By Dana Edwards
The other day I walked through the front hall of the school where I work as a school counselor. Two fifth grade girls were arguing—almost shouting—about a book. “I didn’t like it! It was scary,” one said. “I know! That’s why I loved it!” the other said. Each was trying to convince a third girl why she should or shouldn’t read the book.
Both girls were equally vocal about the same book. And here’s the thing—each girl had read it to the end. They were worked up. Excited. Passionate about this author’s story. The author had stirred up emotion in both girls.
In another lifetime, I worked in academia where publish or perish was a real thing. Thankfully, I cranked out enough research and theoretical articles to stay employed and be promoted. But those pieces were all about kids (and families.)
Several years later, I accepted a different challenge and become a practicing school counselor again. Daily, I witness my students’ struggles to belong, be heard, and be seen by their peers, teachers, and families. Now I long to write for kids. I want to speak directly to them. I want kids to see themselves—their own insecurities, fears, hopes, and dreams in my stories.
I want to write words that will make kids feel something. Words that can cause them to laugh, cry, and wonder. But most importantly, I want my story to create an emotion so strong that they’ll shout about it in the hall of a school. One day.
That’s why I write.
Dana Edwards writes stories for children. She was born in Texas and now lives with her husband just outside of Atlanta. When she’s not working at her school as a counselor, she’s walking with her dog, watching her son play college baseball, or exchanging hilarious GIFs with her daughter (sometimes her daughter only snickers). And Dana’s always thinking up stories to make kids think, feel, and laugh.