Author Gordon Korman was Inspired by Seventh Grade Writing Assignment

Now 42 years and 80 books later, he is still publishing.



Gordon Korman, known for writing bestsellers Restart, Swindle, and Schooled and selling more than 28 million books over a career spanning four decades, can trace the moment his career began as a when he was faced with a writing assignment in seventh grade.

“But I wasn’t trying to be an author,” stated Korman in an interview with the Matador Messenger. ” I was trying not to flunk.”

That seventh grade English assignment became This Can’t be Happening at MacDonald Hall and was published when 14 year old Korman submitted his “English assignment” to Scholastic Press. The novel was written for readers ages first through fifth grade.

Forty two years and 80 books later, Gorman is still writing. His biggest challenge, according to Korman, is keeping “it current, and avoiding repeating myself.”

Despite this “challenge”, Korman disputes the notion that writers struggle in finding creative ideas.

“Most authors don’t really require what you call motivation, or what some people prefer to call inspiration. We write because we have something to say, a story to tell. That’s just about all it takes to start us scribbling,” Korman explained.

Korman has been on the New York Times Best Sellers’ list but is most impressed by what his readers think. “The most rewarding is getting feedback from my readers that tells me I must be doing something right.”

“”Even starred reviews aren’t as important to me as a nine year old who writes ‘I love your books.’ “

Korman offered some advice for young, aspiring authors. ” READ A LOT, WRITE A LOT. “

Born in Montreal , Canada and raised in Toronto, Korman now resides in Long Island, New York, with his wife, Michelle Iserson, and their three children.


=in reading one of Korman’s many novels? Check out his list of published books with quick summaries at