How to Write a Dedication Page in a Book

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When writing a dedication page for a book, think about the people who were the most influential when the book was being written. Decide who to dedicate a book to with help from a teacher and playwright in this free video on writing dedication pages.

Part of the Video Series: Writing & Education
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Laura, and today, I'm going to talk with you about how to write a dedication page in a book. Your dedication page is probably the last thing that you're going to write when you're done writing your novel, and rightly so because you're going to be dedicating it to someone so you're going to be thinking about the person or persons who were most influential on you and with you while you were writing your book. So first of all, decide who you're going to dedicate it to. You can be very simple with this. You can possibly even think of just, you know, one person to dedicate the book to, like Sir Charlie Chaplin did when he dedicated his autobiography to his wife -- his last wife -- Oona. We have a very small dedication page here. It simply says, "To Oona." This is one thing you can do. You can make it a little longer. You could say, "To my wife, Oona," "To Oona, who, you know, helped me through the hard times." But he, obviously, didn't feel as though he needed to do anything else other than to say, "To Oona." Now, my second example is actually from Orlando, by Virginia Woolf. And in her dedication page, she actually created an entire preface instead of having just one page in which she listed lots of names. She actually dedicated it first to one name, and then she goes on in her preface to say, "Many friends have helped me in writing this book. Some are dead and so illustrious that I scarcely dare name them, yet no one can read or write without being perpetually in the debt of Defos, Sir Thomas Browne, Sterne, Sir Walter Scott, Lord Macaulay, Emily Bronte, De Quincey, and Walter Pater." These are all famous authors. I don't know... Of course, you know, Virginia Woolf may have known some of these people. These people have...of course, some of them have passed before her -- have died. But if you want to dedicate your book to authors that inspired you, by all means, you can do something like that. But you can also know, dedicate it to people who you actually knew who you were working on with...working on the book with you, okay? So you can take Charlie Chaplin's approach and go very simple, you could take the Virginia Woolf approach and go with an entire preface on who was important to the book and why. Or you can just do whatever you feel like you need to do. Basically, you just want to tell people who you worked on the book with that you appreciate their help, and that's how you write a dedication page for a book.


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