Subscribe to SLJ
Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

A Book, A Book, My Kingdom For a Book

What I Learn From My Mail I got an email the other day from Will Fitzhugh, who is the founder of the Concord Review. That is a journal that reviews, evaluates, and publishes the best high school research papers. He pointed out something to me that puts this whole content/nonfiction issue in another light: high […]


"Have I Offered Outstanding Service?" Monica posted yesterday to put the question of content in the school in the larger context of progressive education. I am sure there is something to that. But to my eyes, the context we need to look at extends beyond educational theory. I believe we are in a a kind […]

Content Rules

"Content is King," used to be the buzzphrase of the digital economy. It meant that if you had a valuable property such as Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, or Major League Baseball you could feature it across all sorts of media platforms. The various forms of media provided the space, your content, your brand, was the real attractor. That […]


I see  that the Food, Glorious Food conference has been announced. I am going there to talk about the history of sugar — the same subject Marina and I presented to the NYC teachers this week. It will be interesting to see how librarians respond, and to compare that with teachers. The organizers of the teachers’ seminar did a great job […]

Don’t Feel Left Out

Where You Fit In, Librarians This blog is on the SLJ site, and so some of you may wonder why I suggested that aspiring NF writers focus on teachers, not librarians. Here’s the drill — speaking to both writers and librarians: those of us who are not librarians have pretty good ways of finding out […]


Reporting from the Frontlines Tomorrow is the last day of the seminar for New York City elementary school teachers my wife, Marina Budhos, and I have been running — based on the book we are writing about the history of sugar. It has been great. We were asked to do it by Dr. Rachel Mattson […]

For the Aspiring NF Writer

Is the Best, or the Worst, Time for a New NF Writer? Here’s my sense, it is the worst in the sense that the world of children’s books has split. A few companies do mainly or entirely nonfiction, often in series. On the other hand, most of the houses that create the picture books, and […]

What Is To Be Done?

Blackbird Fly I just spent a very happy hour at my local library. John W. Glenn and I met with some 4-5th graders and a few adults to talk about our forthcoming book The World Made New. The neat part was the enthusiasm from both the kids and the adults, including an elementary school librarian and […]

Here We Go Again

Reading Declining, Even Harry Can’t Help, Woe Is Me Here we are racing to the greatest single book sale in publishing history, and the New York Times asks us to pause and question — is Harry really helping. "Potter Has Limited Effect on Reading Habits," the article on July 11 announced. According to stats quoted in the […]


How Nonfiction Got Its Name How did nonfiction get its name, oh best beloved, let me tell you the tale. There was a wise old owl named Dewy, and he found that all the animals in the jungle, and all of the sprites and spirits and djins that hovered in the air just above the […]