Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Hollywood Writers Schmooze Explores Non-Fiction

In October, the Hollywood Schmooze met and discussed the ins and outs of non-fiction writing. This area is in great demand and growing. But somehow it seems less exciting than doesn't have to be! The trick as a non-fiction writer is to catch your audience's attention just as a thrilling fictional story would. Of course, you need to do a lot of research or already be an expert in a specific topic.

Librarians, teachers and parents know how important NON-FICTION is for TEACHING KIDS!
So, here are a few things we discussed:

RESEARCH BEST PRACTICES: Deborah says she's going to post a whole article on her blog about this, so you might as well go there to read more about that...Deborah's Blog

Here's an idea to get you inspired, if you don't know where to start:
Take a little known event in history, or historical figure, that you always wished you'd read about as a kid and try writing a biography about him or her or it.

Chances are, you might have an easier time getting this published -- because there is a great need for these types of works.

Make your story readable.

Document your sources,
provide timelines and sidebars and most of all...
let your young reader get lost in the wonder of the subject matter.
Even if your story is about something sad that happened, like a war or natural disaster, you can write it in a way that will let kids LEARN and KEEP these events in their memories.

NON-FICTION books are one of the best, easiest and "funnest" ways for kids to learn about history, science, nature and important political events.

For example: Just recently America under President Obama signed a pact with China to cut carbon emissions. How would you write a story about this event and make it exciting and fun for kids to read about? Imagine you took the public photo of Obama and China's Xi Jinping walking on the Great Wall that appeared in the news and turned it into a story.

This is just one of the many exciting possibilities awaiting those who take a turn at non-fiction.

NON-FICTION Book Proposals are different than Fiction Queries. Look at
Full Circle Literary  agency for information on
how to submit a non-fiction book proposal.

The good thing about non-fiction is that you can submit a proposal, sample chapters and not
write the entire manuscript before signing a contract. But of course, then you need to meet the deadline you set with the publisher.

Good luck and let us know if you have any questions or comments!

Deborah Fletcher Blum and Jean Perry
SCBWI Hollywood Writer's Schmooze Co-coordinators

The Hollywood Writer's Schmooze meets in and around Hollywood and Miracle Mile.
Please check the SCBWI Southern California Regional Schmooze Calendar for more information.
schmooze calendar and see you at the Schmooze!

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