smile that some people give when I tell them what I do – roughly the same smile I’d expect had I told them I spend my time knitting outfits for the elves out of cat hair. Particularly in the UK, even when we praise, we praise with faint damns: a quotation from the Guardian on the back of Alan Garner’s memoir Where Shall We Run To read: ‘He has never been just a children’s writer: he’s far richer, odder and deeper than that.’ So that’s what children’s fiction is not: not rich or odd or deep.

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