Wirt Benson was a remarkable woman who knew from an early age that she wanted to be a writer. She got out by her own efforts, which she attributed to Nancy Drew. Edna contributed 10 plot outlines before passing the reins to her sister Harriet. The Nancy Drew Scrapbook: 60 Years of America's Favorite Teenage Sleuth. It was aka: , who breathed such a feisty spirit into Nancy's character. The common practice of hiring ghostwriters contractually required the Stratemeyer Syndicate ghostwriters to remain anonymous.
Although Benson went on to write numerous other books for youth on her own, including the Penny Parker series, the bulk of her career was devoted to journalism. I wrote a number of series for the syndicate, but I wrote a great many individual mystery stories in my own name. Carolyn Keene is the pseudonym of the authors of the Nancy Drew mystery series, published by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. Some things I liked and some things I did not like. Benson was well known throughout the Midwest as a journalist, working for both The Toledo Times and The Toledo Blade, for which wrote a column until shortly before her death in 2002. As the 1920s ended, Stratemeyer had an idea for a series about a girl detective. An unsigned comment by , 216.
What other books have you published? Nancy Drew books, in one form or another, have been popular for more than 70 years. His contract stipulated that he keep the identity of Carolyn Keene a secret, and when he didn't, Benson was rehired. Typical of the industry, I guess. Only they never caught on like Nancy Drew did, because they didn't have the distribution. Her first story was published when she was only 14. The following year, Mildred married Asa A.
In college, she studied journalism at the University of Iowa; in 1927, she was the program's first female graduate. Harriet Stratemeyer Adams also played a pivotal role in the development and continuation of the series, as she rewrote all of the original volumes in order to remove racial stereotypes. I've updated the article with the full story. It was her characterization that helped make Nancy an instant hit. Benson's identity as the author of many of the original Nancy Drew books came to light in 1980 during a lawsuit involving the original publisher of the series. I didn't intend for Nancy to be a runaround. When the books were first published, Nancy Drew represented a new kind of heroine: a bright, attractive, resourceful girl, capable of solving mysteries and taking care of herself.
Do people in Toledo know who you are? Many of these avid readers, who spent nights staying up past bedtime with a flashlight under the bedcovers, passed on their affection for Nancy to their children and grandchildren. But they give them to their grandchildren and I hear from them; I hear from schoolchildren. But she didn't stay quiet either. If someone is interested, I'd love to see links added for any articles or webpages for the various authors. I used to answer every letter. She was a reporter and columnist in Ohio, first for The Toledo Times and then, The Toledo Blade, for 58 years.
For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the. I love all of her Nancy Drew books, though I haven't yet read them all, and she should write more!!! The Nancy Drew books were condensed, racial stereotypes were removed, and the language was updated. What is it that has made Nancy Drew such a popular character? In fact, it was while she was working for a master's degree that Benson submitted a manuscript for the Stratemeyer Syndicate's Ruth Fielding series and was hired to write for the series. Benson is credited as the primary writer of Nancy Drew books under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. Each workday, she reports to the the newspaper where she has worked full-time for the last 55 years; her weekly column appears each Saturday.
When she went to school, there was some doubt that I was the author. In 1959, Harriet, along with several writers, began a 25-year project to revise the earlier Carolyn Keene novels. This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's. Some of them are mistaking freedom for license. For many, the books were just a good read; for some, they were the inspiration for new careers, or heroic acts. In 1931, she gave an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, frankly admitting her role in writing the well-known series.
That takes a good deal of work. Why did they become so popular? This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's. She continued her active childhood into adulthood, where she swam, played golf, and earned her aviator's license. She got out by her own efforts, which she attributed to Nancy Drew. Benson was recognized by the series publishers as the author of these volumes in 1993.
Until then, she had remained silent under the provisions of the contract with Stratemeyer and never received any royalties from publication, merchandising, or television or movie deals. Writing kept her extremely busy; in addition to her work with Nancy Drew, she wrote news articles, columns, and other novels. I don't think I've ever read a Nancy Drew book since I wrote them. Some of those have different types of characters. Although Mildred Benson died in 2002, she received fan mail up until her death, from old and young readers alike.
Benson was born in Ladora, Iowa, in 1905. The heroine was the wildly popular who continues to sell copies -- and generate new titles -- 70 years later. They ask a million questions. She remained an active writer throughout her life, writing her own children's series called the Penny Parker Mystery Stories. Nancy's two best friends, Bess Marvin and George Fayne, are a pair of cousins who could not be more opposite one another: Bess is very delicate and feminine, while George prefers the outdoors and is more willing to get her hands dirty. Reproduction of material from any Salon pages without written permission is strictly prohibited. She was what the girls were ready for and were aspiring for, but had not achieved.