Writing for Young Readers Retreats and Workshops

This list focuses on intensive workshops and retreats for serious writers of children’s literature. These are two-day to two-week programs focusing on craft. Some events listed here may not be specifically for children’s writers but may benefit writers for any age group. I try to provide an overview quote from the event’s website when available. NOTE: Some registration deadlines are 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.

Please do your own research! Inclusion of any workshop or retreat here does not equal endorsement. I offer this list for the convenience of other writers; I am not affiliated with any of these events and receive no compensation for listing them here. If you are an organizer of a writing retreat or multi-day workshop and would like your event to be added, please contact me. This list is updated frequently, so check back often! 

If you can’t find a retreat near you, try self-hosting a retreat alone or with other writers using one of the books below as your guide! Some links on this page are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

Subscribe to new posts!
Loading

APRIL 7-10, 2022: CREATING PICTURE BOOKS WITH HUMOR AND HEART: A WORKING RETREAT, HONESDALE, PA

Venue: Highlights Retreat Center
Offered by: Highlights Foundation

“In-person 4-Day/3-Night Workshop and Retreat: This is an in-person workshop at our Retreat Center with lectures, writing exercises, faculty consultations, and small-group manuscript workshopping. Ample time for independent writing, meeting informally with fellow conferees, and re-charging your muse. Lodging and meals are included.” “Join two award-winning, bestselling authors, Emily Jenkins and Elise Broach, and writer and editor Sunita Apte (Reycraft Books/Benchmark) for this writing-intensive weekend focused on creating funny and emotionally satisfying picture books that connect with young readers.”

April 8-10, 2022: Recharge Your Writing Retreat, Conception, MO

Venue: Conception Abbey
Offered by: KSMO-SCBWI
Registration: February 13, 2022-March 2, 2022

“Don’t miss out on this opportunity to escape everyday life to commune with your own—children’s book writers—in this peaceful, quiet setting! KSMO-SCBWI offers this retreat, for all writing levels. Within this experience, you will have peers review and provide feedback on 1 or 2 works-in-progress during two interactive critique group sessions. Whether you have 40 published books or have just begun writing, each person has a unique point of view and can give feedback to help revise your manuscript to perfection.… Our faculty presenter and critiquer, Ardi Alspach specializes in Middle Grade and Young Adult.”

April 9-10, 2022: Writing and Illustrating Full Manuscript Virtual Retreat, ONLINE

Venue: Online, not specified
Offered by: Kathy Temean

“Everyone who attends receives two agent critiques: A full manuscript critique and a 25 page critique, plus a group first page session with two agents. Plus optional participation in an assigned writer’s group.” 

May 20-22, 2022: Big Sur Cape Cod, North Falmouth, MA

Venue: Seacrest Beach Hotel
Offered by: Andrea Brown Literary Agency

“Long recognized as one of the top agencies for children’s book writers and illustrators, Andrea Brown Literary Agency (ABLA) brings top tier professionals together with both beginner and seasoned writers. This workshop, popular in Big Sur, California, is proudly also being offered on the east coast.”

May 22-28: Master Skills Workshop with Esteemed Editor Patti Gauch and Noted Author Gary D. Schmidt, ONLINE

Venue: Online, not specified
Offered by: Whale Rock Workshops

“Join other children’s literature authors for a week designed to help you dive deep into your craft and take your writing to the next level. Each year our instructors bring new lessons, new prompts and new exercises created to help you master new skills.”

June 6-12, 2022: 9th Annual VCFA Novel Retreat, Montpelier, VT

Venue: Vermont College of Fine Arts
Offered by: Vermont College of Fine Arts

“Whether you seek the reflective solitude of a retreat or writing time combined with consultations, group discussions, and more, the VCFA (Vermont College of Fine Arts) Novel Retreat enables you to craft an experience best suited to your individual needs. No matter what stage your project is at—beginning, drafting, middle, or final edit—the retreat is designed to accommodate all aspects of the writing process. Retreat participants gain the added benefit of working with our renowned faculty. While participants and faculty write each morning, afternoons and evenings offer a variety of optional sessions, including craft and process discussions, generative writing classes, manuscript clinics, and agent advice.”

June 13-17, 2022: Advanced Novel: Krista Van Dolzer

Venue: Unclear
Offered by: Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers

“5-day morning workshop”

June 13-17, 2022: MG YA Novel with Celesta Rememington

Venue: Unclear
Offered by: Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers

“5-day morning workshop”

June 13-17, 2022: Getting Ready for the Full Novel: Carol Lynch

Venue: Unclear
Offered by: Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers

“5-day morning workshop”

June 13-17, 2022: Workshop for Teens: Scott Savage

Venue: Unclear
Offered by: Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers

“5-day morning workshop”

June 24-26, 2022: Agent Retreat, Aurora, NE

Venue: Leadership Center
Offered by: SCBWI Nebraska

“For the Agent Retreat, we will be at the Leadership Center in Aurora, NE, which has more than 40 acres of beautiful land, a lake, a fire pit, and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the Nebraska summer (June brings fireflies!). They also have an indoor pool, exercise room, and other recreational activities if you just need to get out and do something.”

