Four More Types of Nonfiction for Young Readers

Thursday, April 16, 2020
Yesterday Cathy blogged about writing crafts and games for young readers. Those are only two types of nonfiction that are in demand. Here are four more things that publishers are buying.

Science. Whether you want to write about scientists who are studying solar eclipse, saving endangered species, or taking a close look at extreme weather, STEM topics are hot. Not familiar with that term? That’s Science Technology Engineering and Math and it is one of the key buzz words in education today. If this is the type of writing you want to do you are in luck. Magazines and book publishers alike are buying STEM related pieces and if you can work in women in STEM? You’ve just hit on another top category.

Headline Topics. Like adults, young readers are working to navigate the world we live in. If you are into current events and the kinds of topics you find in the headlines, than school library markets want what you are writing. Working through Red Line Editorial, I wrote books on The Dakota Access Pipeline and The Zika Virus. I’m currently working on two more titles – The Impeachment of Donald Trump and Coronavirus: The Covid-19 Pandemic

Biographies. Whether you are interested in writing picture books about women making headlines or tween titles about singers and other celebrities, biographies are always in demand although the market does vary on who is of interest. You also have to find a fresh angle. Sitting on my coffee table is a picture book on Lincoln off the library’s new books shelf – The Superlative A. Lincoln: Poems about our 16th President by Eileen Meyer. I also just read the new title Who Is Jackie Chan? by Jody Jensen Shaffer.

How-tos. In addition to games and crafts, a wide variety of how-tos are published in both books and magazines. Boy’s Life looks for how-tos that cover the topics of the various Scouting badges and camping. Last year, I wrote a book for tween and teens on Earning, Saving and Investing as part of their Financial Literacy series. Pieces that cover Self-help, life skills and more are being sought by publishers.

Each and every day, young readers are learning about the world. If there is a topic that you are enthusiastic about, consider whether or not, perhaps with a little tweaking, it would make a good piece for curious young readers.


Sue Bradford Edwards' is the author of over 25 books for young readers.  To find out more about her writing, visit her blog, One Writer's Journey.  Sue is also the instructor for  Research: Prepping to Write Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins  May 4th, 2020) and Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins July 6, 2010). 


Sioux Roslawski said...

Sue--I used to get "Boys Life" every month. My son was an Eagle Scout. I was a merit badge counselor. I would occasionally contemplate (briefly... fleetingly) working on a piece for them.

Maybe this is the nudge I needed. Thanks, Sue.

Cathy C. Hall said...

Oh, yes, all this nonfiction is hot right now, Sue! And there's so much interesting stuff in the world--but you have to know the ins and outs of NF writing so taking a class is a very good idea.

And oh, look! Sue just happens to be teaching one or two. :-) And P.S. A good instructor is the first step to getting published!

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

We always have more ideas than we can follow through on, don't we?

Ha! Thank you.

Nonfiction has always been an easier sell for me. With over 600 sales, I've sold one fiction rebus and one short story. The rest? Nonfiction.

Renee Roberson said...

I write non-fiction with magazine writing but have never really worked hard at cracking the non-fiction market for young readers. Like Sioux, I contemplate pitching Boys Life when it shows up in my mailbox but never do. Thanks for sharing all these opportunities with us!

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