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Newbery award-winning author visits BYU-I

Christian McKay Heidicker visited BYU-Idaho on Wednesday.

Heidicker writes horror stories for children as a way for kids to practice facing fear before they face the real world. He has published seven books. His Scary Stories for Young Foxes won the John Newbery Medal which is the most prestigious award given to children’s authors.

“It’s pretty exciting to have a Newbery author coming,” said Scott Cameron, an English professor.

Heidicker started the evening with a story about getting sick on a ride at Lagoon as a ten-year-old. His story captivated the audience and illustrated his ability to tell a story.

Following his story, Heidicker read the introduction to his novel Scary Stories for Young Foxes: The City.

After his reading, Heidicker answered questions from the audience of students, faculty and Rexburg residents.

He gave advice on how to write a scene with rising action and tension.

“It always starts with feeling it,” Heidicker said. “First layer of tension comes from personal experience. The problem is sometimes when we are reaching for a feeling we pull from a movie instead of personal experience.”

Heidicker chose to write because of the influence stories had on him as a child.

“Storytelling was like survival for me,” Heidicker said. “I found so much healing through stories as a kid.”

Often, writers wait for the perfect time before they begin writing a story. Heidicker advised the audience to daydream the story and let their mind take them through the story.


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