Interview with Vermont Children's Novelist Marilyn Taylor McDowell.

Today’s Write The Book Prompt was inspired by my guest, Marilyn Taylor McDowell, who says writers should never edit out the truth. Susan Sontag once wrote, “Literature is a form of responsibility—to literature itself and to society. … a great writer of fiction, by writing truthfully about the society in which she or he lives, cannot help but evoke … the better standards of justice and of truthfulness which we have the right (some would say the duty) to militate for in the necessarily imperfect societies in which we live.”  As you write this week, try to keep these thoughts present, if loosely, in your mind. What am I examining in my work? And what is the truth of that condition? Don’t force a lesson or a moral into your writing, but identify the truth, as you believe it exists, and maintain it within the work. Good luck with this prompt, and please listen next week for another.

A Little Shameless Self-Promotion: Keep up on what’s happening with Write The Book through two new sites: the blog and the twitter page. Check them out: and

Music credits: 1) “Dreaming 1″ - John Fink; 2) “Filter” - Dorset Greens (a Vermont band featuring several South Burlington High School students)

Share | Download

  • Justin

    I really enjoyed this author interview. I thought that the things that she said were very heartfelt and true. You also made sure the this author answered some good questions. Like questions regarding the aspect of race, the aspect of time, and the aspect of what helps you tie it all together . I am subscribed to your show and look forward to hearing more. Thanks again for your well thought out and genuine work.

    Jul 6, 2009 at 10:06 pm
  • writethebook

    Thanks very much for your comment, Justin. I so appreciate hearing from people who listen to the show. Please tell any friends who are readers and writers! Best - Shelagh

    Jul 7, 2009 at 3:19 pm