This list focuses on intensive workshops and retreats for serious writers of children’s literature. The retreats and workshops listed here are not MFA or long-term programs, nor are they one-day mini workshops. These are two-day to two-week programs focusing on craft. Although many of these workshops are led by editors or agents, the focus is on the craft of writing children’s and young adult literature. If you are looking for a MFA program in writing for young readers, this list may help you.

If you see your name here and would prefer to be introduced differently, please contact me.

NOTE: Many of these retreats or workshops have registration deadlines far in advance of the workshop. Please note/verify the deadline to register/apply. *Many of these retreats or workshops are by application only.

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2017 Retreats & Writing Workshops

 

MARCH 11: WRITING FOR CHARITY CONFERENCE, OREM, UT

WRITING FOR CHARITY is a day-long conference and workshop for writers of picture book, middle grade, or young adult manuscripts. This year Ally Condi will welcome attendees, and too many professional authors to list here will conduct writing and publishing industry instruction and give live manuscript critiques. Money raised from a silent auction of everything from signed books to lunches with your favorite writers from Utah will go to getting books into the hands of needy kids.

MARCH 16–MARCH 19: NOVEL BEGINNINGS: BUILDING STRONG FOUNDATIONS FOR YOUR NOVEL AND YOUR CAREER, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Kelly L. Going—Author
Clara Gillow Clark—Author
Guest Agent or Editor
Highlights Foundation

MARCH 17-19: WHISPERING PINES, WEST GREENWICH, RI

Registration closed
SCBWI-New England

MARCH 20-26: BREAKOUT NOVEL INTENSIVE 2.0, HOOD RIVER, OR Free Expressions

Lorin Oberweber—Agent/Adams Literary Agency
Donald Maass—Agent/Founder Donald Maass Literary Agency
Eric Elfman—Author/Editor
Brenda Windberg—Author/Editor
Jason Sitzes—Author/Editor
Roman White—Director/Writer
Free Expressions Seminars Sold Out

MARCH 23-26: COMPLETE PICTURE BOOK WORKSHOP, AUSTIN, TXThe Writing Barn

Matthew Winner—Author/Podcaster
Sylvie Frank—Editor, Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster
Danielle Smith—Agent, Red Fox Literary

MARCH 26-29: WRITING OFF THE PAGE, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Kekla Magoon—Author
Highlights Foundation

MARCH 30-APRIL 3: NUTS AND BOLTS OF SCIENCE WRITING, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Miranda Paul—Author
Jennifer Swanson—Author
Highlights Foundation

APRIL 7-9: PUBLISHED AUTHORS SPRING INTENSIVE, DURHAM, NCSCBWI-Houston

Daniel Nayeri, Director of Children’s Publishing at Workman Publishing
Wendy Loggia, Executive Editor at Delacorte/Random House

APRIL 20-23: COLOR, LIGHT, LINE, & TEXTURE, HONESDALE, PA

Denise Fleming—Author/Illustrator
Ashley Wolff—Author/IllustratorHighlights Foundation
Suzanne Bloom—Author/Illustrator
Highlights Foundation

APRIL 21-23: REVISING YOUR PICTURE BOOK MANUSCRIPT, SPRINGFIELD, MASCBWI-Houston

Harold Underdown—Independent Editor
TBA
New England SCBWI

APRIL 22-29: KIDLIT COLLEGE CRUISE, (departing from) MIAMI, FL

Kwame Alexander—Author
Eric Rohmann—Author/Illustrator
Candace Fleming—Author
Jill Corcoran—President, JCLA and Executive Partner, Creator/Transmedia, Branding & Licensing, EverWitt Productions
Neal Porter—Publisher, Neal Porter Books, Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan Children’s Book Group

MAY 5-7: NOVEL REVISION RETREAT, SYRACUSE, NY

Darcy Pattison—Author/Writing Coach

MAY 7–12: CRAFTING SUCCESSFUL AUTHOR VISITS, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Peter Jacobi—Journalism Professor
Carmen Oliver—Author
Jan Cheripko—Author
Alison Green Myers—Program Coordinator, Highlights Foundation
Highlights Foundation 

