Ty Chapman

Ty Chapman is the author of Sarah Rising (Beaming 2022); Looking for Happy (Beaming 2023); A Door Made for Me, written with Tyler Merritt (WorthyKids 2022); as well as multiple forthcoming children’s books through various publishers, and a forthcoming poetry collection through Button Poetry. Ty was a finalist for Tin House’s 2022 Fall Residency, Button Poetry’s 2020 Chapbook Contest, and Frontier Magazine’s New Voices Contest. He is currently an MFA candidate in creative writing for children and young adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts and was recently named a Loft Literary Center Mirrors & Windows fellow and Mentor Series fellow.

Interview

What was your favorite book when you were a child?

Bone by Jeff Smith

What’s your favorite line from a book?

“And he began to see the truth, that Ged had neither lost nor won but, naming the shadow of his death with his own name, had made himself whole: a man: who, knowing his whole true self, cannot be used or possessed by any power other than himself […]” A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

N.K. Jemisin, Naomi Novik, Jason Reynolds. But I could truly name SO MANY more folks.

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I truly wanted to write the stories I didn’t have growing up. I wanted to write picture books that provide hope or speak to subjects historically considered too complex for young people. I wanted to create graphic novels or fantasy novels, like the ones I was obsessed with growing up, that featured Black protagonists.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Keep writing. Listen to your body, take breaks, and all that good stuff—but also write as much as you can while feeling good about the practice. Be open to feedback in all its forms (some of it will be unhelpful, but some of it might change your life.) Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, don’t let anyone else define you as an artist, or dictate what you can and cannot accomplish.