From Draft to Book

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NPR took a tour of the Kerlan Collection, a formerly private library of first-edition children’s books as well as original artwork, drafts of manuscripts, and other ephemera housed at the University of Minnesota:

This is something you see a lot at the Kerlan. Authors often discard characters and add new ones. Sketches can change radically over the course of 15 drafts.

DiCamillo says those alterations basically document the creative process.

“That’s the part that really grabs me. You can come here and see how people work and you also start to see that it’s work.”


Kelly Lynn Thomas reads, writes, and sometimes sews in Pittsburgh, PA. Her creative work has appeared in Sou’wester, Thin Air Magazine, Heavy Feather Review, metazen, and others, and she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. She is hopelessly obsessed with Star Wars and can always be found with a large mug of tea. She also runs the very small Wild Age Press. Read more at kellylynnthomas.com. More from this author →