MAY 7-13: NOVEL-IN-PROGESS BOOKSCAMP, WEST BEND, WI

Phil Martin—Director, Great Lakes Literary
Lisa Lickel—Writing Coach
Laura Zats—Agent, Red Sofa Literary
SJ Rozan—Author-in-Residence
Chicago Writers Association

MAY 7-14: WRITING THE UNREAL, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Laura Ruby—Author
Anne Ursu—Author
Deborah Kovacs—Editorial Director, Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins & Walden Media
Christine Heppermann—Author
Highlights Foundation

MAY 11-14: STORYMASTERS, TORONTO, CANADA Free Expressions

Donald Maass—Agent, Donald Maas Literary Agency
Christopher Vogler—Author
James Scott Bell—Author

MAY 14–20: WHOLE NOVEL WORKSHOP: HISTORICAL FICTION, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Ashley Hope Pérez—Author
Helen Hemphill—Author
Highlights Foundation

MAY 18-21: DEFINING YOUR VOICE, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Sharyn November—Writer/Editor
Highlights Foundation

JUNE 2-4: EMOTIONAL CRAFT OF FICTION, HOUSTON, TXFree Expressions

Donald Maas—Agent, Donald Maas Literary Agency

JUNE 2-4: JUNE IN ALGONQUIN WRITING RETREAT, ONTARIO, CANADAQuick Brown Fox

Bryan Henry Book Editor/Creative Writing Instructor
Quick Brown Fox

JUNE 4–8: NOVELS IN VERSE: TAKE YOUR MANUSCRIPT TO THE NEXT LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE AND ADVANCED TRACKS, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Kathryn Erskine—Author
Alma Fullerton—Author
Padma Venkatraman—Author
Highlights Foundation

JUNE 8–11: CAPTURING CHARACTER: HEAR THEIR VOICES, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Padma Venkatraman—Author
Kristy Dempsey—Author
An Na—Author
Highlights Foundation

JUNE 11–14: YOUR GUIDE TO GRAPHIC NOVELS, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Matt Phelan—Illustrator/Author
Merrill Rainey—Illustrator
David Saylor—VP/Creative Director, Scholastic Trade Publishing Group; Founder, Graphix /Scholastic
Marcus Emerson—Author
Highlights Foundation

JUNE 15-18: MIDDLE GRADE MYSTERIES, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Mara Rockliff—Author
Sheila Turnage—Author
Highlights Foundation

JUNE 16-18: ON THE BOOKSHELF: READING AND WRITING FOR CHILDREN, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Nikki Grimes—Author
Floyd Cooper—Author
Rosemary Agoglia—Educator
Laura Beltchenko—Educator
Junko Yokota—Professor Emeritus, Reading & Language, National Louis University/Director, Center for Teaching through Children’s Books
Highlights Foundation

JUNE 19–22: SELF OR INDIE PUBLISHING: ANSWERING THE BIG QUESTIONS, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Darcy Pattison—Author/Publisher, Mim’s House Publishing
Harold Underdown—Author, Independent Children’s Book Editor
Highlights Foundation

JUNE 22-25: PB&J AND ALL THAT JAZZ, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Darcy Pattison—Author/Writing Coach
Leslie Helakoski—Author/Illustrator
Highlights Foundation

JUNE 25-28: THE HERO’S JOURNEY, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Jillian Sullivan—Author
Highlights Foundation

JUNE 25–29: WRITING FOR THE EDUCATIONAL MARKET, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Jan Fields—Author
Paula Morrow—Editor/Author/Children’s Librarian
Highlights Foundation

JUNE 25-AUGUST 5: CLARION SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY WRITERS’ WORKSHOP, SAN DIEGO, CAclarion

Rae Carson—Author
Nalo Hopkinson—Author
Cory Doctorow—Author
Clarion

JULY 9–14: SUMMER CAMP AT THE BARN: A WEEK OF CREATIVE MENTORSHIP, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Lamar Giles—Author
Alison Green Myers— Program Coordinator, Highlights Foundation
Jillian Sullivan—Author
Mitali Perkins—Author
Shadra Strickland—Illustrator
Meg Medina—Author
Jan Cheripko—Author
Linda Camacho—Agent, Prospect Agency
Highlights Foundation

JULY 10-15: WRITING FOR CHILDREN, LANDGROVE, VT

Esther Hershenhorn—Author/Writing Coach

JULY 12-23: SOUTHAMPTON WRITERS CONFERENCE, SOUTHAMPTON, NY

Patricia Marx—Author
Patricia McCormick—Author
Emma Walton Hamilton—Author/Director, Southampton’s Children’s Literature Fellows/Executive Director, Young Artists and Writers Project (YAWP)
Meg Wolitzer—Author/MFA Faculty, Stony Brook Southampton
Maryrose Wood—Author/Writing Instructor, NYU

JULY 16–20: MASTER CLASS IN WRITING NONFICTION FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Larry Dane Brimner—Author
Susan Campbell Bartoletti—Author
Don Tate—Illustrator/Author
Rich Wallace—Author
Sandra Neil Wallace—Author
Gwendolyn Hooks—Author
Highlights Foundation

JULY 20–23: SUPER CHILDREN’S BOOK BOOT CAMP, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Pat Cummings—Author
Denise Fleming—Author/Illustrator
Christopher Myers—Author/Illustrator
Cecilia Yung—Art Director/VP, Penguin Books for Young Readers, G. P. Putnam’s Sons/Nancy Paulsen Books
Ken Geist—VP, Publisher, Orchard Books, Scholastic Press Picture Books, Cartwheel Books, Readers, Branches, Little Shepherd
Highlights Foundation

SEPTEMBER 7-11: LOONSONG, COOK MNVermont Colle Of Fne Arts

M.T. Anderson—Author
Gary Schmidt—Author
Eric Rohmann—Author/Illustrator
Candace Fleming—Author
Marion Dane Bauer—Author
Faye Bender—Agent, The Book Group
Jordan Brown—Executive Editor, Walden Pond Press/Balzer+Bray, HarperCollins Children’s Books
Vermont College of Fine Arts Master of Writing for Children and Young Adults

SEPTEMBER 8-10: CREATIVE GETAWAY RETREAT, MUIR BEACH, CASCBWI-Houston

TBA

SCBWI-San Francisco-North East Bay

SEPTEMBER 15-17: EMOTIONAL CRAFT OF FICTION SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

AGENT: Donald Maas/Donald Maas Literary Agency

SEPTEMBER 15-16: A KILLER WEEKEND WORKSHOP AND MYSTERY DINNER

TBA
Kathryn Casey—True-crime Author
Lois Gibson—Police Sketch Artist, Houston Police Department
Houston Writers House

SEPTEMBER 22-24: PACIFIC COAST CHILDREN’S WRITERS WORKSHOP, SANTA CRUZ, CA

TBA

OCTOBER 4-8: BOOKS WITH BITE: WRITING HORROR AND HAUNTED NOVELS, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Nova Ren Suma—Author
Micol Ostow—Author
Highlights Foundation

OCTOBER 4-8: MARIN COUNTY WRITING RETREAT, CA

Harold Underdown—Independent Editor
TBA

OCTOBER 12-15: THE JOKE’S ON YOU: THE SCOOP ON HUMOR MG THROUGH YA, HONESDALE, PAHighlights Foundation

Uma Krishnaswami—Author
Cynthia Leitich Smith—Author
Sean Petrie—Author
Highlights Foundation

OCTOBER 18-20: WEEKEND RETREAT, NYSCBWI-Houston

Harold Underdown—Independent Editor
TBA
WEST CENTRAL NY SCBWI

OCTOBER 25-29: GETTING YOUR NOVEL UNSTUCK, HONESDALE, PA

Chris Tebbetts—Author
Elise Broach—AuthorHighlights Foundation
Aubrey Poole—Editor, JIMMY Patterson Books/Hachette

NOVEMBER 3-5: FALLING LEAVES 10TH ANNIVERSARY, SILVER BAY, NY

SCBWI-Houston

TBA: Applications accepted June 2017-August 2017
SCBWI NY Eastern Upstate