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.

May 6-7: World Building: Construct Real and Fantastical Worlds,  ONLINE

Tracey Baptiste—Author


May 15-16: Getting Your Story Unstuck, ONLINE

Chris Tebbits—Author

Erin Dione—Author

Trisha De Guzman—Editor, Farrar, Strauss, Giroux BFYR
Susan Campbell Bartoletti—Author

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

Andrea Brown—President, 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

June 4-16: Deep Dive into Children’s Book Illustration, ONLINE

James E. Ransome—Illustrator
Anna Raff—Illustrator
Ruth Chan—Illustrator/Author

June 5, 12, & 19: Triple Scoop Picture Book Revision Retreat, ONLINE

Varsha Bajaj—Author

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen—Author

Lindsay Bonilla—Author

Ashley Franklin—Author

Rita Lorraine Hubbard—Author

Sara Levine—Author

Julia Finley Mosca—Author

Tricia Springstubb—Author

Andrea Wang—Author

Lindsay Ward—Illustrator/Author


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

Gary Schmidt—Author
Patti Gauch-Author

June 14-17: Developing a Series in Chapter Books, ONLINE

Debbie Michiko Florence—Author
Kashmira Sheth—Author
Rona Shirdan—Author


July 15-17: 10-Minute Novelists Writing Conference, ONLINE

Steven James—Author

Arianne “Tex” Thompson—Editor/Author

Eric Smith—Agent, P.S. Literary/Author

Angela Ackerman—Writing Coach/Author


October TBA: Picture Book Summit, ONLINE


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

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