Meet the faculty of the 2021 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.
Carol Kim, Author
Carol Kim is the author of several fiction and nonfiction books for kids. Before her children were born, she had a career in public policy, and specialized in environmental issues. Over time it became clear her favorite part of her jobs always involved any kind of writing. She finally wised up and embarked on a career as a writer and author instead. Carol enjoys researching and uncovering little-known facts and sharing what she learns with young readers. A second generation Korean American, she also loves creating stories that share Korean culture beyond kimchi and K-Pop. She lives in Austin, Texas with her family. Learn more at her website: CarolKimBooks.com.
Author Carol Kim
What attracted you to children’s books?
Like many authors, books have been an important part of my life since childhood. As a kid, they offered me a safe haven and encouraged and inspired me to explore my world and engage is introspection. While I still read constantly, it was the books I read as a child that I remember most and had the biggest impact on me. Writing for an audience of children feels like an opportunity to make a difference in a person’s life at a critical time in their life.
What’s the best part of your job?
I love writing, but I have to admit that I love reading more than writing. Being an author means I can always justify reading books as “working” and “part of my job”!
The other best part? Having completed manuscripts—after getting the writing part done, the “having written” part is awesome.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Meeting my self-imposed deadlines. I am great at meeting deadlines for other people, but when I’m the only one holding myself accountable, I become a total slacker!
What’s the best piece of advice you were given that helped drive your career?
I love this quote I ran across from author and instructor Jan Fields: “A good writer who doesn’t give up, keeps building skills, and keeps writing and submitting is almost certain to be published.”
This quote gave me the resolve I needed to keep trying and not give up. For years I would put aside writing for months (even years) at a time. But Jan’s quote led me to engage in some form of progress at all times, such as a course, a mentorship, or signing up for a writing challenge. If you use the rejections and disappointments as learning opportunities and don’t ever hang up your writing hat, you will reach that publishing goal. It may not happen for every one of your projects, but it will happen in some way.
Come see Carol Kim at the 2021 Austin SCBWI conference, May 1-2, 2021.