Conferences, Workshops & Retreats

© Stacy Ebert

The following is a list of conferences and workshop retreats offered for writers across the country. Conferences are listed first, chronologically, and retreats follow.




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CONFERENCES

SCBWI Events Calendar- Workshops, conferences, retreats and regional events. We do not list the individual regional SCBWI conferences on this page. 

JANUARY

Jan. 25-25 The Breakthrough Writers' Conference  Join editor and YA author Kate Brauning, Sourcebooks editor Christa Desir, video editor Deborah Oliveira, and editor Manuela Velasco in an online conference covering self-editing, writing outside your lane, goal-setting, sensitivity readers, first-page reads, writing sprints, and more. 

FEBRUARY 

Feb. 21-23 Write On Con the super affordable ($10) online conference for kid lit writers that includes blog posts, webinars, and critique and submission opportunities with agents, editors, and authors.
MARCH

Mar. 27-29 The VCFA Writing Novels for Young People Retreat A working weekend for serious writers of MG & YA books. The retreat offers lectures and discussions interspersed with blocks of unstructured time to work, with opportunities for feedback from our faculty via one-on-one meetings or workshop. Participants and faculty share meals, and evenings are filled with readings, a lecture from our VCFA alumnx guest, and an open mic session. (Montpelier, VT)  Application opens Nov. 1, 2019.

APRIL

April 3-4 The Color of Children's Literature Conference  conference that celebrates and supports Indigenous and POC writers and illustrators to learn, get inspired and network with others in the industry. April 3: four master classes with Linda Sue Park (MG), Ibib Zoboi (YA), Aida Salazar (verse novel), Vanessa Brantley Newton (PB). April 4: four tracks: Publishing, Novel, Illustrated Books, Nonfiction, and Intensives Track. (Brooklyn, NY)

MAY

May 8-10 Big Sur in Cape Cod Sponsored by Andrea Brown Literary Agency, a working conference for children's writers (PB to YA), where two industry professionals mentor you in very small group sessions where one-on-one feedback is provided. Writers will get the chance to mingle and discuss their works with editors, agents, and published authors throughout the weekend. (Cape Cod, MA) Early registration open Nov. 15.

May 31-June 6 Whale Rock Workshop (only 4 spots left) A Masters Skills workshops for 15 MG or YA novelists with Patricia Lee Gauch (longtime editorial director at Philomel, edited Redwall series, Katherine Erskine, Jane Yolen, more) and Gary Schmidt (MG & YA author, Newbery Honor author of The Wednesday Wars) (Concord, MA)

JUNE

June 26-28 The Squam Writes Retreat A small, craft-focused retreat for MG and YA authors. Everyone who attends has a one-on-one 25-min critique with a mentor. 2020 mentors are: Rebecca Podos (Writer, and Agent at Rees Literary) and Ashley Hearn, Editor at Page Street Kids. Enrollment capped at 20 (Squam Lake, NH)
JULY 


July 8-12 The Southampton Children’s Lit Conference July 8-12, 2020  The Southampton Children's Lit Conference provides a unique forum in which to study and discuss the craft of writing for children. World-renowned authors, illustrators and editors offer inspiration and guidance through workshops, lectures, group discussions and special presentations. Open to new, established and aspiring writers, the Conference is located in the Hamptons at the Eastern End of New York's Long Island—a resort area of natural beauty. The Children's Lit writing workshops are led by authors and editors of the first rank, and are the heart and soul of the conference experience. Picture Book, Middle Grade and YA workshops meet daily for 3 hour sessions. Enrollment is limited to 12 students per workshop.  

July 9-12 The First Biennial Interdisciplinary Symposium hosted by the Graduate Programs in Children’s Literature at Hollins University  This interdisciplinary symposium invites papers that theorize and seek solutions to marginalization and the paradox of adult “Others” producing literature and culture for children. We seek submissions from publishing practitioners and scholars in any discipline and from any ethnic, gender, or abled identity. The organizers expect that an edited collection of essays will emerge from the symposium. Proposals of 500 words or less due by Feb. 14, 2020.

AUGUST

Aug 9-16  Writer's Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices Apply for a one-week intensive workshop in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, genre, and screenwriting in Los Angeles. Twelve writers will be selected for each category; scholarships are available. Applications due by Feb. 2

OCTOBER

Oct. 5. Picture Book Summit  A world-class online conference for picture book writers and illustrators, featuring keynotes and workshops from bestselling, award-winning authors and illustrators, plus other learning and networking opportunities for aspiring picture book authors around the globe, all from the comfort of home. 

October 2020 Whale Rock Workshop - Anne of Green Gables Adventure Workshop with award-winning MG & YA author Gary Schmidt (Green Gables, Canada). Sign up for newsletter for more info.

DECEMBER

Dec. 4-6 Big Sur Conference Sponsored by Andrea Brown Literary Agency, a working conference for children's writers (PB to YA), where two industry professionals mentor you in very small group sessions where one-on-one feedback is provided. Writers will get the chance to mingle and discuss their works with editors, agents, and published authors throughout the weekend. (Big Sur, CA)


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