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. These are one-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. Some of these retreats or workshops are by application only.

2018 Retreats & Writing Workshops

SEPTEMBER 6-10: LOONSONG, COOK MN

Nikki Grimes—Author
Cynthia Leitich Smith—Author
Susan Cooper—Author
Bruce Coville—Author
Marion Dane Bauer—Author
Michael Sterns—Agent, Upstart Crow Literary
Jane Buchanan—Author
Sarah Aronson—Author
Debby Dahl Edwardson—Author
Jenny Meyerhoff—Yoga Instructor

SEPTEMBER 9–12: THE JOURNEY: A CRASH COURSE IN HOW TO WRITE BOOKS FOR CHILDREN, Honesdale, PANew!

Don Tate—Illustrator/Author
Carmen Oliver—Author
Matthew Winner—Host, The Children’s Book Podcast/Librarian/Author
James Ransome—Illustrator
Lesa Cline-Ransome—Author
Kelly Light—Illustrator/Author

SEPTEMBER 9-15: BREAKOUT NOVEL INTENSIVE 2.0, TAMPA FL

Donald Maass—Author, Literary Agent/Founder, Maass Literary Agency

SEPTEMBER 11-14: LOONSONG TURTLE ISLAND, Cook, MN

Cynthia Lietich Smith—Author
Dawn Quigley—Author
Tim Tingle—Author
Arthur A. Levine—Vice President/Publisher, Arthur A. Levine Books, Scholastic 
Yolanda Scott—Associate Publisher/Editorial Director, Charlesbridge

SEPTEMBER 14-16: FALL ADVANCED CRAFT RETREATConception, MO

Nicole McInnes—Author/Professor of Creative Writing, Lindenwood University

SEPTEMBER 14-16: PICTURE BOOK WRITING RETREAT, TEMPLE, TX

Ariel Richardson—Editor, Chronicle Books

SEPTEMBER 20-23: FALL RETREAT: FOLLOW THE GARDEN PATH TO SUCCESS, OR

Adria Goetz—Agent, Martin Literary
Jill Corcoran—Agent, Jill Corcoran Literary Agency
Jenna Pocious—Agent, Red Fox Literary

SEPTEMBER 20-23: COMPLETE PICTURE BOOK BIOGRAPHY WEEKEND INTENSIVE, AUSTIN, TX

Alyssa Eisner Henkin—Senior Vice President, Trident Media Group
Jessica Echeverria—Senior Editor, Lee & Low Books
Patricia Valdez—Author

SEPTEMBER 21-23: PACIFIC COAST CHILDREN’S WRITERS NOVEL WORKSHOP & RETREAT, SANTA CRUZ, CA

Molly Ker Hawn—Agent, The Bent Agency
Andy Ross—Agent, Andy Ross Agency
Amy Cloud—Senior Editor, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Krista Vitola—Senior Editor, Simon & Schuster

SEPTEMBER 24–28: TAKING YOUR WRITING & ART TO NEW PLACES: PUBLISHED AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS AT WORK, Honesdale, PANew!

Jennifer Jacobson—Author
Ruth Behar—Author
An Na—Author
Melissa Sweet—Illustrator

SEPTEMBER 30–OCTOBER 3: DIY REPAIR KIT FOR WRITERS: GET YOUR FIXER-UPPER READY TO SELL, HONESDALE, PANew!

Susan Campbell Bartoletti—Author
Mitali Perkins—Author
Kat Brzozowski—Editor, Swoon Reads/Feiwel & Friends

OCTOBER 4–7: BEGINNER’S CLASS IN WORLD BUILDING AND WORLD CONJURING, HONESDALE, PANew!

Cori McCarthy—Author
Amy Rose Capetta—Author
Sage Blackwood—Author
Kristen Simmon—Author

OCTOBER 5-7CREATIVE WEEKEND IN POKAGON STATE PARK, ANGOLA, INNew!

