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Featured Online Writing Class

Research - Prepping to Write Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults


June 3, 2024
July 1, 2024
August 5, 2024
September 2, 2024
October 7, 2024
November 4, 2024
December 2, 2024

DURATION:  4 weeks

LOCATION:  Email with group. This is an asynchronous course that can be studied from anywhere, in any time zone.

FEEDBACK:  Instructor critique and feedback

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  Nonfiction for children and teens lines the bookshelves of libraries and bookstores, fills magazines and e-zines and is used in classrooms around the world. The first step in taking your place in this market is learning to do the research. That may sound relatively simple, but done right it includes researching markets and possible topics as well as locating accurate source materials. This course will help you develop the skills you need to take on these tasks with confidence.

Sue Bradford Edwards is one of the best writing instructors I’ve ever had. Sue always took time to write detailed and thought-provoking comments on each and every assignment. Because of her academic background and professional expertise, she often recognized the exact places that needed more work. Besides solid suggestions for how to improve a manuscript, Sue’s assignments on how to research potential markets, as well as how to find and use primary sources to strengthen nonfiction, proved invaluable. Without reservation, I highly recommend Sue’s course. ~ Felicia Silcox

I took Sue Edwards’ online class, Writing Nonfiction for Children, when I was first learning how to write for this audience. Not only did the class cover all the details from story ideas to research to formatting and submitting of the finished article, but also Sue provided great moral support and spot-on critiquing along the way. Her expertise was truly amazing. My “homework” article on an Australian rock formation was soon in print in FACES magazine, an esteemed Carus publication, and I was thrilled. I highly recommend Sue’s nonfiction writing course. It will be time and money well spent for any aspiring children’s author. ~ Cindy Reeg

I highly recommended Sue Bradford Edwards writing courses. I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to participate in a non-fiction course early in my writing career. Ms. Edwards’ class was well structured, packed with examples and exercises, and provided time to discuss each assignment. Additionally, Ms. Edwards made herself available to answer questions from students. By the end of her course, I had a completed proposal for a non-fiction project and the groundwork for several others. ~ Angela Cerrito


Week One: Topics and Slants

Whether you are interested in writing history, STEAM, or crafts, it is important to start your project with research so you know what has already been written. This lesson will also explore how to create multiple slants, subtly shifting the topic or the age level, to find space for your idea in the current market. Slanting can also enable you to create multiple pieces around one topic and one set of research.

Assignment: Select, narrow, and slant a topic to be used throughout the course. This assignment also includes making sure there is space in the market for your idea.

Week Two: To Market

While there are a large number of markets that buy nonfiction for children and young adults, it is important to learn how to evaluate these magazines, publishers and other possibilities. Not every market is suitable for every writer and which one you approach will depend on your interests, your voice and your goals.

Assignment: Review possible markets for your topic. Analyzing two of these markets will help you see which is more suited to your work.

Week Three: Starting Your Research

A nonfiction manuscript is only as good as the material that goes into creating it. This week, students will learn the difference between primary and secondary sources and how to evaluate accuracy and source bias.

Assignment: Start gathering your research, focusing on secondary materials. You will review what is covered by these sources and look for gaps in the published sources.

Week Four: Primary Sources

This week will focus on why you want to include primary sources as well as where to find these sources online and “in person.” There will also be information on how to do photo and map research and how to conduct interviews to fill in the gaps identified in the previous assignment. This lesson will also discuss how to know when you have enough material to start writing.

Assignment: You can do one of two things for this assignment. Develop a bibliography of primary sources, including where these materials are located. —OR— Prepare to conduct an interview. This includes identifying a possible expert to approach and writing up your interview questions.

Sue Bradford Edwards

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Sue Bradford Edwards is a nonfiction author with over 600 sales to her credit including 30 nonfiction books for young readers. Sue has also published numerous crafts, activities and how to pieces of various kinds. Her most recent books are Cancel Culture (Abdo, 2022), The Who (Abdo, 2022), Robotics in Healthcare (Brightpoint Press, 2022), Being Black in America (Brightpoint Press, 2022), The Impeachment of Donald Trump (Abdo, 2021), Coronavirus (Abdo, 2021), The Murders of Tupac and Biggie (Abdo, 2020), The Assassination of John F. Kennedy (Abdo, 2020), Stem Cells (Focus Readers, 2020), Earning, Saving, and Investing (Abdo, 2020), The Dark Web (Abdo, 2020), The Evolution of Mammals (Abdo, 2019), The Evolution of Reptiles (Abdo, 2019), Labradoodle: Labrador Retrievers Meet Poodles! (Capstone, 2019), and Puggle: Pugs Meet Beagles (Capstone, 2019). In addition, her children’s nonfiction has appeared at, in Gryphon House anthologies, in Harcourt and Houghton Mifflin testing packages and also in READ and Young Equestrian Magazine. Her nonfiction for adults has been published in Writer’s Market, Children’s Writer newsletter, WOW! Women on Writing, Writer’s Digest, The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market, The Writer’s Guide, and Magazine Market’s for Children’s Writers. Sue is also a dedicated blogger, writing for the Muffin as well as her own personal blog, One Writer’s Journey.

COST:  $90, which includes weekly assignments and feedback from the instructor.

Research: Prepping to Write Nonfiction: 4-Week Class


Notes:  Upon successful completion of payment, your name and email address will be submitted to your instructor. She will contact you with a welcome message and share any details you need to know prior to starting the class.

Questions? Email Marcia & Angela at:

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