New York native Gregory Maguire rose to fame with his best-selling novel Wicked, which has sold millions of copies around the globe and remains a sensation as a Broadway musical. Now he is the author of an impressive collection of children’s books, adult novels, and numerous short stories, including Egg and Spoon and What-The-Dickens: The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy, middle-grade novels sure to engage children of every age and background.
Gregory Maguire worked for eight years as a professor and associate director at the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children’s Literature before receiving his PhD in English and American literature from Tufts University. “Nothing serves a writer better than getting to teach children’s books as literature—as an art form that relies on traditions of narrative shapeliness and verbal pizzazz as well as saucy innovation,” the author says. He also cofounded and currently codirects Children’s Literature New England, a nonprofit educational charity that promotes awareness of the significance of literature in the lives of children. With those aims in mind, Gregory Maguire has served on the juries for the Caldecott Medal, the National Book Award for Children’s Books, and the New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year.
And what advice would he pass along to aspiring young writers? When he himself was growing up, Gregory Maguire mimicked Harriet the Spy’s investigative route. “Get a spy notebook and spy on everyone,” he suggests. “Try not to get in trouble. Try not to break the law. But pay attention and write it down. That’s the best training a would-be writer can have.”
Gregory Maguire lives with his family outside of Boston, Massachusetts.