Posted by Rebecca G. Aguilar, M.Ed. on October 16, 2014
Anatomy of Nonfiction: Writing True Stories for Children
By Margery Facklam and Peggy Thomas
Publication date: 7/1/2011
With kung fu in education, public relations and journalism, I still find it essential to keep growing and learning. I understand I can always improve on my writing chops. Last weekend, I sought the promise of valuable advice, resources and camaraderie by attending the Nonfiction for New Folks (NF 4 NF) conference in Fredericksburg.
With wine-tasters touring vineyards along Baron’s Creek and shoppers strolling boutiques near the Marktplaz, the town founded by German freethinkers inspired great nonfiction article/book ideas (summarily jotted in a notebook).
The NF 4 NF conference organized by librarian-author Pat Miller scheduled sessions by wonderful faculty including Kristi Holl (Writer’s First Aid) and Peggy Thomas (Farmer George Plants a Nation and Anatomy of Nonfiction). Miller and the NF 4 NF conference faculty shared generously... recommending reading lists of nonfiction authors and publishers as well as research resources available to writers.
I did purchase a copy of Peggy’s Anatomy of Nonfiction. This wonderful book along with the knowledge and expertise she shared in her talks will be indispensable as I begin writing true stories for children.
Did I mention the amount of reading that’s required to be a nonfiction writer? Reading makes me happy.
For anyone entering the fray, writing nonfiction might be scary… like having to feel your way around the dark. What editors will scrutinize along with fresh topics, great writing and solid research is that bright little gem that makes a manuscript shine. All new writers hope that gem can be mined in their own manuscripts.
What lesson did I learn from this conference experience? That there seems to be two types of writer: the innie and the outie.
The writing process can actually become a crazy dance of both temperaments. The solitary, introverted craft of observing, reading and honing a manuscript. The gregarious, extraverted work of connecting, critiquing and exhibiting fierce resilience against drawbacks.
I find that I like the crazy dance.