Know Your History – 11th May – Zilpha Keatley Snyder born

know your history - writing

On this day… 11th May, 1927 – Zilpha Keatley Snyder born

Zilpha Keatley Snyder (May 11, 1927 – October 7, 2014) was an American author of books for children and young adults. Three of Snyder’s works were named Newbery Honor books: The Egypt Game, The Headless Cupid and The Witches of Worm. Between 1964 and 2011, Snyder completed 43 books. She was most famous for writing adventure stories and fantasies.

About the Writing

“I think writing is an extension of a childhood habit—the habit of entertaining oneself by taking interesting bits of reality and building upon them.”

While Snyder was growing up, interesting stories filled her household. Both of her parents spent a lot of time relating true accounts of pastzilpha Quote events in their lives, so Snyder came by her storytelling instincts honestly. But unlike her parents, when Zilpha had something to tell, she had, as she says, “an irresistible urge to make it worth telling, and without the rich and rather lengthy past that my parents had to draw on, I was forced to rely on the one commodity of which I had an adequate supply—imagination.” Consequently, at the age of 8, Snyder decided to become a writer.

Did You Know?

Snyder never intended to write for children. She says;

“Writing for children hadn’t occurred to me when I was younger, but nine years of teaching in the upper elementary grades had given me a deep appreciation of the gifts and graces that are specific to individuals with 10 or 11 years of experience as human beings. Remembering a dream I’d had when I was 12 years old about some strange and wonderful horses, I sat down and began to write.” Season of Ponies, Snyder’s first book, was published in 1964.


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