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. *Many of these retreats or workshops are by application only.

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2017 Retreats & Writing Workshops

SEPTEMBER 8-10: SCBWI-NEW ENGLAND SQUAM LAKE RETREAT, HOLDERNESS, NH

Christian Trimmer—Editorial Director, Henry Holt BFYR
Linda Epstein—Agent, Emerald City Literary
Wendi Gu—Associate Agent, Greenburger Associates

SEPTEMBER 10–17: WESTERN CARIBBEAN WRITING RETREAT/CRUISE, (Departing) GALVESTON, TX

Lisa Cron—Author/Story Coach
Angela Ackerman—Writing Coach/Author
Michelle Grajkowski—3 Seas Literary Agency

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

Donald Maas—Donald Maas Literary Agency

SEPTEMBER 15–17: ALGONQUIN FALL COLOURS WRITING RETREAT, ALGONQUIN PARK, ONTARIO, CANADA

Brian Henry—Writing Instructor, Ryerson University/Blogger, Quick Brown Fox

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

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

SEPTEMBER 15–17: L.A. WORKING WRITERS RETREAT, ENCINO, CA

Stephanie Gordon–Author
Judy Enderle–Author
Catherine Linka–Author
Karen Chaplin–Senior Editor, Harper Collins
Samantha Swank–Assistant Editor, Scholastic
Tara Gonzalez–Associate Agent, Erin Murphy Literary Agency
Kari Sutherland–Agent, Bradford Literary Agency

SEPTEMBER 15-17: DAKOTAS WRITING WORKSHOP, MOBRIDGE, SD

Kendra Levin—Viking Executive Editor 

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

Brianne Johnson—Agent, Writers House
Stacey Barney—Senior Editor, Penguin/Putnam BFYR

SEPTEMBER 22-24: BIG SUR ON THE CAPE, CAPE COD, MA

Mary Lee Donovan—Editor, Candlewick Press
Yolanda LeRoy—Editor, Charlesbridge Publishing
Andrea Brown—Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Jennifer Laughran—Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Kathleen Rushall—Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Jennifer Soloway—Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency
David Elliott—Author
Anne Sibley O’Brien—Author
Tara Sullivan—Author
Diane Zahler—Author

SEPTEMBER 25-OCTOBER 1: BREAKOUT NOVEL INTENSIVE 2.0, TAMPA, FL

Donald Maass—Literary Agent, Author

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

Nova Ren Suma—Author
Micol Ostow—Author

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

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

OCTOBER 12-15: BETTER BOOKS, CA

Harold Underdown—Independent Editor
Emma Dryden—Independent Editor
Tiffany Liao—Associate Editor, Razorbill, Penguin Young Readers Group
Stephan Fraser—Agent, Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

OCTOBER 13-15: SCBWI-ARKANSAS RETREAT, FORT SMITH, AR

TBA

OCTOBER 13-15: SCBWI-LA/MS BIG CHILL RETREAT, CANTON, MS

Written feedback from off-site editors:
Liz Kossnar—Simon & Shuster
Stacy Friedberg—Dial
Dana Carey—Wendy Lamb Books/Penguin Random House

OCTOBER 13-15: SCBWI-SOUTHERN BREEZE BACK TO NATURE KIDLIT RETREAT, NAUVOO, AL

Heather L. Montgomery—Author

OCTOBER 13-15: SCBWI-AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND RETREAT, WILTON, NSW

TBA

OCTOBER 18-20: WEEKEND RETREAT, NY

Harold Underdown—Independent Editor
TBA
WEST CENTRAL NY SCBWI

OCTOBER 19-22: SCBWI-OREGON SILVER FALLS RETREAT, SUBLIMITY OR

Erica Rand Silverman—Agent, Simola Literary Studio 
Lorin Oberweger—Agent, Adams Literary
Kat Brzozowski—Editor, Swoon Reads/Feiwel & Friends

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

Chris Tebbetts—Author
Elise Broach—Author

Aubrey Poole—Editor, JIMMY Patterson Books/Hachette

OCTOBER 26-30: SCBWI-NEW MEXICO HUMMINGBIRD WRITING RETREAT, JEMEZ SPRINGS, NM

Natascha Morris—Agent, Bookends Literary

NOVEMBER 3-5: TIME TO WRITE REVSION RETREAT, PLATTSBURG, NYNew!

Kate Messner—Author
Linda Urban—Author

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

TBA: Applications accepted June 2017-August 2017

NOVEMBER 9-12: THE LITERARY PAGE TURNER: ADVANCED WRITER WEEKEND, AUSTIN, TXUPDATE!

Katie Bayerl—Author

Emanuelle Morgen—Agent, Stonesong

 

2018 Retreats & Writing Workshops

FEBRUARY 25-MARCH 4: BONI GRADUATE LEARNING RETREAT,SAN DIEGO, CA

Donald Maass—Literary Agent, Author
Lorin Obewerger—Literary Agent, Author
Brenda Winberg—Editor, Author
Guest Authors

MARCH 2-4: WHISPERING PINES RETREAT, WEST GREENWICH, RI

TBA

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

Donald Maass—Literary Agent, Author

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

SEPTEMBER TBA: LOONSONG, COOK MN

WRITING DEEP POINT OF VIEWTHE URBAN SETTING THESAURUSHOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN'S PICTURE BOOKCREATING CHARACTER ARCSINKBLOTWRITING BLOCKBUSTER PLOTSREVISING YOUR NOVEL FIRST DRAFT TO FINISHED MANUSCRIPTWHAT KIND OF LOSER INDIE PUBLISHES AND CAN I BE ONE, TOO by Pamela Fagan HutchinsWRITING BLURBS AND SYNOPSESTHE EMOTION THESAURUSNOVEL METAMORPHOSISTHE KIDS' GUIDE TO WRITING FICTIONPLOT WHISPERER: SECRETS OF STORY STRUCTUREOUTLINING YOUR NOVELTELLING TALES