Vicky Metcalf Award for Children's Literature

Q&A with Iain Lawrence - 2011 Recipient


What was the last great book you read?

That would be, without doubt, The Art of Racing in the Rain. I just loved that story of a dog and his people, from beginning to end.

How old were you when your first work was published?

I wrote a story for the local newspaper when I was in high school. But the editor revised it so much that I could hardly recognize it, and that put me off writing for many years. In my early twenties, I started selling freelance articles to a Sunday newspaper. I was forty when my first book was published.

When you look back, was there any one single personal attribute that propelled you to write?

I was a lonely child, and I think lonely children are drawn to writing, though I’m not sure why. As a journalist, I was surprised to see how many of the reporters I knew had been the same way as children. Perhaps we had learned early on how to create little worlds for ourselves. As a writer, I can say things in words that I would never actually say aloud.

Have the reactions of your readers impacted your writing style (or your point of view) over the years?

I used to underestimate children. I have learned that they are wiser, more knowledgeable, and more sensitive than I ever imagined when I first began writing. I try to add more meaning and depth to my stories now. I don’t think it’s good enough to just entertain.

What does winning this prize mean to you?

Some of the past winners of this prize were literary heroes of mine when I was young. Others inspire me every day to write better. To be included among the best is a wonderful thing.



Woodcock Fund


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