Institute Community and Equity Office

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Writing Nonfiction for Children with Christine Taylor-Butler
Jan/30 Tue 11:00AM–02:00PM

Nonfiction is easy to read but not so easy to write. In this workshop, students will learn the fundamentals of writing compelling storylines for children. Who did it? Why did they do it? How did something happen without human intervention? The most important part of this process is to create a work that causes the reader to wonder, “what else is there to know?” Bring ideas, paper and writing tools.

Christine Taylor-Butler is a children's book author who has written more than 90 books, among them The Lost Tribe series, which she describes as “the technical Harry Potter.” Her 30 books for the Scholastic True Books educational nonfiction series range in topic, from planets and the human body to civil rights and the Supreme Court. She also visits schools, libraries, and festivals, where she encourages kids to explore the science behind her books. An advocate for diversity in children’s literature, she wrote an essay about gender inequity at the Caldecott Awards and the CSK Illustrator Awards, which she discussed on the kidlit women* podcast. In addition, her essay “Failure is Not An Option” on the importance of STEM literacy appeared in The Horn Book.

Taylor-Butler holds dual SB degrees in Civil Engineering and in Architecture (1981) from MIT and was formerly an interviewer for MIT Admissions. Her past experience includes working at a start-up software company and at Harvard University before moving to Kansas City, where she served as a graphic-arts and engineering manager at Hallmark Cards for more than a decade.

In addition to her writing, she served as a judge for the Society of Midland Authors children’s nonfiction award, the Walter Dean Myers children's literature award, and PEN America’s Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship. Taylor-Butler is past president of the Missouri Writers Guild, an Emeritus Board member of Kindling Words, and a Toastmaster for World Fantasy. She is a member of the Author’s Guild, the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society, and a Director At Large of Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA).


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