N is for Non-Fiction

We spent October looking at the Writing Workspace. Now that we have reshuffled, revamped, and/or reorganized our work area, let us focus on November’s topic: Writing Non-Fiction.           

Non-fiction, first of all, has gotten a bum rap, especially for the children’s market. Many writers don’t want to enter this genre because they feel it will somehow limit their creativity. They feel that since fiction stories are their goal, then it is a waste of energy to write non-fiction. I say it’s just the opposite. Writing non-fiction can open up many doors that were closed to you before.

Since everyone wants to write fiction, editors and publishers are saturated with fiction manuscripts. Naturally, only a very small percentage will make it through their slush pile and see publication. It is possible, but extremely difficult.

On the other hand, many magazine and book publishers are in need of non-fiction stories. One of my first major publications came from writing articles for parents. That contact led me to write for a national children’s magazine that I still write for today. Although the majority of my articles were non-fiction, I have been able to submit small fiction pieces that would have been difficult to get noticed if I didn’t have a relationship with the editors to begin with. I would have been another slush pile reject.

My first book, which is expected out in the spring of 2010, is a non-fiction picture book. Because I now have a relationship with a publisher, I have a contact that could lead to further publication since the publisher wishes to work with its authors on other projects. Will I get to write a fiction book for them? I don’t know; but I wouldn’t have an opportunity to submit anything else if I didn’t write this book to begin with.

Give non-fiction a chance. I t can open up some amazing doors for you.

Contributed by Catherine L. Osornio

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One response to “N is for Non-Fiction

  1. You are so right, Catherine. I had the same experience with writing for Clubhouse. They didn’t want my fiction stories, but after Nancy encouraged me to try for non-fiction I was successful there. Good advice for us all.

    Shirley

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