Where Did Kate DiCamillo Go To College?

Kate DiCamillo is a beloved author known for children’s books like Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, and the Mercy Watson series. Her books have won numerous awards, including two Newbery Medals. But before becoming a successful writer, where did Kate DiCamillo go to college?

DiCamillo’s Early Life and Education

Kate DiCamillo was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1964. She grew up in Clermont, Florida and attended local schools there. After high school, DiCamillo headed to the University of Florida in Gainesville.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Florida in 1987. During her time as an undergraduate student, DiCamillo did not envision becoming a children’s book writer. She planned to pursue a doctorate in English literature after graduating.

Working Various Jobs Before Writing Career

After college, DiCamillo moved to Minnesota and took jobs at various bookstores. She worked at Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis and Books of Wonder in Chicago. DiCamillo spent several years selling children’s books before realizing she wanted to write them herself.

Her experience being surrounded by children’s literature as a bookseller influenced DiCamillo’s career path change. She began working on her own stories and submitted manuscripts to publishers.

Breakout Success with Because of Winn-Dixie

In 2000, DiCamillo’s first published book Because of Winn-Dixie was released. The heartwarming story follows a young girl and her adopted dog. It received glowing reviews and spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list.

Because of Winn-Dixie established DiCamillo as a major new talent in children’s literature. It was named a Newbery Honor book in 2001, bringing her prestige and recognition. More acclaimed books followed, further cementing DiCamillo’s status as a leading figure in the industry.

Alma Mater Remains Proud of Accomplished Alumna

The University of Florida expresses great pride in Kate DiCamillo’s success. Though she did not find her calling as a writer during her actual time as a student, the English degree from UF provided a foundation.

Her alma mater gladly claims DiCamillo as a distinguished alumna. She is an inspiration to current English and creative writing students at the university and beyond.

DiCamillo graciously returns to campus for speaking engagements. She aims to motivate aspiring writers to follow their dreams just as she did.


In summary, celebrated children’s author Kate DiCamillo attended the University of Florida in Gainesville. She graduated in 1987 with a Bachelor’s degree in English. Though she did not become an author until over a decade after college, DiCamillo credits her UF education with equipping her for an writing career. Both her fans and alma mater are proud to see this Gator grad succeed!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What did Kate DiCamillo study at the University of Florida?

A: Kate DiCamillo earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Florida in 1987.

Q: Did Kate DiCamillo dream of being an author in college?

A: No, while at the University of Florida, DiCamillo planned to get a doctorate in English literature after graduating. She did not envision her eventual career as a children’s book writer at that time.

Q: Where did Kate DiCamillo’s interest in children’s books come from?

A: After college, DiCamillo worked at bookstores like Wild Rumpus and Books of Wonder that specialized in children’s literature. This exposure inspired her to start writing her own children’s stories.

Q: How has the University of Florida responded to Kate DiCamillo’s success?

A: The University of Florida expresses great pride in Kate DiCamillo as a distinguished alumna. She is invited back to campus often to speak to current students about writing.

Q: What was Kate DiCamillo’s big break as an author?

A: DiCamillo’s first published book, Because of Winn-Dixie, was a huge success. It spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list and established DiCamillo as a major new voice in children’s literature.

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