Posted by: nancyisanders | January 27, 2015

Write a NF Book in Just 3 Weeks

As I’ve mentioned before, now that I’ve spent these past several months writing and editing and submitting a nonfiction picture book/early reader for Kaeden Books, I’m getting ready to do the whole process again…all in 3 weeks!

It can get a little bit crazy moving forward at this fast of a pace, but I’ve found that it helps my brain to focus and pull everything I’ve learned recently all together when I do it at this pace. I hope this does all this and more for you, too, as you follow along.

Plus, it’s good exercise to get under your belt. Why? Because sometimes agents and editors request a total rewrite of a picture book or nonfiction manuscript in a very short time. Other times, they give out a one to three week deadline and you’ve got to race, race, race to the finish line to get it done in time.

But those are fun times of racing because there’s a nice big fat check dangling like a carrot in front of a bunny to entice you forward. Or there’s the promise of a brand new book getting published if you can meet the editorial need.

So if you want to join in the race we’re going to take off on, there are a few preparations you need to make right away. Here’s what you can do:

1. Make the commitment to follow through and write a brand new nonfiction manuscript in just 3 weeks. Clear your schedule to do this and pursue this goal.

2. Get motivated to meet your goal. Really. If you work better with a group, enlist your writing friends to join. If you work better with a prize, give yourself a special prize if you make it to the finish line. Get things set in place right now so that you’ll be motivated for three full weeks to keep going until you meet your goal.

3. Gather potential mentor texts. For a refresher on this, CLICK HERE. You can use the same mentor texts you used for this last manuscript you wrote and submitted to Kaeden Books. If you’re not sure or you want to choose a new one, just CLICK HERE to see a list of Kaeden Books’ nonfiction titles to choose from.

4. Choose your broad topic that you’d like to write about. For example, you could choose to write about seeds, planets, careers, butterflies, seasons, a holiday, community, animal homes, etc. Pick one that interests you, even if you’ve never written about it before.

5. Gather potential research books. Go ahead and order 10 or 20 or even more potential titles from your library for you to use for your research. If you truly plan to write this puppy in just three weeks, you’ll move much faster if you already have a ton of research books right there in your hands. For a book at this level, nonfiction picture books will be solid resources for you to use, so order in as many as you can.

Later this week I’ll be posting a 3-week calendar for us to follow. And then next Monday we’re going to start on our brand new adventure!!


  1. Have you ever written any fiction books for Kaeden? I’m taking a class right now, but I’d like to try this when the class is over (in about 3 weeks).

    • No I haven’t Mary. But after we do two more nonfiction books for Kaeden, I’m hoping to walk us through writing fiction for them, too!

  2. Excellent! I’ll definitely be along for the ride!

  3. Hi Nancy, I didn’t get a chance to join you on your first project for Kaeden Books. The pace seems very aggressive to complete in 3 weeks but I am going to give it a shot! I will get started today with finding mentor books and will see what I can do. YIKES!

    • Yay, Rona!!!! So glad you’re taking the plunge and joining our adventure. Have fun!!!!

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