Venue: Highlights Retreat Center
Offered by: Highlights Foundation

“Get away for five days at our Summer Camp in Fiction for inspiration, guidance, mentorship, community, fun, creativity, and growth. At the Highlights Foundation, ‘summer camp’ is different than s’mores by the fire and hiking in the woods. (Though we do that, too.) Our summer camp is a time to find the kind of encouragement for your writing that only a generous mentor can provide. To find inspiration and support. To be with a community that understands the long process of creating. To work 1:1 and fine-tune your words and pitches while you have some fun.”

Venue: Highlights Retreat Center
Offered by: Highlights Foundation

“Get away for five days at our Summer Camp in Fiction for inspiration, guidance, mentorship, community, fun, creativity, and growth. At the Highlights Foundation, “summer camp” is different than s’mores by the fire and hiking in the woods. (Though we do that, too.) Our summer camp is a time to find the kind of encouragement for your writing that only a generous mentor can provide. To find inspiration and support. To be with a community that understands the long process of creating. To work 1:1 and fine-tune your words and pitches while you have some fun.”

Venue: Highlights Retreat Center
Offered by: Highlights Foundation

“Get away for five days at our Summer Camp in Fiction for inspiration, guidance, mentorship, community, fun, creativity, and growth. At the Highlights Foundation, “summer camp” is different than s’mores by the fire and hiking in the woods. (Though we do that, too.) Our summer camp is a time to find the kind of encouragement for your writing that only a generous mentor can provide. To find inspiration and support. To be with a community that understands the long process of creating. To work 1:1 and fine-tune your words and pitches while you have some fun.”

September 16-18, 2022: SCBWI Midsouth Fall Retreat, Franklin, TN

Venue: Embassy Suites Cool Springs
Offered by: SCBWI Midsouth

“Join us as a smaller crowd comes together to dive deep with a weekend of intensives. Take time away to focus on your craft and be inspired by some of the best in the business! Official details will be available on this site in May, 2022. Registration will be limited to 100 attendees and will open in late May or early June, 2022.”

September 29-October 2, 2022: The Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Workshop, ONLINE 

Venue: Online
Offered by Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Novel Workshop & Retreat

“Are you a skilled writer, published or aspiring, looking for something distinctive in a fiction workshop? Our intensive seminar offers editor or agent feedback on selected whole-novel manuscripts, including two in-person consults with your mentor. Or maybe you’re ready for editor and agent critiques on the opening chapters of your work in progress. Other options include our story consultant’s feedback, from brainstorming to polishing a flexible number of pages.” Featured guests this year include author Ann Angel, agent Stephen Fraser, and story coach Kat Dougherty.

September 29-October 2, 2022: TeenSpeak 20th Annual Novel Workshop, ONLINE

Venue: Online
Offered by Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Novel Workshop & Retreat

Concurrent with The Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Workshop. “In their own, concurrent workshop, savvy teen enrollees (and enrollees in early their twenties) provide feedback on selected adults’ full and partial manuscripts for teen readers. Some of these manuscripts have resulted in published books. Also, in panel discussions, teens field adults’ questions about their target readers’ literary tastes and social norms. … These intergenerational exchanges prove mutually stimulating and fun.”

October 6-9, 2022: Fall Writing Retreat in Eastern Idaho, Ashton, ID

Venue: Springshores Lodge
Offered by: Utah/Southern Idaho SCBWI

“Please join us for our Fall Writing Retreat located in scenic Ashton, Idaho. This event includes editor presentations, editor critiques, critique groups, writing time, campfire readings and more!  Your registration fee includes all retreat meals, lodging and a critique by one of our visiting editors. More information to come!” With Special Guests: Meredith Mundy, Editorial Director, Abrams Appleseed, Editor #2 TBA.

October 7-9, 2022: 2022 Falling Leaves Masterclass Retreat, Silver Bay, NY

Venue: Silver Bay YMCA
Offered by: SCBWI NY: Eastern Upstate

“This annual masterclass retreat provides attendees with a one-on-one critique with one of our faculty editors, group critique opportunities and faculty-led evening workshops at beautiful Silver Bay YMCA on Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains of New York.” “Falling Leaves is by application only and we have a rotating focus each year: … in 2022 the focus will be on novels: YA, MG, novels in verse, and graphic novels.”