Emotions in Nonfiction Picture Books: A Two-Night Mini

Online | Picture Books, Nonfiction
Join children’s book author Heidi E.Y. Stemple and editor Eileen Robinson to explore the many ways to infuse emotion into your nonfiction picture book, and hook and inspire your readers.

March 14, 2023 - March 16, 2023




A Two-Night Mini Online Course

Join children’s book author Heidi E.Y. Stemple and editor Eileen Robinson to explore the many ways to infuse emotion into your nonfiction picture book, and hook and inspire your readers.

  • Tuesday, March 14 (7pm – 8:15pm EST)
  • Thursday, March 16 (7pm – 8:15pm EST)
  • Webinar-style program with closed captioning available and limited interaction in the chat.  This program is a great fit if you’re looking for a short course of two, 75-minute sessions offering limited interaction with the community, but loads of information.

Why This Workshop?

Nonfiction picture books engage young readers in so many ways.  They entertain and inform.  They inspire and stir readers to action.  And they do it all by hooking the reader with authenticity and emotion.

So what strategies can nonfiction writers use to instill this emotional impact into their work?

Join children’s book author Heidi E.Y. Stemple and editor Eileen Robinson to explore the many ways to hook readers with strong sensory details, rich language, and reader experience via your nonfiction picture books.

In this short course, writers will:

  • Understand the importance of an emotional reader experience in nonfiction.
  • Identify ways to analyze first drafts for opportunities to revise for tone, word choice, and author impact.
  • Find the core emotion of your story, and track your reader experience with this emotion.

Feedback Expected

  • None included in the course. There will be limited interaction in the chat feature of the webinar-style program.

It’s a Great Fit If…

  • You are starting out as a nonfiction picture book author or author/illustrator, looking for beginning information about creating emotionally relevant nonfiction stories.
  • You are a nonfiction picture book author or author/illustrator who is working on revising their work-in-progress. This course will offer considerations for your next draft.
  • You are considering writing nonfiction for children and want to learn more.
  • You’re looking for something short, sweet, and smart! This is not a full workshop, instead it is two, 75-minute sessions meant to engage and build your knowledge of the emotional impact of nonfiction picture books.

Tentative Agenda

At registration: You will receive a Zoom link to use each night of the course.


If you are unable to attend either session for any reason, you’ll have access to the recordings (with closed captioning) through April 30, 2023.

Please note that if you register for the course after the start of the first session, you will not receive recordings immediately.  You’ll receive both recordings after the close of the last session, usually within 24 hours.

All Times are Eastern Standard Time.

Part One: March 14, 2023 (7pm-8:15pm Eastern)
  • Emotional Impact and the Reader Experience: What do you feel?
  • Strategies to define the emotion in your work
  • Writing exercise
Part Two: March 16, 2023 (7pm-8:15pm EST)
  • From First Draft to Revision
    • Nonfiction analysis: word choice
    • Nonfiction analysis: tone
  • Writing exercise
  • Q&A

How It Impacts Kids

Adding emotion to your nonfiction picture book hooks the reader’s attention and helps them connect with the person, events, and/or topic that you present. This short course will help you discover ways to bring emotion forward in your work.

Testimonials from Our Community

“I love the way Heidi Stemple gave explicit and very concrete techniques and examples for how to proceed with a story.”

“Eileen helped me embrace being vulnerable and not hide feelings. Her encouragement gave me faith in my writing and to not give up.”

“I knew I could not attend in person but I signed up because you offered the recording. Having that option was invaluable.”

“Keep the mini courses going for those of us that can’t attend at the Highlights Foundation Campus! It helps us stay in touch and keep our skills growing!!”


March 14, 2023 - March 16, 2023




When you register for this course, you’ll receive information via email to confirm.

For mini courses (one or two nights only), you’ll receive webinar links immediately to use on the evening of the course.

For longer courses, you’ll receive an invitation to your virtual classroom as the workshop approaches.

Learn more about the technology that we use for our online workshops.

Our Mission in Action

Share Your Story, Inspire a Child
Equity & Inclusion in Kidlit
Partners & Sponsors

The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.