Posted by: nancyisanders | December 20, 2013

Nonfiction Picture Book: Your Research Center


As you’re gathering your research books to use for writing your nonfiction picture book, now you get to do something fun…

Set up your research center!

I love to organize things, so this is a step I always love to do. If you like to organize, you’ll like this, too. If you don’t like to organize and have a hard time finding things once you get started on something, this step will really help you stay focused and on top of things.

I set up an activity table in the room we call the “library.” It used to be our son’s bedroom but after he moved out I claimed it as a guest room (it has a sleeper sofa) and my sewing/craft room. We also put in bookshelves and it’s where I often set up a card table for my research centers for book projects I’m working on. Once the new baby arrives (we recently found out we’re going to be grandparents for the first time!) it will be where we put a crib one of our friends gave to us because their kids have outgrown it. (Can you tell we’re eager to have the new baby come over and visit awhile?!)

Over the years I’ve set up my research center in various places and in various ways to accommodate the season of life I’m in. If you don’t have a place you can set up a card table or activity table right now and need ideas on other ways to set up your own research center, read the section 3.3 Research Center on pages 47-49 in my book, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career. And if you want to take a humorous look at how my cat, Humphrey, made his own research center, just visit my site, Writing According to Humphrey and Friends.

And if your house is crazy crowded right now while you celebrate the holidays, but will have an empty corner once the new year starts, just keep all your research sources in one spot for now. You’ll have plenty of time in the new year to set it all out.


  1. Congratulations on the upcoming grandbaby! How exciting! So far, all my research is inside my computer and in 1 notebook. I’m using the program Evernote.

    • Thanks for sharing your research “space,” Tina! I know it must be challenging to live overseas with few library books available. It sounds like you’ve figured out an awesome system!

  2. Nancy, congrats on a new grandbaby that’s on its way. Love your organization skills. Merry Christmas. 🙂

  3. congratulations for the coming baby !!

  4. Thanks for the congratulations, everyone! We’re so excited!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: