2016 21st Century Children’s Nonfiction Conference

Open Table

Open Table

The 4th Annual 21st Century Children’s Nonfiction Conference was just great (June 10-12 at Iona College in New York) …the faculty and attendees are really excited about the direction nonfiction is taking.

Planning programs

Choosing 21CNFC programs

The Conference began early with five 3-hour Intensives on Friday, including content on Basic Children’s Nonfiction, What’s Happening in Digital, Writers Working with Educators, the Publishing Process, and Publicity, Promotion & Social Media, which I did with Julie Gribble (KidLit TV) and Kelly Leonard (KLO Assoc).



There were five hosted Open Tables (conversations on Book Awards, the Sibert Medal, book Back Matter, Branding, more), plus 1-to-1 Consultations, a panel on NF Trends, and a fun outdoor barbecue. The weather was perfect the whole weekend!

Friday evening Barbecue

Friday Night Barbecue

Saturday had lots of workshops, including information on Agents, Writing and Illustrating for NF magazines, YA & Teen NF, Indie Publishing, How Libraries & Teachers Choose Books, Multimedia, and lots more, including Diversity & Multiculturalism presented by Lesa Cline-Ransome, James Ransome, and Domenica DiPiazza.

James, Lesa, D copy

Lesa Cline-Ransome, Domenica DiPiazza, James Ransome

Workshop attendees

Rapt attendees

Also very popular was Creative Narrative: Nonfiction Research & Writing with Candace Fleming and Steve Sheinkin. Susannah Richards asked the questions.

Susannah Ricards, C Fleming, Steve S

Susannah Richards, Candace Fleming, Steve Sheinkin

The Publishers Panel with trade and educational publishers…

Publishers panel

Publishers Panel

Six more Open Table conversations with Vicki Cobb, Jennifer Swanson, Heather Montgomery, Mary Kay Carson, and others, plus more 1-to-1 Consultations.

An elegant and fun Celebration Dinner wrapped up the evening.

On Sunday, Cyndi Giorgis (NCTE) gave a talk on Literacy and Nonfiction. More workshops: Graphic Nonfiction; Science Standards; Finding NF Work; Permissions for using Text, Image, Video Files, others.

I did two workshops – Marketing, Building Your Brand, Videos with Julie Gribble  and Taking Work Crossmedia with Sarah Towle of TTT&T.

Roxie Munro & Julie Gribble Workshop

Roxie Munro, Julie Gribble

Here’s a 6-second Vine video Julie Gribble did of our first Intensive, with Kelly Leonard. Julie taught the class about Vines… https://vine.co/v/i3LiVHeIpOF/embed/simple?audio=1

Here’s another 6-second Vine of me teaching: https://vine.co/v/i3YQPzKvXEm/embed/simple?audio=1

It is a particularly warm and friendly conference. Attendees, many of whom have come for several years, mention often how accessible the faculty is. It isn’t a conference for beginners – most participants (teachers, librarians, writers, illustrators) have published in some media, are mid-list authors, or are accomplished in another field and want to migrate into nonfiction children’s books. Lionel Bender and Sally Isaacs do a fabulous job of organizing it all…everything runs very smoothly.

Sarha Towle and dinner winners

Sarah Towle and Winner’s table!

All in all, a really helpful, fun, and energizing experience.

(All photos: Bo Zaunders)

Here’s a short fun video overview of the Conference done by KidLit TV on YouTube:


  1. Great conference…I recommend to all aspiring nonfiction children’s writers.

    • Yep – more info and fun each year! Thanks, Stephen.

  2. Jeri Cipriano said:

    Roxie: Bless you for the feedback. So sorry I had to miss the conference, but reading your “debriefing” is very much appreciated.

  3. Lionel Bender said:

    Thank you all for contributing to a great event: You make it happen.

    • It is such a great Conference – everyone was raving about it!

  4. Roxie, this looks like SUCH a wonderful conference! And what a beautiful venue 😀 For whatever reason, I couldn’t hear the audio on the two Vines :-\

    And I didn’t know Lionel and Sally headed this?!!! I had the pleasure of meeting them a few years back when they attended our NJ SCBWI conferences 🙂 All great stuff! Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

    • Thanks so much! I just love this Conference… So many participants agree. (Yea, I don’t know why the sound isn’t working on the Vines ;-((

      • So it didn’t work for everybody 😦 I thought it was just me ’cause I don’t have “smart” stuff and can’t use Vine.

  5. I’ve sent a note to Julie, who did the Vine, to see if there is a better link… ;-))

    • Hmmmm…I wonder if a link would do that. I’m so clueless! lol Roxie, please drop a line here so we’re notified if they start working 🙂

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