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David Elliott

MFA in Creative Writing Faculty


Recently, a student asked me for "sharp rules" and was gravely disappointed when I told her I didn't know any. Every piece of writing– picture book, chapter book, or YA novel - is a world unto itself, idiosyncratic, difficult, maybe even impossible, to fathom fully. My job, as I see it, is to act as a reliable witness for the less experienced writer as she brings that world and its residents, whoever they might be, to the page.

But to make something from nothing is a mysterious , often frustrating, endeavor. In the inventive stages especially, both teacher and student must be vigilant, open to change, and hopefully good-humored. (If you are a sourpuss, I probably am not the right guy for you.) Later, when revising (and revising, and revising) resilience is the quality I look for in both the writer and her work. Throughout our time together, I try not to pretend that I have answers (I don't), but work to ask those questions intended to help the student find her own.


Young Adult Books

Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc (2019)
Bull (2017)

Picture Books

On The Wing (2014)
In the Sea (2012)
In the Wild (2010)
Finn Throws a Fit! (2009)
On the Farm (2008)
Knitty Kitty (2008) 
What the Grizzly Knows (2008)
One Little Chicken: A Counting Book (2007)
Hazel Nutt: Alien Hunter (2004)
Hazel Nutt: Mad Scientist (2003)
And Here’s to You! (2001)

Chapter Books

The Cool Crazy Crickets Club (2010)
The Cool Crazy Crickets to the Rescue! (2010)
Jeremy Cabbage (2008)
Wuv Bunnies from Outers Pace (2008)
Evangeline Mudd’s Great Mink Rescue (2006)
Evangeline Mudd and the Golden-Haired Apes of the Ikkinasti Jungle (2004)
The Transmogrification of Roscoe Wizzle (2004)


New York Times Best Selling Author; Children's Choice; Parent's Guide to Children's Media Award; Featured Books for Young People (Australia); Children's Literature Top Pick; Book Sense 76 Selection; Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year; Golden Duck Award; Work selected by Daniel Pinkwater for feature on NPR's Weekend Edition; ASPCA Henry Bergh Children's Book Award Finalist (pending); Gateway City Award Finalist (pending); ALA Notable Book; Numerous State Award Nominations. His book Evangeline was selected as a Chicago Public Library Best Book; his work has been selected for school and library reading lists across the country.

Current Affiliation

Colby-Sawyer College.