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.

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) offers many workshops and retreats, but scouring their site is too time consuming for me to include their events. You can find information for the chapters near you here. If you are an organizer for a SCBWI retreat or workshop and would like to have your event included here, please send me your information through my Contact page.

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.

2019 Retreats & Writing Workshops

August 1-4: Your Guide To Graphic Novels, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

Merrill Rainey—Illustrator
Lila Quintero Weaver—Author
Nidhi Chanani—Author/Illustrator
Colleen AF Venable—Author

August 1-4: Writer Reboot Intensive, Austin, TX
Writing Barn

Bethany Hegedus—Author
Paige Britt—Author
Cecily Sailer—Faculty
Claire Campbell—Faculty

August 2-4: Emotional Craft of Fiction, Madison, WI

Donald Maass Agent, Maass Literary/Writing Coach/Author

August 4-7: The Ins And Outs Of A Picture Book And Its Many Forms, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

Bethany Hegedus—Author
Carmen Oliver—Author
Salina Yoon—Author/Illustrator

August 8–11: Novel Beginnings: Building Strong Foundations For Your Novel And Your Career, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

K.L. Going—Author
Clara Gillow Clark—Author
Guest Liz Kossnar—Editor, Simon & Schuster BFYR
Jennie Dunham—Agent

August 11–17: The Whole Novel Workshop, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

Sarah Aronson—Author
Jennifer Jacobson—Author
Ashley Hope Pérez—Author
Anna-Marie McLemore—Author
Alisa Alering—Author
Stacey Barney—Executive Editor, G.P. Putnam’s Sons BFYR
Rob Costello—Author
Nicole Valentine—Author

September 5-8: Writing Retreat for Jewish Kid-lit Authors, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

Linda Epstein—Agent, Emerald City Literary

September 5-9: Loonsong, Cook, MN
Vermont College of Fine Arts

Varian Johnson—Author
Elizabeth Partridge—Author
Marion Dane Bauer—Founder, VCFA Writing for Children & Young Adult Program
Debby Dahl Edwardson—Author
Jane Buchanan—Author

September 12: The Emotional Craft of Fiction, SeaTac,
WA
PNWA

Donald Maas—Author/Agent, Donald Maas Literary Agency

September 15: Save the Cat Writes a Novel, SeaTac, WA
PNWA

Jessica Brody—Author

September 19–22: Writing For Illustrators, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

Elizabeth Rose Stanton—Author/Illustrator
Jessixa Bagley—Author/Illustrator
Lori Nichols—Author/Illustrator
Mela Bolinao—Agent, MB Artists
Joanna Volpe—Agent/President, New Leaf Literary & Media

September 20-22: Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Novel Workshop & Retreat, Santa Cruz, CA

Kari Sutherland—Agent, Bradford Literary Agency
Samantha Gentry—Editor, Little, Brown BFYR
Susan Hawk— Agent, Upstart Crow Literary
Liesa Abrams—VP-Editorial Director, Simon Pulse/Associate Editorial Director,
Aladdin @ Simon & Schuster
Mora Couch—Associate Editor, Holiday House

September 21–25: Avalon Writer’s Full Manuscript Retreat, Avalon, NJ

Kathy Temean
Catherine Laudone – Editor Simon & Schuster
Wendi Gu – Agent, Janklow & Nesbit

September 22–25: Nurturing Your Artistic Voice, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

Meg Medina—Author
Carolyn Dee Flores—Author/Illustrator
Ellice Lee—Associate Art Director, Philomel Books @Penguin YRG

September 23-29: Breakout Novel Intensive, San Antonio, TX

Donald Maass Agent, Maass Literary/Writing Coach/Author
Lorin Oberweger—Author/Director/Owner Free Expressions
Brenda Winberg—Author/Editor
Jason Sitzes—Author/Editor

September 25–29: Avalon Writer’s Full Manuscript Retreat, Avalon, NJ

Kathy Temean
Alexandria Borbello—Editor, Atheneum
Claire Friedman—Agent, Inkwell Management

September 25–29: Taking Your Writing & Art To New Places, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation
Application deadline: August 1, 2019

Juana Martinez-Neal—Author/Illustrator
Jennifer Jacobson—Author
Gareth Hinds—Illustrator
Nikki Grimes—Author
Padma Venkatraman—Author
Neal Porter—Vice President/Publisher, Neal Porter Books @ Holiday House

