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.


Tips for Attending the Summer Conference

Tips for Conference SCBWI Conference Newbies, Second Timers, plus a challenge for Many Timers

Ask the Agent: Do You Need to Go to Writing Conferences?

On SCBWI, Advice for Authors and Illustrators

Seven Tips for Your Next Writers' Conference


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?


June 12 8:30 p.m.-9:15 p.m. Find Your Voice - And Connect with Your Reader Have you ever found yourself so immersed in a story that you just didn't want it to finish? That emotional engagement is exactly what an editor is looking for when they talk about the elusive quality of "voice" - and it's important in fiction and nonfiction, from picture books to novels. In this seminar, we'll look at how to find your own unique voice with tips for getting it onto the page. We'll work on connecting with the reader through point-of-view writing, exploring different perspectives, and lots of hands-on exercises to help you overcome all the rules you were taught in school. With Fiona Kenshole, partner and senior literary agent, Transatlantic Agency. Kidlit411 readers get a 10% discount. Use the code: Kidlit411.

June 14-16 Squam Writes Retreat A small group retreat for writers and illustrators of children's literature focused on craft and especially beneficial to those ready to start down the road to publication. There will be opportunities for feedback and plenty of time to write, make new friends, and recharge creative batteries in a beautiful New Hampshire lakeside setting. Every participant receives a one-on-one critique with an agent or editor. (Squam Lake, NH)


The annual Southampton Children's Lit Conference provides a unique forum in which to study and discuss the craft of writing for children. Open to new, established and aspiring writers, the 5-day Conference takes place every July in the Hamptons, at the Eastern End of New York's Long Island—a resort area of natural beauty. World-renowned authors, illustrators and editors offer inspiration and guidance through workshops, lectures, group discussions and special presentations. Workshops in picture book, middle grade and young adult writing meet daily for 3 hour sessions (enrollment is limited to 12 students per workshop.) In the afternoons, participants choose from a wide range of elective sessions with distinguished authors, editors, publishers, and agents.  

July 12-14 Vermont Writers Roundtable Learn from editor Laura Backes and authors Stephen Swinburne and Peter Lourie in a three-day, small group (maximum 15 authors) workshop setting, to work on nonfiction manuscripts. Also included is a Skype visit with an author.

2019 Children's Lit Conference 
July 10-14, 2019 
Picture Book with Dan Yaccarino
Middle Grade (Faculty TBA)
Young Adult with Donna Freitas


Sept. 21-25 and Sept 25-29 Avalon Writer's Full Manuscript Retreat Small writing retreats of 8 writers and 2 professionals (agent + editor), where you get a 30-page critique, first page sessions, and more.  Faculty for first session: Catherine Laudone, editor, Simon & Schuster and Wendi Gu, agent, Janklow & Nesbit; Second session: Alexandra Borbello, editor, Athaneum and Claire Freedman, agent at Inkwell Management.


Oct. 25-27 Whispering Pines Working Retreat A working retreat for writers: great food and company in a beautiful location. No frills. No faculty. A time to work, draft, illustrate. (Whispering Pines, RI).


Nov. 7-10 Better Books Marin An intensive craft-based workshop limited to 25 MG and YA writers, where you are paired with an agent or editor mentor to work in small groups. Small group critiques and large group lectures, plus amazing food and camaraderie. Faculty includes: Kaylan Adair, Senior Editor, Candlewick Press; Simon Boughton, W.W. Norton; Anna Roberto, Senior Editor, Feiwel & Friends; Roseanne Wells, Jennifer de Chiara agency. (Petaluma, CA)

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