Children's Author
Liz Garton Scanlon
Employer: Various publishers

Position description:
I write books for young children.

Photo: Liz Garton Scanlon
How They Got There

Undergrad degree:  English

Favorite class in college:  Poetry Workshop

Changing majors:  I'm pretty sure I briefly majored in Nursing, English, Anthropology and Political Science.

Graduate degree:  Graduate degree in Creative Writing.

College to career:  I wrote for newspapers and magazines, edited a poetry journal, took on textbook and corporate copywriting gigs, taught children and adults and, finally, stepped into the work that I truly love. Both my undergraduate and graduate degrees were relevant and sustaining, even though I never took a course in children's literature. Through my coursework I developed an unflagging respect for the attentive care required by the written word. No matter what written word nor where it would appear. That lesson is still with me everyday.

Career influences:  When I became a mother, I suddenly realized I could marry my craft to my creative passion to my new life. It was really the perfect integration.

The Ups and Downs
Pros: Following my muse, working from home in my slippers and pajamas, and introducing the child that I was to the children being read to today.

Cons: I always worry that my last good idea really was my last ever good idea.

I wish someone had told me not to be afraid to experiment, take risks and soak in as much of everything as possible. There is no other time in life, I don't think, when the breadth of the whole world is there to taste. We narrow down our choices too quickly!

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