Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


Edie Hemingway's Work Space

My husband took this picture before I had a chance to clean up my desk. He thought it was important that you see how messy it is when I'm working--papers spread everywhere and sticky notes (with important and not so important information) on any available surface. It's true that this is the way I work. Many times I can't find what I need most. I have a wonderful window to look out into the woods, but I am often easily distracted by birds, squirrels, deer, or anything moving.

However, when I need to free myself of technology and resort to a simple pencil and pad of paper, I climb to the top of my rocks and settle on this bench.


Carmen "T" shelving books in alphabetical order.

This is one side of my office. The whole basement is really mine, because my husband has decided to work upstairs. I have two big desks and many more books, most signed by their authors. I read and reread these books, study them, and teach writing with them. They are my treasure.


My White Bear Lake Home

It may be cluttered, but this is where I work.

My studio is a compact 6 x 9 feet, but it is a great improvement from working at my kitchen table, which I had to do in my previous apartment. The walls are covered with a wide variety of "stuff": postcards from places I've traveled, group photos of the campers at the writing camp where I teach, a signed book jacket from fellow Potato Lauren Stringer, my list of lifetime goals, a candy bar wrapper from Alaska. Plenty of things to inspire - or distract - me, depending on the day.

Unlike Christy, I don't have a view of orange and grapefruit trees out my window. Directly out my window is my neighbor's apple tree, covered with snow. The photo was taken on Monday.

I write many, many drafts longhand before I transfer them to my computer (you can see piles of drafts on the chair and below the window) which I keep in my bedroom.

This has been rather nice, inviting people to my studio via the Internet; I didn't have to vacuum or dust! You are welcome to stop by any time!


Behind closed doors

All eighteen years I lived in Brooklyn I wished I could hide the clutter of my studio. We lived in a brownstone railroad apartment where each room spilled into the next. Glass French doors separated the rooms. My workspace was the middle room, and when it was messy it defined the whole apartment. I liken my work habits to the tides. In the pictures on the left the tide is out and you can actually see surfaces—a rare moment.

By contrast my California studio is situated at the end of the house, and I can close the door. Look what a mess I’m making! I decided to swallow my pride and give it to you straight. I’m in the midst of preparing for my launch party this weekend. I have bags of Japanese rice crackers, candies, sake bottles, and even disposable sake cups in the middle of my floor. My desk and drawing table are strewn with components of promotional keepsake packages I will assemble and then give out at my event. The tide is in; the waves are swelling and stormy! Outside it is dark and pouring rain. Usually I look out to sunshine, an orange and a grapefruit tree, and the occasional humming bird. Next week is clean up time. The tide will pull out again.

Watch me at work in my video trailer for my new book:


Interview with Robert Hedin of the Anderson Center

Can you provide a brief history of the Anderson Center?

The Tower View estate in Red Wing has been a familiar Minnesota landmark for almost a century. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Tower View, along with 330 acres of farm and forest land, comprises a legacy to the region from Dr. and Mrs. Alexander P. Anderson and their heirs. Dr. Anderson gained worldwide renown for developing the American breakfast cereals known as “Quaker Puffed Wheat” and “Quaker Puffed Rice.”

Since 1995, Tower View has been the home of the Anderson Center, the largest residential arts facility in the Upper Midwest. Along with its unique residency program, the Center hosts a variety of artistic, educational, and cultural activities throughout the year, including art celebrations, exhibitions, book fairs, performances, and other community-related events. The Center provides year-round studio space to more than a dozen working artists, including sculptors, glassblowers, painters, potters, poets, and print makers. It is also the home of several organizations whose related missions add to the synergy among disciplines—Red Wing Environmental Learning Center, Tower View Alternative High School, Red Dragonfly Press, among others. Add to this, southeastern Minnesota’s largest sculpture garden and a permanent art collection that is considered one of the finest in rural Minnesota, and the result is a vibrant and dynamic place dedicated to the arts.

Would you describe the Residency Program?

Each year, from May through October, the Center makes available private time and space to some 45 artists, writers, and scholars from the United States and abroad. Residencies, which include meals and lodging at the Center, are for two weeks to one month, during which time resident-fellows are expected to work on a clearly defined project and to make a substantive contribution to the community in the form of a talk, class, or performance of their work.

Since the Center opened, over 500 artists, writers, and scholars from more than 40 states and 26 foreign countries have come to stay at the Center. The Center also engages in artist exchange programs with artist communities in Europe and China and has scholarship programs with the University of Notre Dame, Pacific Lutheran University, and the University of Minnesota.

What is the application process like?

The application process is quite simple, with each applicant asked to fill out a brief application form and to provide a resume, work plan, and samples of work. The application deadline for May, June, and July is February 1; the deadline for August, September, and October is March 1.

Do you have some numbers for the Center’s annual Celebration of Minnesota Children’s Authors and Illustrators?

This wonderful event is hosted by the Anderson Center, Red Wing Public Library, and the Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul. Since it began in 1999, the celebration has attracted more than 13,000 people from the five-state area, with over 130 of Minnesota’s finest children’s writers and illustrators having participated. It has always been one of my favorite Anderson Center events, and I look forward to it every year.

Do you have a website?

Yes, it’s www.andersoncenter.org. Or, call: 651-388-2009.

My work space

One day I would love to have my own office. I have a picture in my head of a lovely windowed room with bookshelves all over, brimming with good reads. And I know many lucky writers who do have that kind of space.
But for now, this is my office, our wooden nook off of the kitchen. I've wrtten a lot of stories sitting here. ( It's where I'm sitting now as I type.) I can look out the picture window and see deer in the yard or the UPS man driving up to bring me a package or my kids driving home from school or my dogs as they've escaped from the back yard. In other words, I can sit here and work as I also keep track of the rest of the world. It may be messy, but it's comfortable. And it works. For now, it's perfect.