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Writing a Rhyming Nonfiction Picture Book

Case Study: Secrets of the Loon

In February of 2019, I started the journey of SECRETS OF THE LOON, a rhyming picture book based on loon research and images. The book will be published in April 2020 by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. I documented every step of the process for my Patreon members, and now I'm making the videos available as a course.

  • How did the contract work?
  • How did I decide what format to tell this story in?
  • What kind of research did I do?
  • How do I decide what to include and what to leave out, from a research/information perspective?
  • How does working in rhyme affect the story I'm telling?
  • What happens when a writer has concerns about aspects of the publishing process?

These questions and many more are answered in the 70+ short videos (3-10 minutes, generally) I created along the way. You might want to watch only the videos dealing with the actual writing process (of writing nonfiction, writing in rhyme, or writing picture books--or any combination of those). Or maybe you're primarily interested in what it's like working with a small, regional publisher. Or writing a text to go with photo illustrations. No problem! You can pick and choose which videos to watch.

Of course, you can choose whatever schedule you like, but I'd recommend watching one video per day, just so you get a bit of the sense of time passing.

I hope you'll like this very inclusive and honest peek into my writing life.


Course Curriculum



Your Instructor


Laura Purdie Salas
Laura Purdie Salas

Former teacher Laura Purdie Salas has written more than 130 books for kids, including Lion of the Sky, If You Were the Moon, Water Can Be…, and BookSpeak! Her books have earned the Minnesota Book Award, NCTE Notables, starred reviews, and more. She offers resources for educators and for children's writers at her online home: laurasalas.com Laura enjoys visiting schools and speaking at writing and literacy conferences around the country.


Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
As long as the course exists--at least until 2025. Publishing practices change, and I don't want to keep an outdated example in place. But the course and all its contents will remain here until at least 2025. Plenty of time to watch!
What if I am unhappy with the course?
I would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact me in the first 30 days and I will give you a full refund.

Get started now!