Rigorous Research

The First Step Toward a Nonfiction Picture Book

Everyone knows great research is essential for writing nonfiction, but how do you conduct that research? Is the research or the story more important to publishers? Find out the answers to those questions and much more in this webinar.

In this webinar, Michelle and Karen will share:

  • Michelle's approach to researching her debut picture book FLYING DEEP
  • Concrete suggestions for your own research
  • What happens after getting a nonfiction book deal
  • Fact-checking the writing and illustrations in a NF book
  • How each book follows its own process
  • Plus, Michelle and Karen will answer your questions!

Your Instructor

Karen Boss and Michelle Cusolito
Karen Boss and Michelle Cusolito

Karen Boss is an associate editor at Charlesbridge where she works on fiction and nonfiction picture books and middle-grade novels. She holds a MA in Children’s Literature from Simmons College and regularly acts as a mentor for their Writing for Children MFA program. Karen also has an MA in higher education administration and worked at colleges and in the nonprofit sector for the first 15 years of her career. She still works part-time in development at Hyde Square Task Force, a nonprofit that works with at-risk youth in Jamaica Plain. Some authors she’s currently working with are David L. Harrison, Jane Yolen, Nancy Bo Flood, Rich Michelson, and debut author Tami Charles. Her favorite children’s book is The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White, and she thinks that Holes by Louis Sachar is quite possibly the best thing ever written.

Michelle Cusolito spent her childhood mucking about in the fields, forests, and swamps around the farm where she grew up in southeastern Massachusetts. As an exchange student in high school, I temporarily traded rural living for city life in Cebu, Philippines. These early experiences set her on her current course exploring nature and culture like the locals. She spent 10 wonderful years as a grade 4 teacher.

Now, when she's not mucking around in the world, Michelle is usually in her office or local coffee shop weaving these experiences into stories for children.

Michelle was the recipient of the 2016 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award for her picture book, FLYING DEEP, which was published by Charlesbridge in 2018. The story invites young readers to imagine themselves as a pilot of deep-sea submersible Alvin, exploring two miles deep where alien-looking life forms thrive.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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