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.

Some events listed here may not be specifcally for children’s writers but offer craft workshops that may benefit writers for any age group. 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.

NOTE: Some retreats or workshops may have registration deadlines far in advance of the workshop. Please note/verify the deadline to register/apply. Some of these retreats or workshops may be by application only. I receive no compensation for listing these events.

2020 Retreats & Workshops

Fall 2020 TBA: SCBWI Western Washington Weekend on the Water Retreat, Blaine, WA

Anu Ohioma—Editor, Penguin Random House
Sherri L. Smith—Hamline MFA Faculty

September 24-27: Odyssey into Writing Middle Grade Science Fiction, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

Nicole Valentine—Author
Fran Wilde—Author
Lamar Giles—Author

September 25-October 4: The Writing Excuses Cruise Conference, (Departing) Houston, TX

Dan Wells—Author
Nilah Magruder—Author
Howard Taylor—Author/Illustrator
Mary Robinette Kowal—Author
Erin Roberts—Author

October 2-4: Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Novel Workshop & TeenSpeak Novel Workshop (Simultaneous/Cooperative), ONLINE

Laurel Symonds—Agent, The Bent Agency
Editor-agent faculty TBA

October 2-5: Novels In Verse, Honesdale, PA
Highlights Foundation

Joy McCullough—Author
Padma Venkatraman—Author
Andrew Karre—Executive Editor, Dutton BFYR, Penguin Random House

October28-31: Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat, Andalusia, AL

Lynn DeShazo—Song Writer
Patricia Durgin—Marketing Coach
Tessa Emily Hall—Author
John Herring—Publisher, Iron Stream Media
Bob Hostetler—Executive Editor, The Christian Writers Institute
Susan King
Julie Lavender—Author
Jill Roman Lord—Author
Susan Neal—Writing Coach
Kim Vogel Sawyer—Author
Cindy K. Sproles—Author
Connie Stevens—Author
James Watkins—Author
Denise Weimer—Author
Lenora Worth—Author

November 6-8: Breakthrough Weekend, Portland OR
Free Expressions

Donald Maass—Agent, Maass Literary/Writing Coach/Author

November 9-15: Breakout Novel Intensive, Hood River OR
Free Expressions

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

2021 Retreats & Workshops

May 21-23: Big Sur Children’s Writing Workshop, North Falmouth, MA
Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Andrea Brown—President of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Jennifer Laughran—Agent, ABLA
Jennifer Mattson—Agent, ABLA
Jennifer Soloway—Agent, ABLA
Kelly Sonnack—Agent, ABLA
Nikki Garcia—Editor, Little, Brown BFYR
Ashley Hearn—Associate YA Editor, Page Street Publishing
Yolanda Scott—Associate Publisher/Editorial Director, Charlesbridge
Jennifer Ung—Senior Editor, Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

March 19-21: Beachside Nonfiction Workshop, Fernandina Beach, FL

Candace Fleming—Edit and Get It Literary Services
Jennifer Swanson—Edit and Get It Literary Services
Lesa Cline-Ransome—Author
Sarah Albee—Author
Eric Rohmann—Illustrator
Simon Boughton—Publishing Director, Norton Young Readers
Kathy Landwehr—Vice President and Associate Publisher, Peachtree Publishing
Hilary Van Dusen—Executive Editor, Candlewick Publishers
Alyssa Mito Pusey—Executive Editor, Charlesbridge Publishing
Pam Bobowicz—Senior Editor, Workman Publishing
Katie Heit—Editor Cartwheel/ Orchard Books, Scholastic Inc.
Elizabeth Stranahan—Assistant  Editor, Crown Books.

June 6-12: YA & MG Master Skills Workshop, Concord, MA or ONLINE

Gary Schmidt—Author
Patti Gauch-Author

FAll TBA: Anne of Green Gables Adventure Workshop, Concord, MA
Whale Rock Workshops

Gary Schmidt—Author

December 4-6: Big Sur Children’s Writing Workshop, Big Sur State Park, CA

Andrea Brown—President of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Jennifer Laughran—Agent, ABLA
Jennifer Mattson—Agent, ABLA
Jennifer Soloway—Agent, ABLA
Kelly Sonnack—Agent, ABLA
Emma Ledbetter—Editorial Director of Picture Books, Abrams BFYR
Melissa Manlove—Senior Editor, Chronicle Books
Clarissa Wong—Editor, HarperCollins Children’s Books


Host your own retreat

with one of these books!

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