Programs

Summer Camp In Writing Fiction for Children & Teens 2020

July 10 - 15, 2020

Join Us To:

Get daily feedback from your faculty mentor on manuscripts, ideas, and revisions. Hear daily faculty keynotes for learning and encouragement. Receive guidance on the submission process, including query-writing basics and overviews of the current children’s book market. Attend hands-on breakout sessions on topics of your choosing. Devote time to working on your craft.

What You’ll Learn:

We envision summer camp a bit differently than just s’mores by the campfire and hiking in the woods (although those adventures are always on our schedule, too). To us, summer camp is a time to find the kind of encouragement for your writing that only a generous mentor can provide. Our camp offers someone to guide you through the long process of publication and a place to work one-to-one on fine-tuning your words and mastering your pitches. You will:

  • Hear morning inspirational and educational keynotes by our celebrated faculty.
  • Learn the basics of writing query letters and submitting manuscripts.
  • Get an overview of the children’s book market.
  • Work one-to-one with your faculty mentor.
  • Do hands-on exercises to help you grow as a writer.
  • Participate in daily break-out sessions in creating rich characters, developing voice, constructing settings, and structuring plot.

Attend If:

  • You are a fiction writer of picture books or novels. With a large faculty that publishes across genres, there is a little something for everyone at Camp.
  • You’ve always wanted to write or illustrate a children’s book. This workshop provides a comprehensive introduction to the world of children’s literature.
  • You have an in-progress or finished manuscript and would like feedback. Daily meetings with your faculty mentor give you time to ask questions, get suggestions for revision and get support for your goals.
  • You would like to step away from your day-to-day and explore your creative options. Spending time in a peaceful environment following your passion can give you a glimpse into what living a creative life would be like.

One month prior to Summer Camp you will be invited to send a complete picture book manuscript, or the first 20 pages of a longer piece of fiction. This submission will be used for your first one-to-one with your mentor. You will have other opportunities for review of new projects or pages at your additional one-to-one meetings throughout the week.

Summer Camp is a good fit for beginning novelists. Watch a video where Program Director Alison Green Myers shares details about the novel workshops we’re offering in 2020 that are good for novelists who are just getting started.

You can also watch a video about the broad overview Summer Camp will give you, about writing fiction for children.

Agenda

Day 1
Afternoon
Arrival and check in
Campus orientation and optional walking tour

Evening
Appetizers & dinner
After dinner:
So Simply: An Introduction
Getting to Know Your Weeklong Mentor

Day 2
Morning
Breakfast
Faculty keynote
One-to-one sessions with mentors

Afternoon
Lunch
Hands-on Session 1
Hands-on Session 2
Special guest presentation

Evening
Appetizers & dinner
After dinner: Art Exploration

Day 3
Morning
Breakfast
Faculty keynote
One-to-one sessions with mentors

Afternoon
Lunch
Hands-on Session 1
Hands-on Session 2
Special guest presentation

Evening
Appetizers & dinner
After dinner: Faculty Readings on the Patio and informal Q/A

Day 4
Morning
Breakfast
Faculty keynote
One-to-one sessions with mentors

Afternoon
Lunch
Hike, Journal, Poems, and Naps: An Adventure
Hands-on Session
Special guest presentation

Evening
Appetizers & dinner
After dinner: S’mores and Open Mic on the Patio

Day 5
Morning
Breakfast
Hands-on Session
Final mentor meetings (small group or one-to-one)

Afternoon
Lunch
Free Writing Time

Evening
Appetizers & dinner at Fox Hill Farm

Day 6
Morning
Breakfast
Faculty keynote
Faculty Q&A Panel and closing comments

Afternoon
Lunch and farewells

A Note About Highlights Workshop Agendas

Here is a sampling of past hands-on sessions:

  • Waking the Inner Voice: It’s Time
  • Creating Convincing Characters
  • Plot Like a Film
  • Attention, Image, Language: Developing Narrative Voice
  • Got Query? How to Craft a Pitch for Query Letters
  • Picture Book Idea Generator
  • Propulsive Language: Making Stories MOVE
  • Creating a Sense of Place
  • Minor Characters and Transitional Scenes
  • Writing is Re-writing: Maximizing Revision
  • Dialogue Busters: Crafting Conversation in Fiction
  • Have You Scene This: Scene Writing Exercises
  • The Importance of the Page Turn
  • What I Really Want to Write About: Finding Stories That Matter

Resources

Write or Illustrate a Children’s Book: 8 Articles to Help You Get Started
Summer Camp Reflections
Carnival, Summer Camp, and Carolyn Yoder: Or why you need to find a creative mentor
3 Diversity Fellows Talk About Summer Camp Mentorship
Summer Camp Scenes
A Happy Camper
Alison Myers welcomes the group to 2019 Summer Camp

Testimonials

“I’ve never found a more supportive or knowledgeable faculty at any other workshop or conference.”

“The mentoring staff members were amazing. All were open, honest, and encouraging. They didn’t just tell us what we wanted to hear – they told us things to make our writing sizzle.”

“They were wonderful: available, friendly, encouraging, and FUN!”

“Just about every faculty member made sure to sit with us at each meal and get to know us. Anyone I asked to read made time for me. Everybody seemed knowledgeable and like they truly wanted me to succeed. Definitely feel that most of them went above and beyond.”

Scholarships Available

Scholarships are available for this workshop.
Application deadline is March 15, 2020. Scholarships will be announced April 15, 2020.
Click here to apply!
For more information about scholarships, click here.

Faculty

Traci Chee

Traci Chee is the New York Times bestselling author of The Reader Trilogy and We Are Not Free (HMH, June…
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Melissa Marr

Melissa writes fiction for adults, teens, and children. Her books have been translated into 28 languages to date and been bestsellers in the…
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Kwame Mbalia

Kwame is a husband, father, writer, and pharmaceutical metrologist in that order. His debut middle-grade novel, Tristan Strong Punches a…
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Laura Sibson

After a career in undergraduate counseling, Laura Sibson pursued an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. When she’s not…
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David Bowles

David Bowles is a Mexican-American author from south Texas, where he teaches at the University of Texas Río Grande Valley.…
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Lesléa Newman

Lesléa Newman is the author of 70 books for readers of all ages including the children’s classic, Heather Has Two…
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Elizabeth Lee

Special Guest Elizabeth Lee is on the editorial team of Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, currently acquiring everything…
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Alison Green Myers

Special Guest Alison Green Myers is the program director for the non-profit Highlights Foundation, which supports children’s book writers and…
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Patricia Lee Gauch

SKYPE Guest Former vice president and editor at large of Philomel Books, Patti is now a fulltime writer and lecturer.…
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All-Inclusive Event Cost: $1,799.00

All-inclusive registration includes workshop tuition, lodging, meals, beverages, and snacks. Free shuttle service is available from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AVP) International Airport. Airport pick-up at Newark Airport is also available for $75 round-trip.

We offer payment plans as low as $75/month. We'll be in touch with details after you register.

Do you want help finding a workshop or resources that will fit your needs?
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workshop information

Begins with dinner on Friday, July 10 with dinner; ends on Wednesday, July 15 with lunch.

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