Silvia Acevedo—Author
Erin M. Brown—Author
Shutta Crum—Author
Andy Donohoe—Professor, Psychology & Child Development/ Early Childhood Consultant
Katherine Gibson—Assistant Managing Editor, Eerdmans BFYR
Jeff Jantz—Author/Illustrator
Angie Karcher—Author/Founder, Rhyme Revolution
Lisa Katzenberger—Author
Deb Pilutti—Author/Illustrator
April Pulley Sayre—Photo-illustrator/Author
Heather Shumaker—Author
Lisa Wheeler—Author
Jay Whistler—Author

OCTOBER 5–7: PICTURE BOOK ILLUSTRATION: FROM CONCEPTION TO BIRTH, HONESDALE, PANew!

Tim Gillner—Art Director, Boyds Mills Press

OCTOBER 7–9: WRITING FOR ALL YOUNG READERS: BOARD BOOKS THROUGH MG SERIES, HONESDALE, PANew!

Crystal Allen—Author
Kelly Starling LyonsAuthor
Gwendolyn HooksAuthor
Kristy DempseyAuthor
Crystal Allen—Author
Jessica Echeverria—Editor, Lee & Low Books

OCTOBER 10-14: BIG CHILL RETREAT, CANTON, MS

Sarah Jane Abbott—Assistant Editor, Beach Lane Books/Paula Wiseman Books
Russ Busse—Associate Editor, Little, Brown BFYR
Susan Dobinick—Nonfiction Editor, Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Kate Proswimmer—Associate Editor, Sourcebooks

OCTOBER 13-20: 7 DAY WESTERN CARIBBEAN CRUISE, (departing from) GALVESTON, TX

Kristen Lamb—Author, Social Media Coach
Rachel Caine—Author
Alexandra Sehulster—Assistant Editor at St. Martin’s Press, Macmillan
Deidre Knight—Agent, The Knight Agency

OCTOBER 14–18: THE CRAFT AND HEART OF WRITING POETRY FOR CHILDREN, HONESDALE, PANew!

Georgia Heard—Poet
Rebecca Kai Dotlich—Author /Poet
Rebecca Davis—Senior Editor, Boyds Mills Press/WordSong
Carole Boston Weatherford—Author

OCTOBER 18-21: ADVANCED WRITER WEEKEND: THE ART OF EDITING & STORYTELLING, AUSTIN, TX

Leila Sales—Author/Editor
Joy Peskin—Editorial Director, Farrar Straus Giroux BFYR

OCTOBER 18-21: TELLING IT TRUE: THE ART OF STORYTELLING IN PICTURE BOOK BIOGRAPHY AND NARRATIVE NONFICTION, HONESDALE, PANew!

Tod OlsonAuthor
Leda SchubertAuthor
Kandace Coston—Assistant Editor, Lee & Low Books
M.T. AndersonAuthor
Steve Sheinkin—Author

OCTOBER 19-21: EXCLUSIVE HIGH LEVEL MG/YA WRITER’S RETREAT, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL

Gary Schmidt—Author
Krista Vitola—Senior Editor, Simon & Schuster BFYR
Julia Macguire—Editor, Knopf BFYR
Jess Regel—Agent, Foundry Media
Heather Flaherty—Agent, The Bent Agency
Donna Gephart—Author

OCTOBER 26-28: FALLING LEAVES MASTERCLASS RETREAT, SILVER BAY, NY

Erika Turner—Editorial Project Manager, HMH/Versify
Tiffany Liao—Editor, Holt
Kelly Loughman–Editor, Holiday House
Kelsey Horton–Associate Editor, Delecorte
Elise Howard–Editor/Publisher, Algonquin BFYR

OCTOBER 26-27: HANDSPRINGS 2018, ALBUQUERQUE, NMNew!

