How to Be a Pirate Banner

Next Generation Now is the event series dedicated to nurturing a love of literature in children, tweens, and teens at the PEN America World Voices Festival. As the leading writers’ organization defending free expression, a major part of our mission is encouraging today’s children to explore their creativity and appreciate the rich, rewarding, and diverse world they will shape as readers and writers of tomorrow.

Isaac Fitzgerald

Photo by Alice Sola Kim

In Virtual Storytimes, writers for kids and teens read aloud the stories they would have shared in person at the 2020 Festival. These short home videos reach inboxes just in time to set family weekends off on the right foot. Many also include creative activities to energize kids, teens, or even aspiring young adult and children’s book authors to hone their craft and engage directly with beloved authors on social media.

In our second episode, Isaac Fitzgerald shares the empowering and heartwarming tale of a child who feels like a misfit and turns to her grandpa for comfort. He teaches her how to be a pirate by finding the courage and adventure we all need to thrive.

About isaac fitzgerald

Isaac Fitzgerald has been a firefighter, worked on a boat, and was once given a sword by a king, thereby accomplishing three out of five of his childhood goals. Formerly of The Rumpus, McSweeney’s, BuzzFeed Books, and BuzzFeed News’ Twitter morning show “#AMtoDM,” Fitzgerald appears frequently on The Today Show and is the coauthor of Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them and Knives & Ink: Chefs and the Stories Behind Their Tattoos (with Recipes). These days, Fitzgerald lives in Brooklyn and is hard at work on three books forthcoming from Bloomsbury: a YA novel, a picture book, and an essay collection titled Dirtbag, Massachusetts.

Order his newest book, How to Be a Pirate, on Bookshop or Amazon.

Next Generation Now is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME).