Creative writing student Joseph Taylor has been named the 2009 recipient of the Magazine Merit Award in Nonfiction for “Flying Balloons: The Story of the Montgolfier Brothers” by the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. The piece was featured as the cover story in the April 2008 issue of Cricket, a literary magazine for kids ages 9 – 14.

The story is a narrative nonfiction piece about the invention of the hot air balloon and the two brothers who first opened up the skies to human flight. Not only was it the cover story, but the magazine developed several related articles around it. Joseph has taken a variety of courses through UCLA Extension including journalism and screenwriting courses, but credits youth market instructor Caroline Arnold and her course Writing High-Interest Nonfiction for the School Age Child for helping him get his story published in a nationally recognized publication for youth.

“I had long been a fan of Caroline Arnold, one of the most respected and prolific nonfiction authors in children’s literature, and jumped at the chance to take a class with her,” Joseph tells us. “I’m so glad I did. She shared a broad perspective on the current market and an appreciation for different genres, helpful tips about research, and fiction techniques that can help bring a story alive—in short, everything an aspiring nonfiction writer needs to be successful.”

We are very happy to hear about your recent success, Joseph!

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