Posted by: nancyisanders | October 1, 2015

NF4NF 2016: Be there!


Yesterday I shared links to a list of publishers that I was given when I attended and taught at the NF4NF Conference in Houston, hosted by the wonderful Pat Miller. In that post I mentioned that this conference was “amazing” and that it was the “best” I’ve ever been to.

Today I want to share the details. The nitty gritty. The nuts and bolts. Why did I say that? First of all, let me give you some background. I’ve taught at SCBWI Nationals, SCBWI regional conferences, and Christian conferences near Los Angeles and in Philadelphia. They’ve all been great.

But NF4NF was special. Different. First of all, what does NF4NF stand for? NonFiction for New Folks. So if you’re just starting to get your feet wet as a children’s writer in general or as a nonfiction writer for children, you’ll feel right at home. But I found as a professional that there were many “aha!” moments where I LEARNED a strategy that addresses issues I’ve been struggling with to take my writing to the next level. In other words, the TEACHING from all the various faculty was very practical and applicable.

One of the attendees put it perfectly when she shared how she always feels so lost at a conference. So many people. So many crowds. So impersonal and so competitive. Not so here at NF4NF, she shared! And I agree. Size is limited so the conference is kept small. You get to connect with everyone there. It felt like family!

But the sense of community didn’t stop at the conference. We have a secret Facebook group (shhhh! don’t tell anyone) led by our awesome conference leader Pat Miller where more strategies and tips and links and perks are flying around as people are supporting and encouraging each other towards success as writers.

And it was fun! There was line dancing. (We were in Texas, remember?!) And a fun game called “Contract.” (I was the loser of the entire game, lol!) And piles of gorgeous nonfiction picture books we all had lots and lots of chances to win along with other prizes like beautiful artist journals to sketch our brainstorming ideas in.

Yes, pampering. I felt like I was at a spa for writers. When we arrived at the “classroom” our first morning we were given a composition notebook with a handcrafted scrapbook cover that decorated the front to take our notes. We were given bookmarks decorated with beads. All through the conference, we were given motivational and inspirational talks by our beloved conference leader Pat Miller to follow our theme and ignite our fire for writing.

Get this. There was a LIBRARY of 200 hand-picked best of the best nonfiction children’s books for us to browse through and borrow and learn from during the conference, along with a list of these titles to take home so we can continue the learning! We got handouts like the one listing the current trade book publishers who accept unsolicited manuscript that I shared in my post yesterday here on my blog. And much, much more! These resources are impacting my career as a writer. Yay!

So what are you waiting for?!!! Hop right on over to the site of the NF4NF conference and sign up for updates so you can learn the details about next year’s conference as they come out.

Because if you’re someone who likes to attend a writer’s conference every year, be sure you put this one at the top of your list. And if you’re someone who wishes you could go to a writer’s conference, start saving your money today so you can go. (If you just put $5 in an envelope every single day, in 6 months you’ll have almost a thousand dollars! Skip a coffee or soda each day and save that cash for a good investment!)

I feel like I should add a disclaimer. You know how bloggers put at the bottom of a glowing report on a product that they received the product for free in exchange for their honest opinion? Well, I didn’t do anything like that to make me say this in my post. It’s just that I discovered the golden ticket, a diamond mine, and a buried treasure chest all wrapped up together in this conference for nonfiction children’s writers.

Why am I sharing this? Because I want YOU to experience success as a writer. As I explained at the conference during one of the sessions when I taught, I am a living example that YOU can experience success as a writer. When I started writing, I did everything wrong. How wrong you may ask?

For my first manuscript submission…
I wrote it out by hand…
on lined notebook paper…
in red pen!


And to make matters worse, I dug around and found the address of an author I admired. Because I thought…hey! She got her book published. She could publish my book, too!


In other words, I learned everything the hard way, inch by inch and step by step. But I’ve experienced success in my writing career and I know you can too. I’m confident of it!!!!

And the NF4NF Conference is a great launchpad to help you on your way.


  1. Inspiration to start my day. Thank you, Nancy 🙂 I’m doing that step by step and it’s nice to know how many people are willing to share their journeys.

    • I’m so glad to be a part of your morning, Charlotte! Have a great day!!!!

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