Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Happy File

I was sorry to hear about the recent passing of one of our Newbery Medal winners, E. L. Konigsburg.

She won the award back in 1968 with The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and then again in 1997 for The View from Saturday.

A number of years ago, when I read the 35th anniversary edition of that first winner, I was struck by what she included in the Afterward. Of all things, it was the acceptance letter from her editor.

She offered no explanation for its inclusion, but I must say that it delighted me.

So, I have to admit that I immediately copied that page and put it into my own “mixed-up” Happy File.


Because every writer longs to receive a letter like this.

And so, I have reprinted the text here just for you...

Date: July 21, 1966

Dear Mrs. Konigsburg:

Since you came in with FROM THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER, I have found myself chuckling over it more than once. I have read it only once, but the memory of the incidents come up every once in a while.

I do really want this book. I will be sending you a contract very shortly. I have some suggestions that will make it even better, but don’t want to make them until I have had a chance to read it through again. You will be hearing from me shortly.

Sincerely yours,
Jean Karl
Editor of Children’s Books (Atheneum)

Doesn't that make you smile?

And someday it is my wish, that YOU will receive a wonderful letter just like it.

Life is little…

So, dream BIG!

PROMPT: If you don’t have a Happy File, make one today! 

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