Alden R. Carter Papers, 1960-1997

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Summary Information

Title: Alden R. Carter Papers

Inclusive Dates: 1960-1997

Creator: Carter, Alden R., 1947-

Call Number: Eau Claire Mss CJ

Quantity: 8.6 c.f. (26 archives boxes including 5 videorecordings) and 27 megabytes (3240+ data files, in 1 computer disk box)

Repository: Housed at the Area Research Center, William D. McIntyre Library, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; owned by the Wisconsin Historical Society, Library-Archives Division

Archival Locations: UW-Eau Claire McIntyre Library / Eau Claire Area Research Ctr.

Abstract: Papers of a Wisconsin writer of fiction and non-fiction for young adults, including book proposals, drafts, notes, galley proofs, publicity materials, high school and college term papers, and correspondence with publishers, editors, and agents. Videotaped interviews and talks by Carter are also present.

Note: There is a restriction on use of this collection; see details in the Restriction/Administrative Information portion of this finding aid.

Language: English

Search Terms/Subject Terms: Authors

Biography/History

Alden Richardson Carter was born April 7, 1947, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to John Kelley Carter and Hilda Richardson Carter (Fletcher). Graduating from Eau Claire Memorial High School in 1965, Carter continued his education with a Navy ROTC scholarship at the University of Kansas, earning a bachelors degree in English and humanities. He graduated in 1969 and went into the Navy as an officer for the next five years. In 1974, after his stint in the Navy, Carter married Carol Shadis, whom he had met nine years before. As Carter says, “we were in love almost from the first.” Carter went on to earn his teaching certificate from Montana State University, then taught English and journalism in Marshfield, Wis.

Carter had known since he was eight that he wanted to write; he also knew that he was not finding the necessary time to write as a teacher. So, in 1980 with the support of his wife, Carter quit his job and began writing full-time. Growing Season was published by Coward-McCann in 1984 and was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.

Carter's mother Hilda Carter Fletcher has been his “first editor” for most of his books and her comments appear on many of the manuscripts throughout the collection. His literary agent encouraged him to write young adult nonfiction between fiction books. He coauthored his first nonfiction book, Supercomputers, with his brother-in-law, Wayne LeBlanc, with whom Carter also wrote his second nonfiction book, Modern Electronics. Carter continued writing young-adult fiction as well. Wart, Son of Toad (1985), Sheila's Dying (1987), and Up Country (1989) were all named ALA Best Books and Robodad (1990) (later reissued as Dancing on Dark Water (1993)) was named Best Children's Fiction Book of the Year by the Society of Midland Authors. Carter's nonfiction subjects range from China and the Revolutionary War, to computers and radios. His books have won a variety of awards.

Carter has been a resident of Marshfield, Wisconsin, since 1976. He and his wife have two children, Brian Patrick Shadis Carter (born 1983) and Siri Morgan Shadis Carter (born 1987). Carter's hobbies include travel, reading, canoeing, and outdoor activities, especially in Wisconsin.

Publications of Alden R. Carter

Growing Season (1984)
Wart, Son of Toad (1985)
Sheila's Dying (1987)
Up Country (1989)
”Tree” (short story, 1989)
Robodad (1990), reissued as Dancing on Dark Water (1993)
Dogwolf (1994)
Between a Rock and a Hard Place (1995)
"Bull Catcher” (short story 1996)
Bull Catcher (1997)
”The Gully” (short story 1997)
”Trashback” (short story 1997)
”Jock Story” (short story 1998)
Crescent Moon (1999)
Supercomputers (with Wayne LeBlanc, 1985)
Modern China (1986)
Modern Electronics (with Wayne LeBlanc, 1986)
Illinois (1987)
Radio: From Marconi to the Space Age (1987)
American Revolution Series: Colonies in Revolt (1988)
American Revolution Series: Darkest Hours (1988)
American Revolution Series: At the Forge of Liberty (1988)
American Revolution Series: Birth of the Republic (1988)
The Shoshoni (1989)
The Battle of Gettysburg (1990)
The Last Stand at the Alamo (1990)
The Colonial Wars: Clashes in the Wilderness (1992)
The War of 1812: Second Fight for Independence (1992)
The Mexican War: Manifest Destiny (1992)
The Civil War (1992)
The Spanish-American War: Imperial Ambitions (1992)
Battle of the Ironclads: The Monitor and the Merrimack (1993)
China Past--China Future (1994)
I’m Tougher than Asthma (with Siri Carter, 1996)
Big Brother Dustin (1997)
Seeing Things My Way (1998)
Dustin's Big School Day (1999)

