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Take Joy: A Book for Writers Paperback – March, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Writer, Inc.; First Edition edition (March 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087116194X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871161949
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #998,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born and raised in New York City, Jane Yolen now lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts. She attended Smith College and received her master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts. The distinguished author of more than 170 books, Jane Yolen is a person of many talents. When she is not writing, Yolen composes songs, is a professional storyteller on the stage, and is the busy wife of a university professor, the mother of three grown children, and a grandmother. Active in several organizations, Yolen has been on the Board of Directors of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, was president of the Science Fiction Writers of America from 1986 to 1988, is on the editorial board of several magazines, and was a founding member of the Western New England Storytellers Guild, the Western Massachusetts Illustrators Guild, and the Bay State Writers Guild. For twenty years, she ran a monthly writer's workshop for new children's book authors. In 1980, when Yolen was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree by Our Lady of the Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts, the citation recognized that "throughout her writing career she has remained true to her primary source of inspiration--folk culture." Folklore is the "perfect second skin," writes Yolen. "From under its hide, we can see all the shimmering, shadowy uncertainties of the world." Folklore, she believes, is the universal human language, a language that children instinctively feel in their hearts. All of Yolen's stories and poems are somehow rooted in her sense of family and self. The Emperor and the Kite, which was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1983 for its intricate papercut illustrations by Ed Young, was based on Yolen's relationship with her late father, who was an international kite-flying champion. Owl Moon, winner of the 1988 Caldecott Medal for John Schoenherr's exquisite watercolors, was inspired by her husband's interest in birding. Yolen's graceful rhythms and outrageous rhymes have been gathered in numerous collections. She has earned many awards over the years: the Regina Medal, the Kerlan Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Society of Children's Book Writers Award, the Mythopoetic Society's Aslan Award, the Christopher Medal, the Boy's Club Jr. Book Award, the Garden State Children's Book Award, the Daedalus Award, a number of Parents' Choice Magazine Awards, and many more. Her books and stories have been translated into Japanese, French, Spanish, Chinese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Afrikaans, !Xhosa, Portuguese, and Braille. With a versatility that has led her to be called "America's Hans Christian Andersen," Yolen, the child of two writers, is a gifted and natural storyteller. Perhaps the best explanation for her outstanding accomplishments comes from Jane Yolen herself: "I don't care whether the story is real or fantastical. I tell the story that needs to be told."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 31, 2003
Format: Paperback
It would have been worth the [$$] simply to read the excerpt quoted on the back cover of this book, where Jane Yolen defines 'saku-taku-no-ki' (the Japanese word for the instant a chick pecking on the inside and a mother peacking on the outside of an egg reach the same spot, the egg cracks open and new life emerges) and compares it to the conception of story in a writer's mind.
From ethereal and poetic words of advice meant to settle lightly on the brain and tint your thoughts with new shades of color, to concrete discussions of plot and voice (including memorable descriptions of the Bardic Voice, the Schoolboy Voice, the Boogerman Voice, and more), Ms. Yolen's writing is elegant and earthy by turns, and always seems to describe what you have known deep-down to be an essential truth but could never put into words.
I have heard Ms. Yolen talk about her writing twice, and highly recommend this book as the next best thing to sitting at the feet of this master storyteller and listening to her speak.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have read numerous writing books, and while many offer solid, sensible advice (Writing Down the Bones, Bird by Bird), almost all focus on the pain and angst of writing. Yolen celebrates the silver lining rather than dwelling on the cloud. Yes, writing is hard work, but why do it if there is no joy? This is, by no means, just a fluffy, feel-good book. The advice is sage and easy to follow, and through it all is the invaluable reminder that you should be writing because there is nothing else you'd rather be doing.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By dragondazd on March 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
This isn't a book about writing so much as a book about people who love to write. People who have thoughts racing through their heads of what-ifs and wouldn't-that-be-neats. I enjoyed this book because it spoke to me. One of the reasons why she writes is just to find out how a story turns out, and I have felt that too. She mentions stories that tell her about herself, and I have sensed this as well. She reminds me that you can't please everybody so you might as well please yourself. And she writes because she wants to, isn't that the only reason that will make it worthwhile? After reading this book, I felt a kinship with her. I'd love to meat this woman.
She had many clever ways to present different aspects of writing and even though I already knew the basics that she presented, her approaches made me look at simple things in a new light. This book was sweet, playful, cheerful, and still serious at the same time.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Reading my way thru life on June 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
Checked this out from the library, and it wasn't far in reading that I realized that I had to get my own copy. This is a book that you will want to underline, highlight and keep out on your desk to refer to often!

My personal collection of books on writing is small. I read all I can about writing (the how-to's, the work, the life, etc.) but most all of my reading material is from the library, and I am choosy about what books I buy. This book is a must have to my personal library, and tops on my favorites list!

This is a book from a woman who LIVES writing. She has written over 250+ books! WOW! Her advice is Inspirational,Obviously Experienced, Honest, and Funny.

Great book for writers!
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