Everything You Need to Know About Children’s Book Publishing: A Crash Course March 2016

< Return to Workshops March 17 – March 20, 2016
Harold Underdown

Harold Underdown

Harold is an independent editor who works with authors and publishers. He has worked at Macmillan, Orchard, and Charlesbridge, and has experience in trade and educational publishing.

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Jo Knowles

Jo Knowles

Jo Knowles is the author of six novels, including Living With Jackie Chan, See You At Harry’s, Pearl, Jumping Off Swings, and Lessons from a Dead Girl. Her newest book, Read Between The Lines, was called “masterfully woven” in a …

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Bobbie Combs of We Love Children's Books

Bobbie Combs

Bobbie has spent over 30 years exploring every corner of the children’s book publishing industry. Her career has taken her from manager of a children’s independent bookstore to children’s buyer and children’s sales/marketing director of a book distributor to freelance …

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Lindsay George, Highlights Foundation Workshop Faculty

Lindsay Barrett George

Lindsay Barrett George was born in the West Indies and grew up in New Jersey. She received a BFA degree from Manhattanville College (after having spent a year at the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston) and an MFA …

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"Thank you, Bobbie and Harold, for creating a workshop that was informative and encouraging. I really feel you want each and every one of us to succeed in the children’s book business. You are inspiring!"—Janet Geeza, 2015 attendee

"Thanks sooo much Harold and Bobbie – you treated us all very kindly and were supportive of our process. Also, you made outstanding use of time and provided outstanding resources and very clear information."—2015 attendee

"I came away feeling energized and affirmed that I was on the right path. The weekend was just what I needed to feel my feet firmly planted under me as I enter this new world. You and Harold packed just the right amount of information in and around inspiring speakers and casual community building time."—Lesley Higgins, 2015 attendee

Workshop Description

Join us for a long weekend to start writing your children’s book and learn all you need to know about the children’s book industry!


  • Tour the offices of Boyds Mills Press and Highlights for Children
  • Welcome dinner followed by faculty show-and-tell


  • Overview of children’s book & magazine publishers, markets & genres
  • Best practices for submitting, conferences, critique groups
  • Agents, rights and contracts
  • Writing practice exercises
  • One-on-one mentoring
  • Dinner, followed by an interactive talk by author/illustrator Lindsay Barrett George


  • What happens after you sign a contact; inside the publisher
  • What publishers are publishing
  • Magazines, Illustration and Self-publishing
  • Writing practice exercises
  • One-on-one mentoring
  • Dinner, followed by a talk from novelist Jo Knowles


  • Becoming a professional writer
  • Resources and plans to help you move forward
  • One-on-one mentoring
  • Time to answer individual questions

If you’ve thought about writing for children but don’t know where to start, this is the workshop for you. We’ll guide you through the processes of creating, submitting and selling a book or magazine article, provide you with a one-on-one review of your manuscript and answer all of your questions. Here’s a look at last year’s schedule.

In addition to giving you a comprehensive look at how the children’s book publishing industry works, we’ll give you some actual writing practice. Through exercises, writing prompts and instruction by our editors, you can begin to shape and revise your ideas in preparation for submitting to publishers. Our goal is to help you learn about the business and begin to practice your craft.

Faculty blog posts:
Why Are You Keeping That Thing?
7 Quick Tips for Beginning Writers
How to Start Revising That First Draft
Getting Out of the Slush Pile
Resources for Serious Beginners

Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Our all-inclusive price means we provide transportation from the airport, lodging, all meals, unlimited snacks, and wireless Internet access.

Workshop Information

Begins at 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 17 with an optional tour of Highlights for Children and Boyds Mills Press; ends on Sunday, March 20, with lunch.

Event Cost: $1065