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12 Years Old and Counting

by Gordon Korman, over 3 years ago

I was 12 when I wrote my first novel. I wasn't trying to be a writer; I was just trying not to flunk Grade 7 English. It was called THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING AT MACDONALD HALL. It's still in print today, some 40+ years later, and it turned out to be the beginning of a pretty big deal for me. Right now I'm at 90 titles and more on the way.

But I only stuck with it because the Canadian system helped me out. I was 12 -- other guys were delivering papers, cutting lawns, babysitting, etc. Making spending money, which is something that, at age 12, one is woefully short of. The thing that kept me writing was the way I was adopted by CANSCAIP, and THE WRITERS' UNION, and occasionally by The Canada Council. They nurtured whatever they thought I had to contribute. And they managed to see to it that my career generated enough financial benefits to keep me off the paper route and on the (at the time) typewriter.

That was 41 years ago. I'm now 53 and still at it. But back then, it was the system, and groups like TWUC, CANSCAIP, and later, Access Copyright, that kept me going. Which is why, wherever I may live, Canada is always going to be home.

Gordon Korman

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