Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication.
Harper Lee’s birthday is tomorrow, so today I went on a hunt to find some Harper Lee quotes somewhere in our archives. I didn’t exactly troll up an entire interview (no surprise there, given her lack of media appearances since To Kill a Mockingbird was published*), but I did stumble on this gold mine from 1961.
For a cover story interviewing Lee and a slew of other writers—John Steinbeck, Rod Serling, Carl Sandburg, James Thurber—we posed the question, “What advice would you offer a person who aspires to a writing career?” and asked for a single response.
Here’s their writing advice. I’m in the process of geeking out and printing Sandburg’s right now so I can place it above my desk.
As for our swag drawing, thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts on Janet Evanovich and outlining last week. We dipped a hand into the random WD swag hat, and a name emerged: Sharon Vander Meer. Sharon, can you email firstname.lastname@example.org, ATTN: Zachary Petit, and I’ll send you a list of free books to choose from?
*Here’s to hoping it wasn’t because we cited Lee as the author of To Kill a Hummingbird. Oy. Some 50 years later, WD still regrets (and still heavily cringes at) the error. Sorry, Harper!
- For more quotes from writing legends—90, to be exact—read our 90-year retrospective here.
- Like what you read from WD online? Don’t miss an issue in print!