Writer Gary Paulsen Writer Gary Paulsen is a prolific writer of children's books. He began writing over 30 years ago, when he was coming to terms with his alcoholism. For many years he and his wife lived in poverty in rural Minnesota. This changed when Paulsen won the Newbery Award for children's fiction in 1985 with Dogsong, about running the Iditarod. Paulsen's children's books often deal with adventurous youths who triumph over adversity in the wilderness. This interview first aired Oct. 6, 1992.