Scope and Content Note

The collection includes all stages of the writing process for Carter's fiction and nonfiction, plus publicity information and papers written in high school (starting in 1959) and college. The papers detail the writing and publishing process from first drafts to the search for a publisher to galleys to how a successful writer goes about developing ideas for the next book. There are only a few personal letters, but much correspondence with publishers, editors and agents. The papers are grouped in nine series: Early Life, Book-Length Fiction, Book-Length Nonfiction, Short Stories, Speeches, Unpublished Book Proposals and Ideas, Biographical Information, Electronic Drafts and Correspondence, and Video Tapes. Within series, the materials are arranged largely in chronological order (by publishing date for books).

The Book-Length Fiction and Book-Length Nonfiction series may include notes for the book, drafts of the book, correspondence (including rewrite notes), galleys, and page proofs. In China Past--China Future, there are two manuscript copies from his book Modern China which Carter used for research purposes in the second China book. In Radio: From Marconi to the Space Age there is a manuscript titled “Modern Communications,” an earlier title for what became Radio.

The Short Stories series may contain notes drafts, correspondence and galleys. Unpublished Book Proposals and Ideas are chronological by date, with undated proposals in the back. This series may contain notes, outlines, proposal letters, and other correspondence. The Electronic Drafts and Correspondence series is on computer disks and contains materials from most of his books plus correspondence, material from speaking engagements, and other miscellaneous information. Carter's explanation of his file-naming system is located in box 1, folder 1. All of Carter's related computer files now reside on the Global-1 server at UWEC and can be accessed in Special Collections; they are regularly backed up. The first nine original disks also exist in Word 5.1 for Macintosh and the cross platform Word '98 format. Finally there is a series of Video Tapes.

Administrative/Restriction Information

Use Restrictions: Copyright in this collection is retained by Alden Carter, his heirs and assigns. All users are cautioned that most manuscripts included in the collection have been published in their final form as books under rights granted by the author to various publishers.

Acquisition Information: Presented by Alden R. Carter, Marshfield, Wis., 1994-1997. Accession Number: M94- 209

Processing Information: Processed by Daardi Sizemore, 1996-97 and Jennifer Snyder, 1999, at the Eau Claire Area Research Center.

Contents List

Box 1
Folder 1

Series: Copy of this finding aid

Series: Early Life, 1959-1970

Box 1 Folder 2-4

High school papers
Box 1
Folder 5
Kansas University college papers
Box 1
Folder 6
Montana State University college papers
Box 1
Folder 7
Other papers

Series: Book-Length Fiction
Box 1
Folder 5
Growing Season (1984)
Box 2
Folder 1
Handwritten rough manuscript
Box 2
Folder 2
Typed manuscript
Box 2
Folder 3
Revised manuscript
Box 2
Folder 4
Revised typed manuscript
Box 2
Folder 5- 6
Major revision of manuscript
Box 3
Folder 1- 2
Manuscript with editing marks
Box 3
Folder 3
Correspondence
Box 3
Folder 4
Rewrite notes
Box 3
Folder 5
Galleys and specifications

Wart, Son of Toad (1985)

Box 4
Folder 1

Notes
Box 4
Folder 2
Original manuscript (handwritten)
Box 4
Folder 3
Original manuscript typed
Box 4
Folder 4
Manuscript with editor's comments
Box 4
Folder 5
Rewrite notes and correspondence
Box 4
Folder 6
Page proofs

