Lifetime Achiever

Canadian children’s author Kit Pearson ’82MA has a new claim to fame.

From age 12, Kit Pearson ’82MA knew she would be an author. What she never imagined was that she would receive one of Canada’s top honors for her life’s work, being appointed as a member of the Order of Canada.

Her journey from childhood aspirations to adult accomplishments began with devouring books as a child, earning degrees in English literature and library science, and then working as a children’s librarian. The more she read children’s literature, the more she longed to become a writer, although she believed that “real writers shouldn’t have to take a writing course.” Ultimately, she enrolled in Simmons’ master of arts degree program in children’s literature.

“I loved my time at Simmons!” Pearson states enthusiastically, crediting professors Nancy Bond, Betty Levin and Jane Langdon as mentors. She found the writing exercises “to think about and do things you wouldn’t have done before” both unexpected and extremely helpful. Attending classes helped her develop the practice of writing regularly, and one assignment turned into her second novel, A Handful of Time.

Visiting authors like Maurice Sendak, Madeleine L’Engle, Penelope Lively and John Updike further enhanced her time at Simmons.

“I left Simmons determined to write,” Pearson continues. “I had a very romantic idea about being an author.” Four years later her first book, The Daring Game, was published. “It was thrilling!”Pearson describes her writing style as “quirky.” She makes notes and plans to prepare, then writes without references, reviews her notes, and finally develops an outline. Her writing is spontaneous as she prefers not to be bogged down with details initially. Her first words of advice for aspiring authors are to “read, read, read!”