Sunday, October 2, 2016

JCUF VOL 3 NO 1 (2016) – Children’s Author ANGELA WALCOTT

This edition of the Journal of Canadian Urban Fiction is dedicated to the writers who have committed themselves to sharing diverse stories and celebrating children from all backgrounds through literature. We take a brief look at their history, their inspiration, and their favourite children’s titles, and ask them to share some advice for aspiring authors.


1) How long have you been writing children's literature, and what first inspired you to write this genre of books?

About three years now. I was first inspired to write children's literature after taking a writing course—many ideas started to come forth. I knew I had to document them somehow, and children's literature became a natural pathway for me.

2) How does your personal culture influence your writing?

I try to write what I know from a cultural perspective while incorporating a broader world view into the storyline.

3) What do you remember about children's books when you were growing up, and how to you hope to change the experience with your audience?

I found it difficult to locate characters that resembled me. Literature that focused on young Black girls navigating through life in urban Toronto was virtually non-existent as well, so I hope to expand the scope of children's literature from that perspective so that is more representative of Black Canadians.

4) Who is your favourite children's author, and why?

That's a tough one…it's a tie between Dennis Lee (author of Alligator Pie) and Maurice Sendak (Where The Wild Things Are) because their bodies of work are so imaginative.

5) What is one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring children's author, based on your experiences thus far?

Write honestly and with confidence. Believe in yourself but above all believe in your story and remember that there is a storyteller that exists in each and every one of us.


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