Literary Birthday – 10 February – E. L. Konigsburg

E. L. Konigsburg was born 10 February 1930, and died 19 April 2013


  1. Finish. The difference between being a writer and being a person of talent is the discipline it takes to apply the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair and finish. Don’t talk about doing it. Do it. Finish.
  2. It is sometimes necessary to use unnecessary words like ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ just to make life prettier.
  3. A nasty letter or a sarcastic one can make you righteously angry, but what can you do about a polite letter of rejection? Nothing, really, except cry.
  4. Before you can be anything, you have to be yourself. That’s the hardest thing to find.
  5. I try to provide the sideways glance of the outsider when they ask themselves, ‘what makes me the same as everyone else; what makes me different?’
  6. Art comes from a visceral need and is usually generated by something I have seen; writing comes from something that happens in my head and to my heart.
  7. Never have a long conversation with anyone who says ‘between you and I‘.

E. L. Konigsburg was an American writer and illustrator of children’s books and young adult fiction. She is one of five writers to win the Newbery Medal twice. She won for Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth, and was runner-up in the same year, 1967, with From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs Basil E. She won again for The View from Saturday in 1997.

Click here to see a photograph of the author

by Amanda Patterson

Are you interested in more authors’ birthdays? Please click here: Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 10th February 2014