Sheila's Dying (1987)
Box 5
Folder 1
Notes
Box 5
Folder 2-3
Manuscript with typesetting orders
Box 5
Folder 4
Partial manuscript with editor's comments
Box 5
Folder 5
Rewrite notes and correspondence
Box 5
Folder 6
Galleys

Up Country (1989)
Box 6
Folder 1
Notes
Box 6
Folder 2
Original manuscript
Box 6
Folder 3-4
Revised manuscript

Box 6
Folder 5

Galleys

Robodad (1990)

Box 7
Folder 1

Notes
Box 7
Folder 2
Manuscript with editor's notes
Box 7
Folder 3
Manuscript with typesetting orders
Box 7
Folder 4
Correspondence and rewrite notes

Box 7
Folder 5

Galleys with edit
Box 7
Folder 6
Galleys
Box 7
Folder 7
Page proofs

Dancing on Dark Water (reissue on Robodad (1993)

Box 7
Folder 8

New cover picture

Dogwolf (1994)
Box 8
Folder 1
Notes
Box 8
Folder 2-3
Early manuscript
Box 8
Folder 4-5
Edited manuscript
Box 8
Folder 6-7
Final manuscript
Box 8
Folder 8
Correspondence and rewrite notes

Box 9
Folder 1

Galleys with heavy editing

Box 9
Folder 2

Galleys with less editing
Box 9
Folder 3
Page proofs

Between a Rock and a Hard Place (1995)
Box 10
Folder 1
Manuscript
Box 10
Folder 2
Manuscript
Box 10
Folder 3
Working draft of manuscript
Box 10
Folder 4-5
Early manuscript with edit
Box 10
Folder 6
Early manuscript with edit
Box 10
Folder 7
Late working manuscript

Box 11
Folder 1

Late working manuscript, continued
Box 11
Folder 2-3
Galleys

Bull Catcher (1997)
Box 12
Folder 1
Between Third and Home proposal (later Bull Catcher)
Box 12
Folder 2
Possible titles and early manuscript labeled Catching Fire
Box 12
Folder 3
Catching Fire early manuscript
Box 12
Folder 4-5
Manuscript 1st revision
Box 12
Folder 6-7
Edited manuscript version
Box 23
Folder 1- 2
Revision 2 (corrected by Graham Olson - longtime baseball coach)
Box 23
Folder 3
Edited draft

Box 23
Folder 4

Section of manuscript, Spring 1993
Box 23
Folder 5
Inserts

Box 23
Folder 6

Long excerpts
Box 23
Folder 7-8
Galleys
Box 23
Folder 9
Edited manuscript, miscellaneous pages
Box 26
Folder 6
Correspondence and rewrite notes
Box 26
Folder 7
Publication agreement and correspondence
Box 26
Folder 8
Manuscript - 4045 word count
Box 26
Folder 9
Manuscript - 6143 word count

Crescent Moon (1999)
Box 13
Folder 1
1st complete draft, 1996 July
Box 26
Folder 10
Manuscript - Comments/edits by Larry Lynch with cover letter, 1996 August 6
Box 26
Folder 11
Manuscript - Comments.edits by Hilda Carter Fletcher, 1996 August/September

Series: Book - Length Nonfiction

Supercomputers (1985)
Box 14
Folder 1- 4
Notes
Box 14
Folder 5
The 5th Generation - book, with notes, used as reference in Supercomputers
Box 14
Folder 6
Manuscript
Box 14
Folder 7
Correspondence and rewrite notes

Box 14
Folder 8

Galleys

Modern China (1986)
Box 15
Folder 1
Notes
Box 15
Folder 2
Manuscript with edit
Box 15
Folder 3
Manuscript with David Changs edit
Box 15
Folder 4
Manuscript with typesetting orders
Box 15
Folder 5
Correspondence and rewrite notes
Box 15
Folder 6
Page proofs

Modern Electronics (I1986)
Box 16
Folder 1
Notes
Box 16
Folder 2
Edited manuscript with original illustrations
Box 16
Folder 3
Correspondence

Illinois (1987)
Box 16
Folder 4
Notes
Box 16
Folder 5
Rough manuscript
Box 16
Folder 6
Correspondence
Box 16
Folder 7
Galleys

