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Another year has flown by, and while we have borne the loss of some great creators and publishing influencers, we still have a tremendous community of children’s book writers, illustrators, and translators to look towards for inspiration. We have had many words of wisdom shared on Kite Tales this past year and it is a great pleasure to share them again with you now.

Writing for children requires grit and self-reflection; a sense of play and an openness to the changing world. As creators, we can find inspiration in change and embrace our own strengths and weaknesses to make something greater than we thought possible. Take heart and have patience, we are all on this journey together.

The following is just a sampling of the inspiring quotes from Kite Tales in 2021. Hopefully, they will motivate and help you formulate new ways of creating for 2022. Each quote is linked back to the article if you want to dive deeper or revisit them.

Happy reading and happy creating!

  • “Words often feel like lumpy dough in my hands—it’s very hard to shape into something meaningful. But pictures—pictures are like sculpting… A piece of paper is something waiting for something to be carved out of it.” — LeUyen Pham
Illustration by LeUyen Pham
  • “… it’s lovely to not be limited to one lane. I play with words, in whatever form they show up. That’s the beauty of being your own brand.” — Erin Dealey
  • “I believe a sense of humanity and our vision of reaching a young person trying to figure themselves out are what draw us as a community—a tremendous force of community.” — Rieko Mendez
  • “A day of writing [had] opened up new worlds and characters and reminded us [of] the best kind of writing—writing free from self-criticism.” — Jorjeana Marie
  • “I think sticking with it, staying true to yourself and your story, and also having the tenacity to continue in the face of criticism and rejection, gives an author the grit that they need to be successful.” — Sara Schonfeld
  • “Keep on writing. STEAM books are for everybody because they help young people understand the world around them.” — Kristen Nordstrom
  • “I believe that revision is about acknowledging what we’ve created, growing the things that we love, and releasing that which no longer serves the book to make room for something new.” — Elana K. Arnold
Illustration by Hannah Shafiroff
  • “From ancient times, both written and oral storytelling have provided an important function in society as a way of uniting people, sharing information, providing comfort, and promoting understanding.” — Amy Rubinate
  • “Discussions about diversity in the arts today focus on the importance of diverse characters and diverse creators. As crucial as that is, diversity can and should also include different story forms and themes drawn from diverse traditions.” — Henry Lien
  • “We all read, we all write, we all progress at our own pace. You’ll get there. Your story will get there. Just start at the beginning, and take your time through the end.” — Eric Smith

If you have any favorite quotes about writing, illustrating, and the creative life, please share them in the comments below!

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Illustrations provided by LeUyen Pham and Hannah Shafiroff.