Full STEAM Ahead: Add an Educational Hook to Your Manuscript – Cardinal Rule Press
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Full STEAM Ahead: Add an Educational Hook to Your Manuscript

When you submit a picture book manuscript, it’s important to have a strong hook. Or preferably, multiple hooks. The “hook” is what will motivate a reader/buyer to choose your book. An educational hook can add extra value and often make a book particularly appealing to educators, and therefore, editors. 

In my book Someday, Maybe (Holt/Macmillan, March 2023) I take a look at a number of STEAM concepts via the imaginations of children who are dreaming about what kinds of jobs they could have in the future. STEAM stands for: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Architecture, and Math.

Have you tried incorporating STEAM concepts into your manuscripts to add an educational layer? There are many to choose from. The trick is to incorporate them in a fun, age-appropriate way. Here are just a few examples of ways to incorporate STEAM concepts for young readers (preK to early elementary school):

-Counting up
-Counting down
-Sorting
-Patterns
-Inventing
-Sequencing
-Mapping/directions
-Doubling
-Addition and subtraction
-Testing solutions to a problem and observing results
-Observing the environment
-Oceans, deserts, snowy forests, and other habitats
-Animal behavior
-Body parts and processes
-Senses
-Differences/comparisons
-Plant life cycle
-Opposites
-Weather

And much more! If you want inspiration for writing something new, or you feel your current manuscript could use another layer, try adding a STEAM concept. It might be just the thing you need for a successful writing experiment.

For more STEM inspiration, be sure to check out Cookie & Milk by Michele McAvoy - this First Place Dragonfly Book Award winner breaks stereotypes and puts the fabulousness of STEM in the limelight!

Diana Murray is the author of over twenty books for children, including Jr. Library Guild selections like CITY SHAPES and GOODNIGHT, VEGGIES, as well as the bestselling UNICORN DAY series. Diana grew up in New York City and still lives nearby with her husband, two children, and a dancing dog. http://www.dianamurray.com

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