Truffles, Tardigrades, Meteorites and Museums: Nonfiction with Jessie Hartland

by Annie Ruygt

Author and illustrator Jessie Hartland, the October speaker in the Metro NY Professional Lecture Series, often writes about icons: Steve Jobs: A Graphic Biography and Bon Appétít: The Delicious Life of Julia Child are two of her recent titles. Her bright, playful illustrations have a following that transcends the normal age bracket for picture books. What people don’t see is the months, sometimes years, of research Hartland pours into each book.


Be the Hero of Your Writing Process with Kendra Levin

by Leah Heilman Schanke

Kendra Levin, Executive Editor at Viking Children’s Books, author of The Hero Is You, and the September speaker in the SCBWI-Metro NY Professional lecture series, shared how writers can use the hero’s journey model to create a “holistic, healthy, creative writing process.” Many writers struggle with process and experience dark moments where they wonder, “Why am I writing this?” Levin said. “Writers need to find ways to work organically and be their best selves.”

The End Is Where We Begin – The Burden & Glory Of Writing Non-Fiction For Children

by Orel Protopopescu

selene“The end is in the beginning,” said Selene Castrovilla, quoting T. S. Eliot at the Metro NY SCBWI Tuesday Night Professional series on March 10, 2015. Selene spoke to a rapt crowd about the joys and challenges of writing non-fiction for children.


“You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” – The Truth About Nonfiction, With Deborah Heiligman

Originally Published: Feb. 1, 2011

by Emily Goodman

Members of the Metro-NY SCBWI who braved the cold on December 13, 2010, were treated to an intimate and inspiring talk with writer Deborah Heiligman on how to craft narrative nonfiction from primary sources, as part of the Tuesday Professional Lecture Series. Heiligman, who was filling in for the originally scheduled speaker, Ellen Levine, said how much she’d been inspired by Levine’s books.

Her title – “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” – had two meanings. First, Heiligman stressed, “narrative nonfiction uses all the elements of fiction – scenes, characters, story arc and dialogue – without making anything up.” And second, the truth is sometimes more surprising, and makes a better book, than anything writers could invent. (more…)