Science and Nature Writing for Kids & Teens 2020

August 5 - 9, 2020

We are pleased that this workshop will be held on campus as planned! However, we will be limiting the capacity to 10 students. As an additional safety measure, we’ll welcome those registrants who are able to drive to our campus. You can read about our on-campus COVID protocols here.  Also, we are putting together a virtual Science & Nature experience for the fall. More details to come, but please send an email to us if you are interested:

Join Us To:

Study the craft of writing powerful books and articles about science and nature for young readers. Learn how to submit both fiction and nonfiction science and nature work to editors and agents. Have one-to-one critiques from faculty mentors, and have a chance to submit work to all editors participating in this workshop. Through presentations, hands-on workshops, ample writing time, and sessions with acquiring editors, you will get the tools and insights you need to advance on your path to success.

What You’ll Learn:

Energize readers through active fiction and nonfiction writing about science and nature. You will:

  • Hear faculty and editor presentations about craft and markets.
  • Examine formats and genres, including science-inspired fiction, narrative nonfiction, expository nonfiction, concept books, poetry, and everything in between.
  • Work with experts using hands-on exercises to improve the accuracy and depth of your writing.
  • Draw on your research to write cohesive, energetic, nonfiction and fiction books, articles, or other science-based works.
  • Have one-to-one manuscript critiques with faculty mentors.
  • Spend free writing time on new ideas or story revisions.
  • Network with faculty, peers and special guests.
  • Explore ideas: how to generate, evaluate, and shape them to engage and attract agents and editors.
  • Complete hands-on activities for creating proposals, researching content and finding photos and images.
  • Submit to all editors participating in the workshop.

Attend If:

  • You love science and our natural world, and want to share your knowledge and passion with kids. This workshop will show you the dynamics of engaging fiction and nonfiction science and nature-based writing.
  • You want to write picture books, nonfiction, chapter books, or books for middle grade and young adult readers. This comprehensive review of the market for science and nature books will move you forward, no matter what age level your writing is aimed at.
  • You have several in-progress science or nature manuscripts and would appreciate multiple feedback perspectives. After your one-to-one critique with faculty, you’ll have fresh ideas for revision. And after hearing from acquiring editors about what they’re looking for, you’ll be well prepared to start submitting.
  • You are a published author or illustrator who wants to investigate the science and nature market. You’ll hear from authors and editors working in the field, and have a chance to submit to all participating editors.


Day 1
Arrival and check in

Appetizers & Dinner
After dinner:
Faculty welcome and introductions

Day 2
Getting Creative–Action Rhymes, Poetry, & Short Formats, Miranda
Outdoor Explore: Loupe-looking

Elements of Excellent Science Books, followed by Q&A–via Zoom with editor Carol Hinz
One-to-ones with Miranda or Heather plus Zoom one-to-ones with Carol Hinz
Free writing time

Appetizers & Dinner
After dinner: Fireside discussion, S’mores Science

Day 3
Breaking Boundaries: Innovative Writing for Today’s Readers, Heather
Nonfiction Picture Books! A look at formats and styles for illustrated works—including narrative and concept picture books, Mirands

Zoom lecture with Angela Dominguez (eco-fiction)
All author panel with Miranda, Angela, and Heather
Extra consultations with Miranda, Heather, Angela

Appetizers & Dinner
After dinner: Work for hire/Educational Market discussion
Outdoor Explore: Night Hike

Day 4
How to Evaluate Your Work and Revise, Miranda
Research Round-up, Heather and Miranda

Revision roundtables
One-to-one critiques with faculty mentors
Free writing time
Outdoor Explore: Stream Science

Appetizers & Dinner
After dinner: Open Mic

Day 5
Submissions: Journeys to Success, Heather
Final Q&A

Lunch & farewells

A Note About Highlights Workshop Agendas


Science Writing…It’s Not Just for Nonfiction
Setting a Scene with a STEM Book
Making Science Fun (or Funny)
The Intersection of Science & Social Studies: Can Creative Combinations Enhance Your Writing?
STEAM-ing Into Nonfiction
3 Myths About Why Writing Science Books for Kids is Hard
Elements of Excellent Science Books


“All the faculty were fantastic! They were warm, fun, and knowledgeable. They all seemed to take a personal interest in helping us further our career and were always accessible.”

“It could not have been better, no way, no how. I was amazed and mesmerized and my brain almost exploded (in a good way)! Why did I wait so long? Glad I found out about these workshops!”

“The whole workshop was very well thought-out. You could tell that the session leaders had spent a great deal of time preparing for the week.”

“I appreciated having two authors who do very different types of writing – as well as four editors (the Skype conferences, though short, were very good) and an agent.”

“Their willingness to critique participant manuscripts is invaluable. Miranda Paul was exceptional in her ability to not only point out flaws, but to help steer a writer toward re-envisioning a better product.”


Miranda Paul

Miranda Paul is an award-winning children’s author of more than a dozen picture books including One Plastic Bag, Water is Water, I…
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Heather L. Montgomery

Heather L. Montgomery writes for kids who are wild about animals. An award-winning author and educator, Heather uses yuck appeal…
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Carol Hinz

SKYPE Special Guest Carol Hinz is Editorial Director of Millbrook Press and Carolrhoda Books, imprints of Lerner Publishing Group. She…
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Angela Dominguez

SKYPE Special Guest Angela Dominguez was born in Mexico City, grew up in the great state of Texas, and now…
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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.

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workshop information

Begins Wednesday, August 5, with dinner and ends on Sunday, August 9, with lunch.