Writing process

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 »

TLA, A book launch, school visits, Classes I’m Teaching, Oh My!

Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words Much has happened within the last month. The book launch trailer for Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words released, which makes me all kinds of giddy. Then, on April 1, the book itself hit bookstore shelves. I hope you will get your own copy from your favorite independent bookstore and share it with the young… Read more »

Picture book biographies—My most-viewed posts

We’re working to re-establish the blog archives and categories that got tangled up in the recent website import. For now, if you’re looking for past posts about nonfiction picture books or picture book biography (or ies), simply type those terms into the blog search box. You can also find the most-viewed posts below. *DISCLAIMER: These posts were… Read more »

Kid-Friendly books about the Writing Process

A perennial favorite… Kid-Friendly books about the Writing Process There are wonderful books aimed at inspiring children to write and read. Now that school has started, I thought I’d share a bundle of titles that I’ve come across. Some of these books are useful during school visits. Others are wonderful classroom additions. All of them… Read more »

Stealing, Tweaking, Voice

Recently, I had a fabulous conference critique on a new picture book biography. It left me smiling for days, mostly because of two words: “great voice.” It’s taken a long time nail the concept of voice.  If you’ve been writing as long as I have, you know how ambiguous the subject of voice is. I… Read more »

Donna’s Dummy for Dummies

I’m currently polishing a p.b. biography and a fiction picture book that I’ve been whittling away at for a couple of years. Before I attempt to submit the manuscripts, I want to work them each into a picture book dummy to test the pacing, illustratable scenes, and page turns. Obviously, a publisher’s art director would… Read more »

Blank Pages and a new Muse

There it is in all its blank glory. The only gift I asked Santa for. Well, that and a new car. Santa’s budget clearly looks alot like mine. There’s something exciting, and invigorating, and, yes, a bit scary about having a stack of giant blank pages in front of me, ready for scribbles, and plots,… Read more »

Life Cycle of a Book

Ever wonder how a manuscript becomes a published book? Publishing Trendsetter, a site dedicated to publishing professionals,  not only put the process to a flow chart, they include video clips from professionals at every stage; writer, agent, editorial, production, digital, design, marketing, publicity, sales, distribution, and book buyer. They call it Life Cycle of a… Read more »

From Befuddled to Eureka- Clarifying my narrator’s lens-P.B. Biography

My currrent work-in-progress has had me befuddled. That’s a good word, isn’t it? Befuddled. My Webster’s Dictionary defines the word as, “To confuse or stupefy.” Yep, that sums it up. Said manuscript is complete and it’s not half bad. Yay!  I’ve got a compelling story with suspenseful scenes and historical significance. But, my inner-editor has… Read more »