“The impossible was possible”

Award-winning author Kate Dicamillo visits the Germantown Campus

Photo: Kendall LoCascio
A student-made sign by students welcomes author Kate Dicamillo to St. George's. The award-winning author visited the Germantown Campus on Mon. May 9.

On Mon. May 9, author Kate Dicamillo, one of six individuals to win two Newbery Medals, one for “The Tale of Despereaux” and another for “Flora and Ulysses,” visited the Germantown Campus. She signed books for students in the library and talked about how she became a writer. Dicamillo began writing at age 30 and has been writing for 22 years, so her message was nothing short of informative and full of experience.

“Right around 30 years old, I had an epiphany,” Dicamillo said about her start to her writing career. “I’m going to just write two pages every day.”

Dicamillo was drawn to writing because she was sick for a hefty portion of her childhood, which forced her to move across the country and spend much alone time with her thoughts at home. While she was sick, she turned to creative writing as a means of entertainment.

“That was the first time I understood what stories could do,” Dicamillo said. “All of these impossible things could become possible.”

Dicamillo began to crank out novels and sent copies of her completed works to publishers, but she received a shocking number of rejection letters.

“473 rejection letters. What if I had stopped at 400 or at 472? I wouldn’t be doing the thing I feel like I’m supposed to be doing with me life,” she said.

Students and teachers alike were amazed at the number of rejection letters Dicamillo received, especially considering how popular her books are and how heavily decorated she is as an author.

“She’s so cool,” third grader Carson Wells said. “I can’t wait to read the book she signed for me.”

All in all, Ms. Dicamillo gave an entertaining and inspirational talk to our elementary school students and faculty that was sure to inspire at least one future author.

“I’m hoping I can keep on doing this for the rest of my life,” Dicamillo said. “I’m 52, and I’d say I have at least 30 more good years left. I’d be really happy if I got maybe 15 more books done. That’d be great.”