Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults

Do you want to write nonfiction for young readers?

On July 6, the first session of my course Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults will begin.  Here is a detailed weekly plan.

Week One: Starting with a Plan

Whether you are interested in writing history, STEAM, or crafts, it is important to start with a plan. We will discuss the various projects everyone wants to work on.  Then the lesson will explore how to organize your material. Often this takes the form of an outline. Some outlines are spare and simple while others are more complex. You will also learn what to do when your outline fails to come together.

Assignment:  Complete and turn in an outline for your project.  Be prepared to discuss the various options that you tried.

Week Two:  Drafting Your Manuscript

Once you have a plan, you are ready to start writing your first draft.  We will discuss why it is important to keep the age of your reader in mind as you write and how you can use fiction techniques to build scenes that will pull your reader in.  This lesson will also cover what to do when the words simply will not flow or you find a gap in your research.

Assignment:  Working from your outline, rough out your manuscript.  You may not get it all done in one week.  Don’t panic!  Prepare up to twenty pages to submit for this assignment.

 Week Three: Rewriting and Revising

Roughing out your manuscript is only the first step in actually writing.  Next you will learn how to evaluate your draft and how to hone your work in subsequent drafts.  Yes – it will almost certainly take more than one pass to revise and rewrite your manuscript.  This lesson will also discuss identifying what you can cut from the manuscript.

Assignment: Rewrite your draft, submitting up to 20 pages for review.

Week Four:  The Extras that Can Help Make a Sale

You’ve drafted a smooth, well-written manuscript but there is often more than you can do to help make a sale.  This is your chance to add extras that will help make your work more appealing to readers, teachers, and/or an editor.  We will discuss sidebars, activities, marketing strategies, teacher’s guides, and more as well as what to include when.

Assignment: Write at least one “extra” or develop a marketing strategy for your book manuscript.

I am teaching this through WOW Women on Writing.  You can find out more about the class here.  Do let me know if you have any questions!



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