Avi WordCraft blog

“A Rocky Road to Literary Success”

Avi Wortis, photo credit Kate Milford
Avi [photo: Kate Milford]

In the November issue of On Wisconsin, the alumni magazine for the University of Wisconsin, there’s an article about my career. “A Rocky Road to Literary Success” begins …

Edward Wortis ’59, MA’62 entered UW–Madison after a lifetime’s struggle with dysgraphia, a neurological disorder that impairs the ability to write. It’s not that Wortis had trouble coming up with ideas; it’s that he had trouble getting words down on paper. Ever since elementary school, teachers had thrown up their hands at his spelling errors, ungrammatical sentences, and illegible handwriting.

But Wortis yearned to write. He majored in history and theater with the goal of becoming a playwright. That led him to a UW playwriting contest and an embarrassment he remembers to this day.

Here’s the rest of the story.

My thanks to Dean P. Robbins, co-editor of On Wisconsin and author of a number of picture book biographies, whose book ¡Mambo Mucho Mambo!: The Dance That Crossed Color Lines was published by Candlewick Press last week. Like most everyone else, I don’t often like pictures of myself but Kate Milford’s photo shows her skill.

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