Fall - WRITING NONFICTION - Top Secrets Unleashed with Editor, Agent, Sibert Medalist

Re-imagineer your nonfiction: power up your words, visualization, page turns & more!

Join us for an exceptional journey through writing nonfiction, proposals, and narrative nonfiction. In this course, you have Candace Fleming online with you for four weeks, Claire for four weeks and two live critique sessions.


Claire Dorsett, Assistant Editor, Roaring Brook Press

Claire's love of literature led her to pursue a BA in English from Cornell University, where she was involved with campus publications The Daily Sun and Rainy Day literary magazine. She then completed the six-week intensive Columbia Publishing Course before finding a home at Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, assisting Vice President and Publisher Simon Boughton. She has worked on a range of projects during her time at Roaring Brook, including Lane Smith's middle-grade debut Return to Augie Hobble, Steve Sheinkin's National Book Award finalist Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War, and picture books The Skunk and Ned the Knitting Pirate. Among other projects, she is currently working on a series of books for emerging readers in partnership with the Scripps National Spelling Bee, as well as a picture book about fishing by Tommy Greenwald and David McPhail.

Candace Fleming, Award-Winning Author, Sibert Medalist

Candace Fleming awarded herself the Newbery Medal in fifth grade after scraping the gold sticker off the class copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond and pasting it onto her first novel—a ten-page, ten-chapter mystery called Who Done It? She’s been collecting awards (her own, not Elizabeth George Speare’s) ever since. Today, Candace is the versatile and acclaimed author of more than twenty books for children and young adults, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize honored The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of the Russian Empire; Boston Globe/Horn Book Award-winning biography, The Lincolns; the bestselling picture book, Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!; and the beloved Boxes for Katje.

Jodell Sadler, Founder, KidLitCollege; Editorial Agent, JCLA

Jodell Sadler is the founder of KidLit College, and currently works as an editorial agent wih Jill Corcoran Literary Agency, JCLA. She has served as an art director, marketing consultant, senior designer before earning her MFA at Hamline University, where she focused on sharing her critical thesis project, PACING PICTURE BOOKS & BEYOND. She’s since worked as a professor, secondary Freshman & Senior English AP/Dual Credit teacher, and founded KidLit College, a webinar, classes & critique community for writers and illustrators. Jodell teaches online and presents at conferences and events on pacing, and writes and presents with Writer’s Digest University. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) and passionate about helping writers and illustrators advance their careers.

WRITING NONFICTION UNLEASHED is a ten-week class on writing that top-notch Nonfiction manuscript with our final week dedicated to a discussion on how to write better fiction with a focus on nonfiction. Participants will enjoy weekly writing discussions on crafting creative nonfiction. We will discuss coming up with a compelling topic, unique bent, as well as research and citing. We will explore how to bring scenes to life through research and how to avoid crossing that line into fiction.

Course schedule (subject to change):

Sept 14, Session 1 - What Makes Writing Nonfiction from picture books to YA Great! with Claire Dorsett, Candy Fleming, and Jodell Sadler
Sept 21, Session 2 - Writing the Nonfiction Proposal - Claire Dorsett

Sept 28, Session 3 – Strong Hooks, Vital Ideas, & Digging into Research - Candy Fleming

Oct .5, Session 4 - Why Backmatter Matters & What to Include - Claire Dorsett

Oct. 12, Session 5 - Live Critiques with - Candy Fleming & Jodell Sadler

Oct. 19, Session 6 - Big Ideas & Compelling Topics - Claire Dorsett

Oct. 26, Session 7 - Creating Authentic Scenes - Candace Fleming

Nov. 2, Session 8 - Live Critiques with Claire Dorsett & Jodell Sadler

Nov. 9, Session 9 - Citations, Quotations & Authenticity - Candy Fleming

Nov. 16, Session 10 - Getting on the Page, Nonfiction that Stands Out for Editors and Agents.

Your Instructor

Claire Dorsett
Claire Dorsett

Claire Dorsett, Publishing Consultant, Former Assistant Editor at Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan

Claire Dorsett fell in love with stories and storytelling at a young age, spending much of her time ensconced in her own (non)magic treehouse with her nose in a book. Diving down Alice’s rabbit hole, climbing through Narnia’s wardrobe, and trekking across Middle Earth led her to pursue a BA in English from Cornell University, and inspired her to complete the Columbia Publishing Course. She soon found a home at Macmillan's Roaring Brook Press, where she worked on a variety of picture book, middle-grade, and young adult projects including Steve Sheinkin's National Book Award finalist Most Dangerous; Lane Smith’s There Is a Tribe of Kids; and a series for emerging readers developed with the Scripps National Spelling Bee. After three years at Roaring Brook, Claire moved home to Cleveland, Ohio to focus on a different kind of children’s storytelling as the Exhibits Developer for the Great Lakes Science Center. However, unable to give up children's books entirely, she continues to work one-on-one with aspiring authors to optimize their manuscripts for submission. You can still often find her somewhere outside, generally with her nose in a book.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts at a specific time, but you may enjoy video replays up to one month beyond your course end date so you can review the webinars withing the course.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does 24/7 access after enrolling for the ten week session. Webinars will be hosted under "Curriculum" for you to replay at your convenience.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, please contact us. While we do not offer refunds, we'd love to hear from you.

This course is not open for enrollment.