Programs

Science and Nature Writing for Kids & Teens Online Workshop 2020

August 9 - 24, 2020

Online Course Info:

This is a two-week online workshop that features pre-recorded lectures, “live” lectures, a one-to-one faculty critique and an editor consultation, hands-on exercises, office hours to cover specific topics of interest, editor Q&A, and opportunities for student community engagement.

Note: The submission window opens on August 1 and remains open until August 12. After you register and submit your manuscript, you will be scheduled for your one-to-one with faculty between August 9-23. you can submit one completed picture book manuscript or up to 1200 words of a longer science or nature-related project. If you are an author/illustrator, you can also submit a pdf of dummy sketches for critique.

Online Workshop Participant Cap:

24 students.

What You’ll Learn & Experience:

You’ll study the craft of writing powerful books and articles about science and nature for young readers. Learn how to submit both fiction and nonfiction science and nature work to editors and agents. Have one-to-one critiques from faculty mentors. Learn to energize readers through active fiction and nonfiction writing about science and nature. You will:

  • Hear pre-recorded and Live lectures about craft and markets.
  • Examine formats and genres, including science-inspired fiction, narrative nonfiction, expository nonfiction, concept books, poetry, and everything in between.
  • Draw on your research to write cohesive, energetic, nonfiction and fiction books, articles, or other science-based works.
  • Have one-to-one manuscript critiques with faculty mentors.
  • Explore ideas: how to generate, evaluate, and shape them to engage and attract agents and editors.

Join Us If:

  • You love science and our natural world, and want to share your knowledge and passion with kids. This workshop will show you the dynamics of engaging fiction and nonfiction science and nature-based writing.
  • You want to write picture books, nonfiction, chapter books, or books for middle grade and young adult readers. This comprehensive review of the market for science and nature books will move you forward, no matter what age level your writing is aimed at.
  • You would appreciate multiple feedback perspectives on your manuscript. After your one-to-one critique with faculty, you’ll have fresh ideas for revision. And after hearing from acquiring editors about what they’re looking for, you’ll be well prepared to start submitting.

Preliminary Agenda

All Live lectures and activities will take place via Zoom, Eastern time

August 9
Throughout the day:
1:1 consultations with faculty for some students

7 pm EDT:
Welcome session
Writer introductions

August 10
Throughout the day:
1:1 consultations with faculty for some students

1 pm EDT:
Live: Getting Creative—Action Rhymes, Poetry, & Short Formats, Miranda Paul
Followed by sharing and Q&A
Review use of virtual classroom, community forum, and overview of pre-recorded material release schedule.

August 11
Throughout the day:
1:1 consultations with faculty for some students

Virtual Classroom: Nonfiction Picture Books! A look at formats and styles.
Community forum open for questions, comments and writing exercises

August 13
Throughout the day:
1:1 consultations with faculty for some students

Virtual Classroom: Elements of Excellent Science Books, with editor
Community forum open for questions, comments and writing exercises
Optional: meet with critique groups on private Zoom channels

August 15
Throughout the day:
1:1 consultations with faculty for some students

1 pm EDT:
Live office Hour with Heather Montgomery: Let’s Talk About Work for Hire and the Educational Market

Virtual Classroom: Breaking Boundaries: Innovative Writing for Today’s Readers
Community forum open for questions, comments and writing exercises
Optional: meet with critique groups on private Zoom channels

August 17
Throughout the day:
1:1 consultations with faculty for some students

1 pm EDT:
Live hands-on lecture: Show Don’t Tell, Heather

Followed by:
Live Office Hour with editors: Let’s Talk Submissions, the Market, and More!

Virtual Classroom: How to Evaluate Your Work and Revise
Free revision time
Optional: meet with critique groups on private Zoom channels

August 18-23
Throughout the week, editor consultations. Editors will review the cover letter and pages that you submitted and will come to your consultation familiar with your work. Writers should come to the consultation with questions specific to the editor. This is meant to be a conversation between you and the editor, not a critique of your work.

August 19
Throughout the day:
1:1 consultations with faculty for some students

Virtual Classroom: Submissions: Journeys to Success
Community forum open for questions, comments and writing exercises
Optional: meet with critique groups on private Zoom channels

August 20
Throughout the day:
1:1 consultations with faculty for some students

1 pm EDT:
Live Office Hour with Heather Montgomery: Let’s Talk About Research!

Virtual Classroom: watch or re-watch videos
Optional: meet with critique groups on private Zoom channels

August 24
Throughout the day:
1:1 consultations with faculty for some students

1 pm EDT:
Live lecture: Eco-Fiction, Angela Dominguez
Followed by Live Office Hour with authors: Let’s Talk About EVERYTHING!

Virtual Classroom: watch or re-watch videos
Optional: meet with critique groups on private Zoom channels

August 24-September 23:
Pre-recorded content available in virtual classroom to watch, re-watch.
Community open to engage with peers and set peer critique groups.

Resources

Science Writing…It’s Not Just for Nonfiction
Setting a Scene with a STEM Book
Making Science Fun (or Funny)
The Intersection of Science & Social Studies: Can Creative Combinations Enhance Your Writing?
STEAM-ing Into Nonfiction
3 Myths About Why Writing Science Books for Kids is Hard
Elements of Excellent Science Books

Testimonials

“All the faculty were fantastic! They were warm, fun, and knowledgeable. They all seemed to take a personal interest in helping us further our career and were always accessible.”

“It could not have been better, no way, no how. I was amazed and mesmerized and my brain almost exploded (in a good way)! Why did I wait so long? Glad I found out about these workshops!”

“Their willingness to critique participant manuscripts is invaluable. Miranda Paul was exceptional in her ability to not only point out flaws, but to help steer a writer toward re-envisioning a better product.”

Faculty

Miranda Paul

Miranda Paul is an award-winning children’s author of more than a dozen picture books including One Plastic Bag, Water is Water, I…
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Heather L. Montgomery

Heather L. Montgomery writes for kids who are wild about animals. An award-winning author and educator, Heather uses yuck appeal…
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Angela Dominguez

Zoom Special Guest Angela Dominguez was born in Mexico City, grew up in the great state of Texas, and now…
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$499.00