Interview with Award-Winning Author Lee Bennett Hopkins

wed2Get to know Lee… 

Lee Bennett Hopkins has written and edited numerous award-winning books for children and young adults, as well as professional texts and curriculum materials. He has taught elementary school and served as a consultant to school systems throughout the country.

Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Hopkins graduated Kean University, Bank Street College of Education, and holds a Professional Diploma in Educational Supervision and Administration from Hunter College. In 1980 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Kean University.

In 1989 he received the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion for “outstanding contributions to the field of children’s literature” in recognition of his work; 2009 brought him the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Excellence in Poetry for Children, recognizing his aggregate body of work. In 2010 he received the Florida Libraries’ Lifetime Achievement Award. For more info, visit his website.

Quirky Questions 

If you were a talk-show host, who would you want as your first guest? 

Barbra Streisand. If someone from the past, Jesus Christ. 

Fill in the blank. I am so much smarter than ____. 

So many others I know who think they are smarter than ________. 

What do you consider your nicest feature?  

My laugh. 

What is your favorite movie line?

“Tomorrow is another day.” (from Gone with the Wind). 

If you were given a canvas and watercolors, what setting would you like to paint yourself into?

A landscape in New York City, particularly Greenwich Village. 

If you were the personal assistant to one celebrity, who would you choose?

Barbra Streisand.

What celebrity irritates you the most?

Bill Cosby. 

Writing Questions 

Why were you drawn to a career in writing instead of to a job that might offer more stability and security? 

I always felt that a career in writing would provide stability and security – and my feelings were right. 

Who do you consider a literary genius?

Langston Hughes, and many others. 

How did you pick your writing genre?

It picked me! 

What life experiences have inspired your work?

Most life experiences inspire one’s work. 

What are your words of wisdom for someone starting out in the field of writing?

If you have one, keep your job. 

What obstacles have you had to deal with in your career?

Idiotic editors. 

What are the biggest challenges you have had in the realm of your art?

Idiotic editors. 

How do you know when a book is finished?

When it is finished. 

Do you do anything special to get your creative juices flowing?

No. 

Hop

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