Interview: A.E. Cannon


Registration is open and we are excited to highlight each of our faculty in an upcoming interview.

To see the full list of classes visit the website at

We are thrilled to have Ann Edwards Cannon on our faculty again. Did you know she is the only faculty member that returns to WIFYR every year? She’s taught picture book, middle grade novel, young adult novel, advanced class, beginning writing and boot camp. This June she will be teaching the novel workshop.

Q: Ann, when did you know books for kids was the place for you?

A: When I was in graduate school, I took a young adult literature class–mostly because I thought it would be easy.  And I needed some easy right then.  (Also, I am basically a jr. high boy at heart who is always looking for the path of least resistance when it comes to school.)  As it turned out, the class was hard work.  But it fired my imagination and by the time it ended, I knew I wanted to write books like M. E. Kerr.

Q: What is your favorite line that you have ever written or read that someone else wrote and why?

A: My favorite sentence EVER was written by the Apostle Paul:  “For now we see through a glass, darkly;  but then face to face:  now I know in part;  but then shall I know even as also I am known.” You don’t have to be religious to have that phrase “through a glass, darkly” send chills down your spine.

Q: What is your favorite city and why?

A: I don’t know.  It might be San Francisco, actually.  San Francisco was the first big city I ever visited.  I can remember being nine years old, standing on the wharf, blinking into a furious sun as the wind whipped my hair across my face and gulls screamed overhead, thinking wow.   Just . . . wow.   San Francisco, I want to eat you up I love you so.  (And San Francisco said, “NO!”)

Q: When you are stuck in a particular place in a book that you can’t seem to get through, what do you do?

A: I often wish I were more linear–a more linear thinker, a more linear writer, a more linear everything.  Think how much more efficient I would be.  However!  Every now and then a person’s weakness can actually be her strength.  When I am stuck in a particular spot I don’t stress much.  I just go, “Oh well!  Let me jump to another spot and work on that.”  And eventually after I’ve done that a few times, I have some clarity where the problem area is concerned.

The point is this–no one is going to give you a prize for gritting your teeth and powering through something that’s not working.  Feel free to let yourself jump ahead or behind and work on another scene.

Learn more about Ann Edward Cannon.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Bruce Luck

    One of the things that makes WIFYR so good is the talent of people like Ann Cannon and their willing to share their expertise.

  2. Alison

    Ann Cannon, we love you. So glad you’re coming back to WIFYR . . . again.

  3. amy white

    Ann, you are so awesome! To always be there for your yearly students, to give such sage advance, and still manage to write. Simply amazing.

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