Instructor Stories: Miranda Paul


Miranda Paul has written some of my favorite nonfiction picture books, so I was thrilled when she agreed to teach a mini-class for Storyteller Academy on writing nonfiction picture books for 2020, and even happier when she and Baptiste Paul agreed to teach our upcoming Rhyming Picture Book course. You can see all of Miranda's awards and honors here. Miranda is also a literary agent with Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

If you're part of our membership, you should have access to “Nonfiction Picture Books with Miranda Paul” already. And if you're not, you'll have a chance to join during our free Children's Book Challenge Week, where she and Baptiste will be teaching a free workshop on Rhyming Picture Books.

Here's a fun YouTube video of Miranda talking about her process.

Nonfiction Picture Books Mini-Class

I thought Miranda was incredibly generous with her own experience, including sharing early drafts of her own books to help students revise.

Miranda takes you through her process for

  • choosing the best idea
  • determining whether to write a nonfiction or informational picture book
  • choosing the best structure or format
  • how to write a bibliography and other back matter
  • paginating a picture book manuscript
  • revision
  • how to write a query
  • and more!

She also includes a long recommended reading list and resources that she uses to research her subject matter.

Rhyming Picture Books Course

Those of you who know me know that I'm a children's poet, and you might know that I've been looking for the right instructor to teach this particular course for almost three years now. There have been some disappointments along the way, but this course Miranda and Baptiste are creating makes up for all of that. 

So, let me tell you why I'm excited about this course. Among other things, it's going to include:

  • how to evaluate (on line-by-line and stanza-by-stanza levels) a rhythmic or rhyming text
  • different processes that writers and artists use to turn a poem or song into an actual book with 32 pages, illustrations, and page turns
  • several tips, tricks, and revision techniques to swap out bad rhymes and strengthen stories
  • techniques of good pitches and queries for rhyming books

We're still in the process of making this Rhyming Picture Books course, so it isn't available to purchase on our website. We hope to have it available by the end of January. If you'd like a free preview of the course, Miranda and Baptiste Paul will be teaching a free live workshop on January 10, which you can register for here. If you're in our Makers Pro membership, you'll automatically have access to the new course with live workshops in mid-January.

Miranda's Books

Miranda has too many picture books to share in this post, so I'm going to share some of my favorites. They aren't all nonfiction, but a lot of those that aren't have informational aspects.

WATER IS WATER is my favorite. 

You may have noticed that sometimes Miranda writes picture books with her husband, Baptiste Paul, who also writes his own picture books. We also have a blog post about Baptiste.

Thanks for Reading!

Have you taken Miranda's Nonfiction Picture Book class? What was your experience with it?

Do you have a favorite Miranda Paul book that you want to shout out?

Blog Contributors

Instructor Photo: Myrna Foster

Myrna Foster writes and edits content for Storyteller Academy and the WriteRiders Newsletter for SCBWI Nevada. She has spent a lot of time teaching and coaching children, including five years as a preschool teacher. She's also worked as a journalist, and Highlights High Five has published six of her poems. 

Arree Chung is an author/illustrator and the founder of Storyteller Academy. Arree’s Ninja! series has received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal. Kirkus also gave a starred review to Mixed, which recently won the FCGB award. 

Today Arree lives a creative life, making stories for children. Arree spends most of his time making picture books, writing middle grade novels, and sharing his love for art, design, and storytelling with kids and dreamers everywhere.

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110 thoughts on “Instructor Stories: Miranda Paul”

    1. I love Miranda’s books. I have an autographed copy of Are We Pears Yet. I also just attended her online Writing Nature and Science Highlights retreat. So informative.

      If I won, I would like Speak Up.

      1. I laughed just looking at the cover of “Mia Moves Out”. What child hasn’t tried or thought of running away. Good memories.

  1. Thanks for the chance to enter the giveaway! These books look amazing and the cover art is incredible too! Great hallmarks of a wonderful picture book.

  2. Speak Up would be great for my 4 grandkids, ages 2 to 8. I want them to become strong and confident individuals. Thanks for the chance to win!

  3. Cortney Van Jahnke

    I love reading and creating stories. I’m inspired to start my longtime dream of writing and illustrating my own children’s books and hope to see that come to fruition some day soon. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and fellow colleagues works. These books all look amazing and I’m especially interested in “Speak up”. Can’t wait to read all of them actually! Thank you again.

  4. I touch your books frequently at my Francis Branch library in South Bend, IN where I am a librarian branch assistant. They are wonderful, insightful, and I am curious too!

    I loveee I love One Plastic Bag since I am a plastic bag hater and avid recycler. Thank you for your works!

  5. I would love a copy of Water is Water. I’m excited to take the nonfiction picture books mini course with the live workshop in December! Thank you for this blog post, Myrna.

