Blog/News

Organizing a Mountain of Research

One of my favorite things about writing nonfiction is research—part scavenger hunt and part archaeological dig into the past. But what’s the best way to organize the resulting mountain of research? It’s a question that always pops up in forums and writers’ groups. The truth is, there is no single right system. Much depends on [Read More]


Book Connections & Activities In One Place

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on educational systems. Now that kids are learning remotely and educators are scrambling to adjust to online platforms, I want to make it as easy as possible for my books to be useful. To that end, I have compiled some of the most helpful book-specific connections in one place. * Please [Read More]


Secondary Sources to the Rescue!

There’s a common belief among new nonfiction writers that primary sources are the only way to find absolute facts. Secondary sources are assumed to be inferior, less trustworthy, less valuable. I beg to differ. Don’t get me wrong, I get a rush when I find primary sources. As kids in my school visits can attest, [Read More]


Choosing a Structure for your Picture Book Biography

Are you following February’s fabulous and free Nonfiction Fest, described as a month-long crash course in writing children’s nonfiction? I was honored to contribute the following blog post about creative structures available to picture book biography writers. I hope you enjoy it. Choosing a Structure for Your Picture Book Biography By Donna Janell Bowman Dear [Read More]


Reverse-Engineering an Engineering Process from the Past

They are short and for kids, but nonfiction picture books can require the sleuthing skills of Veronica Mars, the puzzling wizardry of Sherlock Holmes, and the science chops of Bill Nye. When I set out to write about how The Great Blondin engineered his tightrope across the Niagara Gorge in 1859, I hoped to find [Read More]