It's Spit-acular!
50 Award-Winning Children's Book Authors
Share the Secret of Engaging Writing
In Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep: 50 Award-Winning Children’s Book Authors Share the Secret of Engaging Writing, some of today’s most celebrated writers for children ¬†share essays that describe a critical part of the informational writing process that is often left out of classroom instruction. To craft engaging nonfiction, professional writers choose topics that fascinate them and explore concepts and themes that reflect their passions, personalities, beliefs, and experiences in the world. By scrutinizing the information they collect to make their own personal meaning, they create distinctive books that delight as well as inform. In addition to essays from mentor authors, Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep includes a wide range of tips, tools, teaching strategies, and activity ideas from editor Melissa Stewart to help students (1) choose a topic, (2) focus that topic by identifying a core idea, theme, or concept, and (3) analyze their research to find a personal connection. By adding a piece of themselves to their drafts, students will learn to craft rich, unique prose.
Featuring essays by:
  • Sarah Albee
  • Chris Barton
  • Donna Janell Bowman
  • Mary Kay Carson
  • Nancy Castaldo
  • Jason Chin
  • Lesa Cline-Ransome
  • Seth Fishman
  • Candace Fleming
  • Kelly Milner Halls
  • Deborah Heiligman
  • Susan Hood
  • Gail Jarrow
  • Lita Judge
  • Jess Keating
  • Barbara Kerley
  • Heather Lang
  • Cynthia Levinson
  • Michelle Markel
  • Carla Killough McClafferty
  • Heather Montgomery
  • Patricia Newman
  • Elizabeth Partridge
  • Baptiste Paul
  • Miranda Paul
  • Teresa Robeson
  • Mara Rockliff
  • Barb Rosenstock
  • Laura Purdie Salas
  • Anita Sanchez
  • April Pulley Sayre
  • Steve Sheinkin
  • Ray Anthony Shepard
  • Anita Silvey
  • Traci Sorell
  • Tanya Lee Stone
  • Jennifer Swanson
  • Stephen R. Swinburne
  • Don Tate
  • Laurie Ann Thompson
  • Pamela Turner
  • Patricia Valdez
  • Sandra Neil Wallace
  • Laurie Wallmark
  • Jennifer Ward
  • Carole Boston Weatherford
  • Lee Wind
  • Paula Yoo
  • Karen Romano Young
100 percent of the proceeds will be divided among the National Council of Teachers for English (NCTE), We Need Diverse Books (WNDB), and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
Behind the Book
“The idea for this book traces back to the 2017 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, when I was fortunate to participate in a panel titled ‘The Secret of Crafting Engaging Nonfiction’ with two of the most talented children’s nonfiction authors of our time—Candace Fleming and Deborah Heiligman.
“During our discussion, moderated by educator and children’s nonfiction enthusiast Alyson Beecher, we dove deeply into what fuels our work and why we routinely dedicate years of our lives to a single manuscript. As we compared our thoughts and experiences, we came to realize something critically important—each of our books has a piece of us at its heart. And that personal connection is what drives us to keep working despite the inevitable obstacles and setbacks.
“Several other nonfiction authors attended our presentation, and afterward they praised our insights. That conversation helped us all understand our creative process in a new and exciting way. And it eventually led to the essays in this anthology, which are our way of sharing an important—and often unrecognized and underappreciated—aspect of nonfiction writing with educators and students.”
Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep
edited by Melissa Stewart
National Council
of Teachers of English, 2020
for Grades 4 to 8
ISBN 978-0-81413-352-1
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