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Immersion, Writing, & Mom

How did you start writing?

I think I started to take writing seriously in the third grade. That’s when I wrote my first award-winning story,

The Secret of Devil’s Eye Canyon,” as a teacher-required entry into the Illinois Young Author’s Competition. The story was, well, maybe not brilliant, but also maybe not bad for a third grader. I became a state finalist, which meant I got to attend my first ever writing conference (for kiddos) on the campus of Illinois State University. Of course I thought I was pretty big stuff. And I fell in love with the craft.

My mother, an avid reader and a demanding editor, encouraged me to read literary fiction starting when I was pretty young, and never let me turn in a paper that hadn’t been critiqued at the sentence level. I loved the reading. I didn’t always love the editing. But I did grow to appreciate it as I got older and discovered that not only was this writing thing more than just a passing phase, it was also hard work. And it was worth it.

Why do you love it?

There are probably a lot of reasons I still love it. The biggest is that I have never lost my love of reading. Just getting wrapped up in the lives of well-drawn characters or imaginative settings, or even diving into the mind and passion of a nonfiction author for a while, really feels like a wonderful privilege. I love to be able to provide that experience for others. And, more selfishly, while reading a book takes a little while, writing a book takes a good long while. I really enjoy every single step in the process of bringing characters and stories to life because I get to spend so much time with them. I even enjoy the painstaking, sentence level editing. (Thanks, Mom!)


Sarah Angleton is the author of

Launching Sheep & Other Stories from the Intersection of History and Nonsense

(available from Amazon or anywhere you buy books) - a collection of lighthearted essays about history, life, and all the funny bits.

She lives in the St. Louis area with her husband, two sons, and one very loyal dog.

Connect with her at


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