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Erin Entrada Kelly: Learning about the world of publishing

Award-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly has been fascinated by the world of books since she was a child. Not just the writing of them, but the cover art, publication process, and even the dedications.

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Erin Entrada Kelly

Folktales, Fantasy, Fiction

Erin Entrada Kelly

Erin Entrada Kelly is the author of chapter books for tweens and teens, including Hello, Universe — winner of the 2018 Newbery Medal. Her books explore coming of age with sensitivity and honesty, dealing with issues such as bullying, building friendships, and feeling like an outsider.


Obviously I was a ferocious reader. And I was introduced to books a lot through our school library. Thankfully my school had one. Scholastic book fair, and we had a set of encyclopedias at home, and I loved to pull out a random letter and just read about what ever was on the page. And I would even read the copyright pages of books, and the acknowledgements to try to figure out how did this actual thing happen? How did this book become a book? I would read the Library of Congress, you know information, everything dedication. And as I got older I would read things like Writers Digest. I would go to Walden Books, and even though I was maybe 12 or 13, I would read writers magazines. That’s how I gained a lot of knowledge, even at the young age at how publishing worked. And I would buy what was very expensive to me, like $29.95, The Writers Market, the big huge volume. I would buy those and take them home, even though I was 13 or 14, and I would look at the agents, the publishing houses. And I would say, “One day I’m going to mail my manuscript to one of these places.” So, I’ve been informing myself as you can say on the publishing process for a long time. Because everything is about books has always interested me. Not just putting the words down, but I would think about how they are printed and who did the cover art, and how does this happen? Every aspect of it fascinates me, so I’ve been educating myself on it a long time.