Radio: From Marconi to the Space Age (1987)
Box 16
Folder 8
Notes
Box 16
Folder 9
Modern Communications - became Radio: ... 18 months before publication
Box 16
Folder 10
Manuscript with edit and typesetting orders
Box 16
Folder 11
Rewrite notes and correspondence
Box 16
Folder 12
Galleys

American Revolution series: Colonies in Revolt (1988), Darkest Hours (1988), At the Forge of Liberty (1988), Birth of the Republic (1988)

Box 17
Folder 1

Notes
Box 17
Folder 2
Correspondence and notes

The Shoshoni (1989)
Box 17
Folder 3
Notes
Box 17
Folder 4
Manuscript
Box 17
Folder 5
Correspondence and rewrite notes
Box 17
Folder 6
Galleys

The Battle of Gettysburg (1990)
Box 17
Folder 7
Notes
Box 17
Folder 8
Manuscript
Box 17
Folder 9
Correspondence and rewrite notes
Box 17
Folder 10
Galleys

Box 26
Folder 1

Reference sheet

The Last Stand at the Alamo (1990)
Box 17
Folder 11
Notes
Box 17
Folder 12
Correspondence and rewrite notes
Box 17
Folder 13
Galleys

The Colonial Wars: Clashes in the Wilderness (1992)
Box 17
Folder 14
Notes
Box 17
Folder 15
Early manuscript with edit
Box 17
Folder 16
Revised manuscript
Box 17
Folder 17
Correspondence
Box 17
Folder 18
Galleys with specifications
Box 17
Folder 19
Maps

The American Revolution: War for Independence (1992)
Box 18
Folder 1
Notes

Box 18
Folder 2

Maps and pictures
Box 18
Folder 3
Early manuscript
Box 18
Folder 4
Manuscript
Box 18
Folder 5
Revised manuscript
Box 18
Folder 6
Correspondence
Box 18
Folder 7
Galleys and specifications

The War of 1812: Second Fight for Independence (1992)
Box 18
Folder 8
Notes

Box 18
Folder 9

Early manuscript with edit
Box 18
Folder 10
Revised manuscript
Box 18
Folder 11
Correspondence
Box 18
Folder 12
Galleys

The Mexican War: Manifest Destiny (1992)
Box 18
Folder 13
Notes
Box 18
Folder 14
Manuscript
Box 18
Folder 15
Copy-edited and fact-checked manuscript
Box 18
Folder 16
Correspondence
Box 18
Folder 17
Galleys

The Civil War (1992)
Box 19
Folder 1
Notes
Box 19
Folder 2
Edited manuscript
Box 19
Folder 3
Correspondence
Box 19
Folder 4
Galleys
Box 19
Folder 5
Page proofs

The Spanish-American War: Imperial Ambitions (1992)
Box 19
Folder 6
Notes
Box 19
Folder 7
Manuscript
Box 19
Folder 8
Correspondence
Box 19
Folder 9
Galleys
Box 19
Folder 10
Page proofs

Battle of the Ironclads: The Monitor and the Merrimack (1993)
Box 19
Folder 11
Notes
Box 19
Folder 12
Manuscript
Box 19
Folder 13
Correspondence
Box 19
Folder 14
Galleys

China Past--China Future (1994)
Box 20
Folder 1
Notes
Box 20
Folder 2
Notes-reference
Box 20
Folder 3
Modern China revised manuscript with edit by David Chang
Box 20
Folder 4
Modern China page proofs with notes
Box 20
Folder 5
Revised manuscript
Box 20
Folder 6
Correspondence and rewrite notes
Box 20
Folder 7
Manuscript rough pages
Box 20
Folder 8
Page proofs
Box 20
Folder 9
Manuscript rough pages
Box 20
Folder 10
Galleys

