CANSCAIP -- Research for non-fiction

Last night I attended the monthly CANCAIP meeting. The atmosphere was, as always, very friendly. I enjoy meeting people who have actually "done it" before -- published a children's book, that is.

The special topic for October was research for non-fiction.

Editor and writer Gena Gorrell talked about predicting unforeseen problems, filing and obtaining photo rights, interview techniques, chapter organization and following leads. She also amused us with stories about police dogs and fire fighting.

Sydell Waxman talked about organizing research, using primary and secondary data and choosing subjects for biographies. It made me realize how much time and effort go into tracking down primary sources and verifying information. Definitely not a job for the lazy.

I came away with plenty of good tips. Fiction writers need to do their research too!

If you are interested in writing for children, the Canadian Society of Childrens Authors, Illustraters and Performers offers an annual workshop series called "Packaging Your Imagination." Click on my permanent CANSCAIP link for more info.

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