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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