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:
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)
“Each essay in Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep feels like sitting down to have a cup of coffee with a good friend. Each author opens up about their process, their craft, their truth. This book will challenge your every conception about what nonfiction writers do and how they do it. Reading this book will transform what and how you teach nonfiction writing, making it a book you will return to time and time again.”
Shana Frazin, Co-Director of Classroom Libraries and Senior Staff Developer,
Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Columbia University
“What struck me most about reading Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep was the personal nature of nonfiction. There were some essays that brought tears to my eyes or left me with goosebumps. I closed the book with a newfound appreciation for nonfiction, feeling like the genre taps into something about us all that makes us human … our curiosity about the world around us.
“These essays reinforced the idea that exploring something outside of ourselves, digging deep into the content but also into the emotional response that it elicits within ourselves, is an experience worth revisiting time and time again (if you're a reader) or sharing with others (if you're a writer).”
Katie Carr, elementary ELA curriculum specialist
Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep is a gift to reading and writing teachers and to students. Fifty children's authors share stories of their process, and the book is organized in a way that makes it a must-have tool for teachers. This collection of essays will give students the mentors they need as writers of informational pieces.”
Franki Sibberson, past president of the National Council of Teachers of English
“If you write nonfiction for children and/or you teach nonfiction writing, please gift yourself this incredible book! Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep is chock full of honest introspection and tips from a diverse array of wonderful nonfiction authors. You won’t be able to put it down.”
—Jennifer Mary Grolemund, K-2 science teacher and writer for young people
“Educators often wonder what's missing in their students' informational writing. We forget that, in addition to sharing facts, nonfiction can be passionate and inquisitive and inspire readers to change the world. The essays in Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep shows teachers how to help students breathe new life into informational writing.”
Michele Knott, literacy specialist
Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep is ideal for teachers who want to expand and deepen their practice of teaching with and about nonfiction literature. It offers us all a fresh perspective on nonfiction, one that recognizes that behind every book is a passion, a consideration of perspectives, and a palpable sense of purpose.”
Mary Ann Cappiello, professor of Language and Literacy at Lesley University
and past chair of the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction committee
“Whether you teach kindergarteners or college-age students, there is so much useful information in Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep. I planned on reading just a few essays, but I couldn’t put it down. I was so moved by what these ‘creatives’ had to say. Learn about writing from 50 amazing authors, and then share your new knowledge with your students!”
Lesley Burnap, second grade teacher
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
In the U.S, available for purchase through NCTELerner Books, Permabound, Booksource, Mackin, or Amazon. Unfortunately, it’s not available through Ingram, which supplies most independent book stores
In Canada, Lerner Books. In the rest of the world, Eurospan can provide print-on-demand copies.
5 Kinds of Nonfiction
Copyright 2001- Melissa Stewart. All rights reserved. All materials on this site may be copied for classroom or library use but may not be reprinted or resold for commercial purposes. This website is COPPA compliant. If you are a child under age 13 and wish to contact Melissa Stewart, please use the email address of a teacher, librarian, or parent with that adult’s permission. Webhost Privacy Policy.