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Novel Beginnings: Building Strong Foundations for Your Novel and Your Career 2018 | June 21 – June 24, 2018

Get feedback on your novel AND guidance about your writing career from two experienced authors with great teaching and editing experience.

This course is for you if:

  • You are interested in writing novels for children and want to know how to get started.
  • You have a novel in progress, and want expert feedback.
  • You have a finished novel, and want expert feedback.

Key elements of this course are:

  • You will be able to submit up to 50 pages of your manuscript, and faculty will give you both line comments and an editorial letter.
  • You will have a personal one-on-one critique with a faculty member.
  • Sessions with guest editors
  • Faculty and guest presentations on plot, character, conflict, the publishing process and how to avoid common mistakes.

Sample schedule from 2017:
Day 1
Optional tour of Highlights for Children and Boyds Mills Press
Hors d’oeuvres, meet-and-greet, dinner
After dinner show-and-tell presentation: Demystifying the Publishing Process

Day 2
Presentation: Getting to the Heart of Your Character
Presentation: Creating the Strongest Plot Possible
Skype Visit with Guest Editor Andrea Tompa, Candlewick
Individual One-on-One Critiques with Faculty
After dinner workshop: Character Speed Dating

Day 3
Presentation: Most Common Writing Mistakes & How to Fix Them
Presentation: What to Know NOW to Build a Strong Career
Writing Exercise: Writing Your Author Manifesto
Individual One-on-One Critiques with Faculty
After dinner: Q&A with Agent Ginger Knowlton

Day 4
Group critiques
Wrap-up Q&A

Get your questions answered!

  • Is your idea strong enough to sustain a whole novel?
  • Are the pages you’ve written thus far compelling, or do they fall flat?
  • How can you tell if you’re on the right track or wasting your precious time?
  • Are there choices you could be making now that might better set your book up for success?
  • How do agents and editors decide which book gets returned with a rejection letter and which submission translates into a sale?

Nothing is more important than laying a solid foundation. Invest now, and reap the results in all your future writing!


Please note: we are still adding faculty to this workshop.

Faculty & Special Guests