Meet the faculty of the 2020 Austin SCBWI Writers & Illustrators Working Conference. We’ve asked all our faculty members to answer 4 quick questions so we can get to know them better.
Meredith Davis, Author
Meredith Davis is the co-author of HER OWN TWO FEET: A RWANDAN GIRL’S BRAVE FIGHT TO WALK (Scholastic, 2019, PW starred review, JLG selection for Winter 2020, NAACP Image Award nominee). She once worked at an independent children’s bookstore, started the Austin Chapter of SCBWI, and earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults at VCFA. She is married with three children and lives with a home full of books in Austin, Texas.
What attracted you to children’s books?
I was deeply affected and shaped by the books I read as a child and recognize the power of a book to not only inspire, but also distract. Books offer a world outside homework and friend drama, and can open a kid’s eyes to possibilities and worlds beyond their present situation. I love offering that world to a child.
What’s the best part of your job?
I love getting lost in a story, whether reading someone else’s and getting to call it “research” or “homework” or writing my own stories. Connecting with kids whether on the page or at author visits is another “best.” It is hard to choose just one!
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
As much as I love getting lost in my work, it’s hard to get started. I have to start and write a while so I can reach that place. To get past the emails and daily tug of distractions is always hard, but always worth it.
What’s the best piece of advice you were given that helped drive your career?
Kathi Appelt told me, a long time ago, to write every day. It didn’t have to be for an hour, or even half an hour. “Five minutes” she told us. Anyone can do five minutes! And sometimes that five minute leads me into hours of productive work. I am not intimidated by five minutes, and so I get started, which is sometimes the biggest battle of all!
Come see Meredith Davis at the 2020 Austin SCBWI conference, May 2-3, 2020