Patrick Collins—Creative Director, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Lara Perkins—Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Sara Sargent—Executive Editor, Harper Collins Children’s Books
Caroline Starr Rose—Author 

NOVEMBER 1-4: COMPLETE PICTURE BOOK INTENSIVE, AUSTIN, TX

Tamar Brazis—Editorial Director, Abrams
Matthew Winner—Elementary School Librarian/Host, The Children’s Book Podcast
Evan Turk—Illustrator/Author/Animator 

NOVEMBER 2-4: SCBWI INLAND NORTHWEST RETREAT, NEWPORT, WA

Karen Chaplin—Senior Editor, HarperCollins Children’s Books / Harper Teen
Melissa Nelson Greenberg—Art Director, Cameron + Co

NOVEMBER 9-11: SCBWI ARKANSAS RETREAT, SUBIACO, AR

TBA

DECEMBER 2-9: IMMERSION CRUISE WITH MARGIE LAWSON, (departing from) GALVESTON, TX

Margie Lawson—Writing Instructor

TBA DECEMBER: WRITER’S WORKSHOP AT BIG SUR LODGE

TBA

2019 Retreats & Writing Workshops

MARCH 1-3: EMOTIONAL CRAFT OF FICTION, LAS VEGAS, NVNew!

Donald Maass Agent, Maass Literary/Writing Coach/Author

MARCH 15-17: WHISPERING PINES RETREAT #1, WEST GREENWICH, RI

TBA

APRIL 4-6: WHISPERING PINES RETREAT #2, WEST GREENWICH, RI

TBA

MAY 3-5: BEACHSIDE NONFICTION RETREAT, ATLANTIC BEACH FLNew!

Ruta Rimas—Senior Editor, Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster 
Alyssa Mito Pusey—Senior Editor, Charlesbridge Publishing 
Stephanie Pitts—Editor, G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Young Readers
Emily Feinberg—Editor. Macmillan Publishing/Roaring Brook Press
Susan Dobinick—Editor, Bloomsbury Publishing 
Kelly Delaney—Associate Editor, Alfred A. Knopf BFYR/PGH
Neal Porter—Publisher,  Neal Porter Books/Holiday House.
Andrea Cascardi—Senior Agent, Transatlantic Agency

MAY 17-19: BIG SUR ON CAPE COD, NORTH FALMOUTH, MA

Andrea Brown—President, Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Jennifer Laughran—Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency
David Elliott—Author
Anne Sibley O’Brien—Author/Illustrator
Yolanda Scott—Associate Publisher and Editorial Director at Charlesbridge
More TBA

AUGUST 2-4: EMOTIONAL CRAFT OF FICTION, MADISON, WINew!

Donald Maass Agent, Maass Literary/Writing Coach/Author

SEPTEMBER 23-29: BREAKOUT NOVEL INTENSIVE, SAN ANTONIO, TX

Donald Maass Agent, Maass Literary/Writing Coach/Author

SEPTEMBER TBA: PACIFIC COAST CHILDREN’S WRITERS NOVEL WORKSHOP & RETREAT, SANTA CRUZ, CA

TBA


WRITING RIGHT TO SUCCESS

WORD WISE
STORY GENIUS
WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL

PLOT WHISPERER: SECRETS OF STORY STRUCTURE
THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE
HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN'S PICTURE BOOKCREATING CHARACTER ARCS
THE MAGIC WORDS
WIRED FOR STORY
WRITING BLOCKBUSTER PLOTSREVISING YOUR NOVEL FIRST DRAFT TO FINISHED MANUSCRIPTWHAT KIND OF LOSER INDIE PUBLISHES AND CAN I BE ONE, TOO by Pamela Fagan HutchinsTHE EMOTION THESAURUSTHE KIDS' GUIDE TO WRITING FICTION

OUTLINING YOUR NOVELTELLING TALES
SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERSWRITE YOUR NOVEL FROM THE MIDDLEEMOTIONAL CRAFT OF FICTION
THE ANATOMY OF STORYSTEERING THE CRAFT