October 2–5: Writing Picture Book Biographies, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

Don Tate—Author/Illustrator
Donna Janell Bowman—Author
October 6-10: Catholic Writers Guild Retreat
https://catholicwritersguild.org/writers-retreat , Dewitt, MI
Regina Doman—Author

October 10–13: Writing For All Young Readers: Board Books-Mg Series, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

Kelly Starling Lyons—Author
Kristy Dempsey—Teacher/Librarian
Crystal Allen—Author
Gwendolyn Hooks—Author

October 10–13: Honing Your Craft, Austin, TX
The Writing Barn: Application deadline September 10, 2019, accepted on a rolling basis

Lauren Spieller—Agent, Triada US Literary
Laura E. Weymouth—Author

October 13–17: The Craft & Heart Of Writing Poetry For Children, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

Georgia Heard—Author
Rebecca Kai Dotlich—Author
Rebecca M. Davis—Editor, Boyds Mills Press/WordSong

October 17–20: Storytelling Through Drawing, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

James E. Ransome—Illustrator
Anna Raff—Illustrator
Jerry Pinkney—Illustrator/Author
Lucy Ruth Cummins—Illustrator/Author/Art Director, Simon & Schuster
BFYR/Paula Wiseman Books
Sean Qualls—Illustrator/Author

October 17–20: A Working Poets Retreat, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

Georgia Heard—Poet
Rebecca Kai Dotlich—Author/Poet

October 20–23: Building Sweet & Sophisticated Contemporary Stories For Teens, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

Siobhan Vivian—Author
Kat Brzozowski—Senior Editor, Swoon Reads/Feiwel & Friends @ Macmillan
October 22-25: Beyond Biographies – Writing Educational Fiction & Nonfiction
Picture Books of All Kinds http://www.thewritingbarn.com/class/beyond-
biographies-workshop/ , Austin, TX
The Writing Barn
Miranda Paul—Author
Neal Porter—Vice President/Publisher, Neal Porter Books @ Holiday House

October 20–27: The Whole Novel Workshop In Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

Laura Ruby—Author
Anne Ursu—Author
Christine Heppermann—Author
Tina Dubois—Agent at ICM Partners
Deborah Kovacs—Editorial Director, Walden Pond Press, @ HarperCollins/Walden
Media

October 21-24: Voice and Theme, Waleska, GA

Sally Apokedak—Agent, Apokedak Literary Agency
Lynne Marie Davis—Author/Illustrator

October 24–27: Plot and Character, Waleska, GA

Sally Apokedak—Agent, Apokedak Literary Agency
Lynne Marie Davis—Author/Illustrator

October 24–27: Unlocking Your Story: Forms And Genres, A Mashup, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

Kathi Appelt—Author
Lindsey Lane—Author

October 27–30: Writing The Rainbow, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

Lesléa Newman—Author
Rob Sanders—Author

October 31-November 3: Idea Generator For Novelists, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

A. C. Gaughen—Author

November 7–10: Voice Master Class With Patti Gauch, Honesdale, PA

Highlights Foundation

Patti Gauch—Former VP/Editor at Large, Philomel Books @ Penguin

November 7-10: Complete Picture Book Workshop, Austin, TX
The Writing Barn

Neal Porter—Vice President/Publisher, Neal Porter Books @ Holiday House
Alexandra Penfold—Author/Agent, Upstart Crow Literary Agency
Emily Feinberg—Editor, Roaring Book Press

November 7-10: Better Books Workshop, Petaluma,
Ca
Better Books Marin

Kaylan Adair—Senior Editor, Candlewick Press
Simon Boughton—Publisher, Norton Young Readers, W.W. Norton & Company
Anna Roberto—Senior Editor, Feiwel and Friends, Macmillan
Roseanne Wells—Agent, Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency


WRITING RIGHT TO SUCCESS

STORY GENIUS
WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL


THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

 

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 KIDS' GUIDE TO WRITING FICTION

OUTLINING YOUR NOVEL
SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERSWRITE YOUR NOVEL FROM THE MIDDLEEMOTIONAL CRAFT OF FICTION
THE ANATOMY OF STORY