  6. Oooooohh this is awesome! I’d love to have a copy of Water is Water – my prek students would love that for our water unit!
    Thanks for the blog Myrna!

  7. Thank you for this laid back post today. So needed. I loved the video share of Miranda and her writing process. If I were to win, I’d LOVE a copy of ADVENTURES TO SCHOOL! That’s by far, my favorite book of Miranda’s.

    Thank you for the inspiration and all you do.

  8. Thank you Myrna for your blog post. It hit home more than you can imagine. Forgiving yourself is one of the hardest lessons to learn. Constant reassurances from experienced authors is a huge help to
    Push me in the right direction. Thanks for all you do!

  9. Thanks for an inspiring newsletter. Miranda sounds like a much younger me. Would have loved knowing her when I was her age. All of her books sound great but, if possible, I would like Water is Water. I was once a high school science teacher and this book intrigues me.

  10. Enjoyed the blog post and Miranda’s vodeo. So many good books, it’s difficult to choose!
    If I win, I choose Speak UP please. Thanks!

  11. I was a reading specialist for many years. I am now helping my grandchildren to develop their reading comprehension skills. They range in age from three to thirteen. The older children children learned to read as early as four. My daughter and I sign up for all Reading activities at the local libraries. Of course with COVID we have to find creative ways to keep them excited about reading outside of school reading assignments. They love picture books and we ask them to tell the story. I would to get the book to use with my grands. Thanks so much for the opportunity.

  12. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity of getting one of these books. Can’t wait to read that. They all look amazing. Thank you for making us part of this.

  13. Thank you for your informative email, Myrna! I would love to receive Water is a Water if it works out. I plan to read Miranda’s other books as well!

  14. Thank you, Myrna, for the inspiring post. Your words of support and the videos shared rang true for me. I’ve fallen behind on some of my creativity ventures. I keep finding those slices of creativity, but not without some planning. I have several of Miranda’s beautiful books. Miranda and Baptiste Paul do so much for the literary community. I would love to have LITTLE LIBRARIES, BIG HEROES.

  15. Oh Man! I’ve never read ANY of these books… how sad. I’m now on a mission to study up on Miranda Paul. LOVE learning about new people to follow.

  16. Water is Water looks so lovely – the cover illustration is beautiful. I love the reflection and how serene it is but I also want to jump in!

  17. Gerry Lynne Baker

    There is no victory without stepping out! And, we can always step up! I believe in focusing — not on the problem — but on the solution. Thank you for a great post, Myrna!

  18. Hello. I would love to win Water Is Water. My son will be covering this topic soon in school and would like to share a book that’s not too technical and has beautiful illustrations. Thank you. Good luck Everyone!

  19. I love all the information that is shared on this blog. I am not familiar with this author, so I select your favorite book, Water Water as my choice should I win. Thanks!

  20. I have had the privilege of reading Water is Water as one of the Mystery readers in my son’s school, i love that book, would love to have a copy of that book to use that for more reading for the little students in our district schools ,,

  21. I have seen Miranda’s books in my searching, and so many have caught my attention just by the beautiful titles. This is good motivation to go check some out, thanks Myrna and Miranda!

  22. I live on the water and the book title Water is Water, sounds very interesting. Thanks for highlighting this book Myrna.

  23. Thank you for sharing your blog post, and Miranda’s video! Since my daughter is pregnant with her 2nd child, I’d love a copy of ‘Nine Months’. I would gift this book to her so she can read it to her 18 month old son (my grandson:)

  24. Myrna,

    Thanks for the great post. I have been pretty overwhelmed lately with non-writing parts of my life, and I am so hard on myself when I’m not “creating.”
    I definitely need the encouragement and support right now. (Love Brene!) Thanks!

  25. Myrna, the video with Brene’ Brown was absolutely fantastic! It really struck home with me and I saved it so that I can rewatch it. What was especially meaningful to me was the advice that if the critics aren’t in the arena with you, doing what you’re doing, then you have the right to tell them that you don’t care what they think. The other videos in this blog were also good reviews of key concepts from previous classes. I’m currently taking Miranda Paul’s mini-class on writing nonfiction picture books so I would love to win “Water Is Water.”

  26. Deborah Holt Williams

    I’ve been a fan of Miranda’s for years, and a fan of her husband’s books, too. I would love to win Whose Hands are These for my grandson, who is going to kindergarten virtually and sharing lots of books at home.

    1. I would love to win Water is water. I was checking it out and illustrations are so beautiful as well is really well written and it involves a lot of concepts to learn. Beautiful book! This book has inspired me to continue working on my dummy.

  27. Would love to read these! They look beautiful. Also, thanks to this post I learned what the word “paginate” meant! 🙂

  28. Thanks for this blog. Any information I can get is always helpful in the writing process. I found Jim’s little video also very helpful.

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