Run time 4;25

A strong interview with Renée Ahdieh. The interview focus is on her writing process.

• Writes books based on the theme of “choice and consequences” with her goal being to “explore the gray area between.”

•Good discussion of how she plans out her books contrasting her “architect” approach to others who work looser, more like gardeners or “panthers” people who write by the seat of their pants.

•Renée knows the ending of her books before she gets there — that is how carefully scripted they are.

• Before beginning her novels she writes character sketches of the main characters.


Project: Character Sketches

A practical idea to take away from this interview is the idea of having students write character sketches before they begin writing their stories. Ask your students to write one or two pages for each of the main characters. Who are they? What do they look like? What is their back story? Who are their parents? The character sketch should be detailed — a small biography. With the characters developed in advance — the students know what they look like and what kind of people they are — it will be much easier for them to tell a story that feels lifelike. Many of the details in the character sketches will not actually be used in the story, but, by working through the imaginative process of inventing whole characters, the students will be able to make their stories richer.

Social Media Links for Renée Ahdieh

Books by Renée Ahdieh at

About the Author

In 1973, I was twenty years old, teaching children's art classes at my college, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and came up with the idea that the best way to encourage children to write was to introduce them to the best writing by their peers. Stone Soup grew out of that idea, and I have continued to publish Stone Soup for all these years.
I am also a culinary historian. I write about traditional foodways. My book, "The Magic of Fire," is about hearth cooking. My book, "Bread, a global history," speaks for itself. I am currently writing a bread history for a University Press. I publish articles on gardening and traditional foodways at Mother Earth News. I also publish on wild mushrooms and other food-related subjects.

Related Posts

Lukas Cooke, our young blogger interested in nature and the environment, recently had the...

Compilation Video Length: 8:53 This is a video of an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the...

This interview inspires two projects: write a story based on a photograph and illustrate a story...

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: