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.


September 18-19: Picture Book Palooza, ONLINE

Mira Reisberg—Founder, Children’s Book Academy
Mela Bolinao—Agent, MB Artists
Kaitlyn Sanchez—Agent, Context Literary
Charlotte Wenger—Agent, Prospect Literary
Claire Easton—Agent, Painted Words
Helen H. Yu—Associate Publisher, Yeehoo Books
Sandra Sutter—Representative, Gnome Road
Callie Metler-Smith—Publisher, Spork/Clear Fork Publishing
Joanna Sussman—Editor, Kar-Ben Publishers

October 2, 2021: Picture Book Summit, ONLINE


November 15-21, 2021:  Breakout Novel Intensive 2.0, Hood River, OR

Donald Maass—Agent/Author
Lorin Oberweger—Author/Editor
Brends Windberg—Author/Editor


FAll TBA, 2021: Anne of Green Gables Adventure Workshop, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Gary Schmidt—Author

December 4-6, 2021: 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

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

Details TBA October 2021