I'm Tougher than Asthma (1996)
Box 24
Folder 1
Galleys (copy of faxed original)
Box 27
Folder 1
Proposal for book - known as Siri's Asthma
Box 27
Folder 2
Correspondence and rewrite notes
Box 27
Folder 3
Photocopy of the book Where's Chimpy? by Bernice Rabe, a book about a girl with Down's Syndrome
Box 27
Folder 4
Picture of dust mite at x150 magnification: color photocopy, note included

Box 27
Folder 5

Book mock-up
Box 27
Folder 6-7
Page mock-up (post-it notes)
Box 27
Folder 8
Handwritten mock-up
Box 27
Folder 9
Introduction by Carol S. Carter - draft[?]
Box 27
Folder 10
Biography
Box 27
Folder 11
Suggested reading and resources list
Box 27
Folder 12
“More About Asthma,” 1995 July 25
Box 27
Folder 13
Picture list with notes
Box 27
Folder 14
Edited manuscript, 1995 March 21
Box 27
Folder 15
Edited manuscript with correspondence, 1995 May 16-17
Box 27
Folder 16
Edited manuscript, 1995 May 16
Box 27
Folder 17
Manuscript - submitted, 1995 May 16

Box 27
Folder 18

Edited manuscript - known as Siri and Her Asthma, 1995 June 26
Box 27
Folder 19
Edited manuscript, 1995 July 3
Box 27
Folder 20
Edited manuscript, 1995 July 21
Box 27
Folder 21
Edited manuscript with corrections by Dr. Bucholtz, correspondence included, 1995 August 3
Box 27
Folder 22
Pages of designer set with correspondence, 1995 May 25 - known as Siri's Asthma
Box 27
Folder 23
Faxed copy of designer set, 1995 August 1
Box 27
Folder 24
Notes and brochures on asthma - from unmarked manila envelope

Big Brother Dustin (1997)
Box 24
Folder 2
1995 February 2 manuscript -known as Ready for Mary Ann
Box 24
Folder 3
1995 December 18-19 edited manuscript- known as Ready for Mary Ann
Box 24
Folder 4
1996 April 25 manuscript
Box 26
Folder 2
Correspondence and rewrite notes
Box 26
Folder 3
Page proofs, 1996 July 15
Box 26
Folder 4
Page proofs, 1996 July 26
Box 26
Folder 5
Design set of “photo album” in book, 1996 August 7

Series: Short Stories
Box 21
Folder 1
“Tree” (1989) galley

Box 21
Folder 2

“The Gully” (1997) aka “Amish Rescue” - 2 versions
Box 21
Folder 3
“Trashback” (1997)

“Bull Catcher,” (1996)
Box 21
Folder 4
Edited Manuscript pp. 15-30
Box 21
Folder 5
Edited manuscript
Box 21
Folder 6
Edited Manuscript - 3,827 word count
Box 21
Folder 7
Edited Manuscript - 3,386 word count

Box 21
Folder 8

Manuscript - 7,865 word count
Box 21
Folder 9
Edited Manuscript - 7,865 word count
Box 21
Folder 10
Edited Manuscript - 7,984 word count
Box 21
Folder 11
Edited manuscript

“Jock Story,” 1998 June 11
Box 26
Folder 16
Manuscript - 1,969 word count
Box 26
Folder 17
Edited manuscript - 1,969 word count
Box 26
Folder 18
Manuscript - 1,905 word count

Box 26
Folder 19

Manuscript - 1,966 word count

Series: Speeches
Box 21
Folder 12
“Of Curve Balls and High Heat: How I Came to Write a Baseball Novel” (1997)

Series: Unpublished Book Proposals and Ideas
Box 21
Folder 13
Jim Fletcher proposal (1980)
Box 21
Folder 14
A canoeing book (1983)

Modem Power

Box 21
Folder 15

Actual Proposal that Literary Agent sent, 1984
Box 21
Folder 16
1984
Box 21
Folder 17
Electronic Workhorse, 1983 or 1984 (The proposal was on mainframes. The topic was dropped and was replaced by Supercomputers.)
Box 21
Folder 18
Thomas Edison (1985)
Box 21
Folder 19
The Ain't Remover - A Practical Guide to Improving Your Child's Speech, circa 1985
Box 21
Folder 20
Tesla- 1984-1986

Gerard's Race (1996-7?)

