Wednesday, August 18, 2010

SCBWI 2010 Summer Conference: Notes and Quotes – Nonfiction Panel

The members of the panel (Elizabeth Partridge, Tanya Lee Stone, Deborah Heligman and Susan Campbell Bartoletti) all described themselves as extreme researchers. In order to write their books they have done such things as learn languages (Gaelic) in order to translate original source material, travel widely and use academic libraries and current databases. They use secondary material only sparingly.

Elizabeth Partridge, Tanya Lee Stone,
Deborah Heligman, Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Elizabeth Partridge
  • We are all archive rats.
  • We all love to dig into research.

Tanya Lee Stone
  • Learn all you can about your subject before you interview them.
  • Check even published facts. Even autobiographies can be incorrect.
  • Let the interviewees read your manuscript and ask them if you have represented them accurately.
Ken Wright, Moderator

Deborah Heligman
  • When interviewing, always get a release. It protects you and the other person. Publishers always want a copy of signed releases.
  • Don’t let form dictate content. Let content dictate form.
  • Keep yourself open. You never know what you’ll find.

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