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Nuts and Bolts of Science Writing 2017 | March 30 – April 3, 2017

Energize readers through active fiction and nonfiction writing that shines the light on exciting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts.

You love science and our world, and want to share your knowledge and passion with kids. How do you accomplish it? Learn the dynamics of engaging fiction and nonfiction science-based writing for children and teens, whether you’re published already or just beginning. Through presentations, hands-on workshops, one-on-one manuscript critiques, ample writing time, and sessions with acquiring editors, this workshop will give you the tools and insights you need to advance on your path to success.

  • Ideas: How to generate, evaluate, and shape them to engage and attract agents and editors.
  • Hands-on: Creating proposals, researching content and photos/images, and the big picture on NGSS/Common Core.
  • Writing: Formats and genres, including science-inspired fiction, narrative nonfiction, expository nonfiction, concept books, poetry, and everything in between.
  • Craft: Work with experts to improve the accuracy and depth of your writing; and draw on your research to write cohesive, energetic, nonfiction and fiction books, articles, or other science-based works for picture book, middle grade, or young adult age categories.

Presentations include:

  • STEAMing into Fiction and Nonfiction: Finding exciting and timely topics that will knock the socks off your agent or editor.
  • Nuts and Bolts of Submitting: Polishing the dreaded cover letter, preparing a proposal, finding photos, and figuring out where to send your work.
  • Analyzing a scene–what it is and what it’s not…i.e. A scene is a microcosm of a novel. if you can write a scene you can write a chapter. If you can write a chapter, you can write a book.
  • Building out science-based content for middle grade and YA readers (nonfiction and fiction).
  • Getting Creative: “Play” Before “Work”–A look at IDEAS and trying new formats.
  • Character-Based, Narrative Writing: Telling engaging fiction science-related stories.
  • Concept Picture Books: Conveying information without a traditional plot or characters.
  • All About Back Matter: How to add in-depth back matter to make your fiction or nonfiction book come alive.

Interactive sessions:

  • One-on-One Manuscript Consultations and Critiques
  • Nature Walk
  • Fun Fact Mania/Science Trivia
  • Skype sessions with editors (who will accept submissions)
  • Q & A Panels

Attendees will be able to submit to all editors participating in the workshop.


View sample schedule (from 2016 workshop)

Faculty blog posts
Miranda Paul: Making Science Fun (or Funny)
Jennifer Swanson: Science Writing…It’s Not Just for Nonfiction
Miranda Paul: The Intersection of Science & Social Studies: Can Creative Combinations Enhance Your Writing?
Jennifer Swanson: STEAM-ing Into Nonfiction
Jennifer Swanson: 3 Myths About Why Writing Science Books for Kids is Hard

Faculty & Special Guests

Angela Modany
Angela Modany Participating via Skype
Carol Hinz
Carol Hinz Participating via Skype
Erica Wainer
Erica Wainer Participating via Skype
Kathy Landwehr
Kathy Landwehr Participating via Skype
"Miranda Paul and Jennifer Swanson were thoroughly prepared, worked hard on their presentations, and were so nurturing of all the writers there. The whole workshop was very well thought-out. You could tell that the session leaders had spent a great deal of time preparing for the week."—2016 attendee

"I appreciated having two authors who do very different types of writing, as well as four editors (the Skype conferences, though short, were very good) and an agent."—2016 attendee

"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."—2016 attendee