Box 21
Folder 21

Proposal- 2 versions
Box 21
Folder 22
Manuscript with friends suggestions

Series: Biographical Information

Box 21
Folder 23

Credit List
Box 21
Folder 24
Credit List, 1997
Box 21
Folder 25
Autobiography - early copy

Box 21
Folder 26

Autobiography - copy
Box 21
Folder 27
Page copies of his autobiography from Gale Research
Box 21
Folder 28
Publicity brochures

Series: Electronic Drafts and Correspondence (3.5" Computer Disks)

Original Disks-Series A in Macintosh Clarisworks and Word 5.1 formats

Box 22
Disk
No. A1

Wart, Son of Toad / Robodad

Box 22
Disk
No. A2

Alamo / Gettysburg / Shoshoni / Colonial Wars
Box 22
Disk
No. A3
American Revolution / Mexican War / War of 1812

Box 22
Disk
No. A4

Supercomputers / Modern Electronics
Box 22
Disk
No. A5
Modern China / Spanish-American War / Civil War
Box 22
Disk
No. A6
Radio: From Marconi to the Space Age / Illinois / Monitor and Merrimack
Box 22
Disk
No. A7
Revolution Series (4 Books)

Box 22
Disk
No. A8

Sheila's Dying
Box 22
Disk
No. A9
Up Country

Box 22
Disk
No. A10

Proposals
Box 22
Disk
No. A11-12
Letters for UW Archives

Box 22
Disk
No. A13

UW Archives, Speaking, Drive Test Permission

Dogwolf
Box 22
Disk
No. A14
#1-10
Box 22
Disk
No. A15
#1- Original and Revision
Box 22
Disk
No. A16
#2- Revision, Final, Revision, Smooth Final
Box 22
Disk
No. A17
Correspondence

Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Box 22
Disk
No. A18
#1
Box 22
Disk
No. A19
#2

Macintosh Word 5.1 Disks-Series B (User Copies)
Box 22
Disk
No. B1
Wart, Son of Toad / Civil War
Box 22
Disk
No. B2
Robodad / Mexican War
Box 22
Disk
No. B3
Radio / Illinois / Monitor and Merrimack
Box 22
Disk
No. B4
Modern Electronics / Alamo
Box 22
Disk
No. B5
Modern China / American Revolution
Box 22
Disk
No. B6
Supercomputers / Spanish-American War
Box 22
Disk
No. B7
Colonial Wars / Gettysburg / War of 1812
Box 22
Disk
No. B8
Revolution Series (4 books)
Box 22
Disk
No. B9
Up Country
Box 22
Disk
No. B10
Sheila's Dying / Shoshoni

Series: Video Tapes

Originals - Series A
Box 25
Video
No. A1
“The Creative Process and Writing.” Speaker: Alden Carter, 1985 June 27
Box 25
Video
No. A2
Alden Carter, Middle/Jr. High Author Breakfast - WCC, 1990 October 13
Box 25
Video
No. A3
Alden Carter - YA Author Speaking About Writing, 1992 April 6
Box 25
Video
No. A4
“A Conversation with Alden Carter.” Produced by the School District of Marshfield, WI, 1993 October 6
Box 25
Video
No. A5
“The Creative Process and Writing.” Speaker: Alden Carter, 1985 June 27

User Copies - Series B
Box 25
Video
No. B1
“The Creative Process and Writing.” Speaker: Alden Carter, 1985 June 27 Note: Video B1 may not match up correctly with A1.
Box 25
Video
No. B2
Alden Carter, Middle/Jr. High Author Breakfast - WCC, 1990 October 13
Box 25
Video
No. B3
Alden Carter - YA Author Speaking About Writing, 1992 April 6
Box 25
Video
No. B4
“A Conversation with Alden Carter.” Produced by the School District of Marshfield, WI, 1993 October 6
Box 25
Video
No. B5
“The Creative Process and Writing.” Speaker: Alden Carter, 1985 June 27 Note: Video B5 may not match up correctly with A5.

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