WRITING NONFICTION FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS by Sue Bradford Edwards
October 2, 2023
November 6, 2023
December 4, 2023
DURATION: 4 weeks
LOCATION: Email with group
FEEDBACK: Instructor critique and feedback
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Biographies, science, history, how-to, and more. Nonfiction is published in book form, online and in both magazines and e-zines. Not only do teachers and school librarians seek nonfiction for their students, children and teens read it for fun. In this course, you will learn how to organize your material, write and revise not only the manuscript you workshop in class but future projects as well.
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
WEEKS AT A GLANCE:
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.
Materials needed: The instructor will provide the majority of materials but you will need the following: a computer with internet service and a word processing program, and a working e-mail account.
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 Education.com, 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.
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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