Keith Baldwin

February 17, 2006

Post #1931 – 20060217

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

Have you ever been to Iowa City? It’s a great writing town, full of weird characters (many of which are relatives of mine), and home to the University of Iowa. It is unfortunately chocked full of snobby kids from chicago suburbs who are just there for the school and tend to dislike the town. Quoth cousin Ben: “If you throw a stone, you’re bound to hit someone from a Chicago suburb. Please, throw it hard.” Anyway, it’s also home to the Iowa Young Writer’s Studio, a great camp which I attended last year, and with any will attend again this year. The only doubt lies with some trouble I’ve been having with the character in my writing sample. He’s coming off as too much of an adult (which is weird considering he isn’t much younger than myself). Do you have any advice for writing younger characters?

P.S. Iowa City is also home to the greatest toy store in the world, the Fun Zone (which features such classics as Sigmund Freud action figures [if your lucky you’ll find a faulty one with a flesh colered cigar]), whose owner is one of the few Pinkwater fans I know who aren’t my own converts, and whose sister recieved from you a full set of your books (signed I believe). She also got an interview with Salinger after 25 years of silence (I think I know which I’m more envious of).

Daniel replies:

As far as I can tell, writers' studios, writers' workshops, writers' groups, writers' retreats, creative writing courses, writing samples, writers' conferences, writers' critque groups, and probably writers' camps fine things, and will do you loads of good. I do not recall giving anyone a full set of my books--it would be impossible anyway because, for some reason, I keep writing more. I was in Des Moines once.