Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sparkling Nonfiction Picture Books at SCBWI Summer Conference

When I started writing for children several years ago, SCBWI (The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) offered encouragement, reassurance,  information about editors and markets,
and useful writerly advice (Type out the text of your favorite books. Read your own manuscripts aloud. Read lots of poetry- especially if you write picture books. Read deeply and widely for weeks, then after a period of silence, write your own book etc etc).

So, you can imagine what a pleasure it was to join the faculty of the Summer Conference this year.

Some points I made during my breakout session:
  • mad love for your subject fuels and sustains expressive language 
  • extensive research will provide telling, evocative and fresh details
  •  do all you can to capture and keep the attention of your audience: children. You must know the things that fascinate and challenge them, and the things they're going through.
We discussed humorous and lyrical and innovatively formatted NF pbs, and I gave tips for writing biographies, some of which are recounted here at GalleyCat.
I attended other NF workshops, dined with new friends, and reunited at the autograph session with my esteemed colleagues of CAN! (Children's Authors Network). Here is yours truly with Alexis O'Neill, Jeri Ferris, Joan Graham and Barney Saltzberg (not pictured are Mary Ann Fraser and Joanne Rocklin.)

The many splendored weekend ended with a wrap party under the stars. A heartful thanks to SCBWI!



  1. Michelle, I didn't get to attend your workshop, but I love Brave Girl.
    I did get to the NF Bio breakout and filled my brain with wonderful advice. I am reposting a link to this post on Pen and Ink.

    1. Many thanks! And I attended the NF Bio breakout too- lots of useful suggestions for primary sources and background materials.