Conferences, Workshops & Retreats

© Sylvia Liu

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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On SCBWI, Advice for Authors and Illustrators

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

Craft Writers' Workshops/Retreats not limited to kid lit

College Kid Lit Conferences -listing of children's literature conferences around the country

What are the Great Children's Literature Writing Retreats?


Sept. 7-9  Create and Celebrate: Children's Books. 
Award winning authors and illustrators Jan Reynolds and Ashley Wolff  invite you to join them in Stowe, Vermont for a weekend of creativity and celebration, building publish-worthy children’s books. Between them, Jan and Ashley have 80 years of experience in the industry and are just bursting to share it with you. Enjoy gorgeous Stowe, when you will begin an idea, or submit finished work, to Jan and Ashley for personal feedback, and experience their insightful workshops, to polish your book. The bonds you will forge with the other authors at this event will last a lifetime, and these connections will carry you through future projects for years to come. Email or call Jan for details:  janreynolds (at) pshift (dot) com 

Sept. 21- 23   Pacific Coast Children's Writers Workshop YA & MG novelists: Join our innovative, craft-based workshop, open to 12-16 intermediate to published authors in a congenial open-clinic format. We offer qualified writers WHOLE-NOVEL critiques by a top-notch editor *or* agent, critiques on PARTIALS by an editor *and* agent, and feedback by stunningly smart teens (in the concurrent TeenSpeak Novel Workshop). Faculty includes Molly Ker Hawn, director of the Bent Agency-UK and former editor at Dial Books; Senior Editor Krista Vitola of Simon & Schuster; and Chris Crutcher, bestselling YA author. Don’t miss this unusual opportunity. Inquire now!  (Santa Cruz, CA)

Sept. 21-23 Teen Speak Novel Workshop A writing workshop for teen writers with bestselling YA author Chris Crutcher, where teens work on their craft and help critique the concurrent YA/MG adult writer's conference. Partial need-based scholarships available. (Santa Cruz, CA)

Sept. 22 MFA Solstice Conference: Agents, Editors, Writers Join a small group of writers meeting with agents and editors for critiques and panels in a one-day workshop. (Belgrade Lakes, ME)


Oct 12-14 Behind the Book: Fight or Flight Join authors Fonda Lee, Stephanie Kuehn, J.C. Geiger, and Bill Cameron for a weekend of talks and workshops for writers of young adult adventure stories and psychological thrillers. (Eugene, OR).

Oct. 12-14 Vermont Writers Roundtable Join experts Peter Lourie, Laura Backes and Steve Swinburne and an editor in a small high-level workshop for writing creative nonfiction. (South Londonderry, VT)

Oct. 19-21 Edit It and Get It MG & YA retreat with award-winning author Gary Schmidt; Krista Vitola, Senior Editor with Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Julia Macguire, Editor with Knopf, Books for Young Readers; Jess Regel, Agent with Foundry Media; Heather Flaherty, Agent with The Bent Agency; Reading with Donna Gephart (Ft. Lauderdale).

Oct 20 Rutgers One-on-One Conference Children's writers and illustrators work one-on-one with industry professionals (editors, agents, art directors, or published authors & illustrators) as mentors for a work in progress. You are guaranteed a 45-minute individualized critique and you join a roundtable discussion with four other mentor pairs. Application deadline June 30 for fiction and June 21 for nonfiction.


Nov. 10 CANSCAIP Packaging Your Imagination Join the Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers in their annual conference. Sessions and one-on-one manuscript critiques. (Toronto)

Nov. 30-Dec. 2 Big Sur Children's Writers Workshop -  An Exclusive Workshop for Serious Children's Book Writers
Through these personalized workshops, Andrea Brown Literary Agency and leaders in the industry, work with writers to polish their materials. Faculty include Deirdre Jones (Senior Editor, Little Brown Books for Young Readers), Amy Novesky (editor, Creative Editions and Cameron Kids), Melissa Manlove (Senior Editor, Chronicle Books), and authors Maggie Takuda-Hall, Ellen Hopkins, Eric J. Adams, and Eric Elfman. (Big Sur, CA) Application deadline for scholarship is Sept. 30.

MARCH 2019

Mar. 15-17 and April 4-6 Whispering Pines Writer's retreat for serious children's book writers and illustrators, with critique sessions from mentors. (West Greenwich, RI)

MAY 2019

May TBA Exclusive Nonfiction Beach Retreat. Join authors Candace Fleming and Jen Swanson, five editors, and an editor at a beach retreat focusing on writing nonfiction for kids. More details to come.

May 17-May 19 Big Sur Children's Writer's Workshop An Exclusive Workshop for Serious Children's Book Writers
Through these personalized workshops, Andrea Brown Literary Agency and leaders in the industry, work with writers to polish their materials. Faculty include Yolanda Scott (Associate Publisher & Director, Charlesbridge Publishing), and authors David Elliot, Anne Sibley O'Brien. (Cape Cod, MA)

Big Sur, CA Workshop is scheduled for November 30 - December 2, 2018

Limited space available.

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