n Mousaion - Bridging gaps between adult writer and child reader in children's fiction
|Article Title||Bridging gaps between adult writer and child reader in children's fiction|
|© Publisher:||UNISA Press|
|Affiliations||1 University of Stellenbosch|
|Publication Date||Jan 2011|
|Pages||59 - 76|
|Keyword(s)||Author, Children's and adolescents' literature, Creative writing, Fiction, Lesley Beake, Readership, Writing goals and Writing process|
This article explores the question of how writers of children's fiction effectively bridge the gap between adult writer and child reader. As part of broader research on the creative writing process, four successful South African fiction authors participated in semi-structured interviews. One author, Lesley Beake, is a children's writer who publishes prolifically. While the writers have much in common, Beake stands out for her collaboration with child readers from the groups from which she draws her protagonists. It emerged that she has particular challenges when it comes to considering her readership which writers of adult fiction are less aware of, such as the respectful consideration of reading ability and vocabulary in second language and beginner readers. The article explores how Beake sets about successfully bridging not only the inevitable generation gap between writer and reader of children's fiction, but also gaps of race, culture and gender. It is argued that she achieves this in part through her belief in the universality of children's experience, built over years of teaching, writing and editing, and in part through her interactions with young people as she writes.
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