TONI'S EARLY WRITING
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THE FIVE TINY PEOPLE WHO LIVED IN THE WASHBASKET
I wrote this in fourth grade and my dad's assistant typed it up for me. I think it won a contest at school, because it got bound into a book and was in the library for a few years. People even checked it out!
THE MYSTERY OF THE TRIPLE D RANCH
Because I was a big fan of Nancy Drew mysteries, I wrote something similar in sixth grade. This one was even longer than THE FIVE TINY PEOPLE, so my dad's assistant really got a typing workout!
(THE CASE OF) HARRY KEEBLER, WHERE ARE YOU?
I was in seventh grade, and my cousin was in ninth, when we wrote this story together. It was 101 pages, so we considered it a novel. I still think it's good, so maybe youíll see a newer version on the bookshelves and online in the next year or two!
DRUMBEAT - JUNIOR HIGH NEWSPAPER
Though I wrote fiction stories in elementary school, I became a "journalist" in junior high by joining the school newspaper. If you're interested in writing, itís a great way to practice.
COMPENDIUM - HIGH SCHOOL NEWSPAPER
I took journalism pretty seriously in high school and I eventually became Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper my senior year. It was a great way to learn leadership skills, and I wrote a ton.
THE ADVOCATE - NEWARK, OHIO LOCAL NEWSPAPER
Because I wrote so much for my high school newspaper, sometimes I got invited to write for the local town newspaper also. It was always exciting to see my name in print there.
FLORIDA TODAY (COLLEGE INTERNSHIP)
One of the best things about studying journalism at Northwestern University was being able to work at a real newspaper in Cocoa Beach, Florida for three months. I wrote lots of interesting stories - and some even appeared on the front page.
LETTER FROM STEVEN SPIELBERG
Maybe you've heard of the movie director Steven Spielberg. He did E.T., JURASSIC PARK, INDIANA JONES, TIN TIN, and many more. Well, my cousin and I wrote him a fan letter a long, long time ago Ė with words cut out of magazines. This is what he wrote back!
LETTER FROM JOHN IRVING
John Irving has been a famous writer for almost 40 years, and I was a big fan of one of his early books. I wrote him a letter when I was 14, and he wrote back, saying, "you sound like a writer." So maybe we have John Irving to thank for TWIST MY CHARM and Cleo!