Getting Your Middle Grade and Young Adult Novel Unstuck 2018

November 4 - 8, 2018

An intimate workshop for middle grade and young adult authors looking to explore or revise and polish a work in progress.

Whether you’ve jotted down ideas for a novel but can’t get your story off the ground, you’re stuck in the middle of a draft with no idea of where to go next, or you’ve written most of the book but can’t figure out the ending, this workshop is designed to help! Two award-winning, New York Times best-selling authors and their guest, author Hannah Barnaby, will share their writers’ toolbox for getting unstuck, with a focus on character development, plotting and outlining, revision, journaling, and improvisation/play.

Before the workshop, participants will be asked to submit 10-12 pages from a work in progress and a brief synopsis or story description for critique. Participants will receive an initial one-on-one critique as well as individual “ask the editor” meetings with our guest editor, Kate Prosswimmer of Sourcebooks, with time for revision and additional writing in between.

Faculty blog posts:
Chris Tebbetts: Visual Outlining
Chris Tebbetts: As Simple As Possible: Three Ways To Tighten Your Prose

Preliminary schedule:
Day 1
Optional tour of Highlights for Children and Boyds Mills Press.
Arrival and check in.

Appetizers & Dinner
After Dinner:
Welcome, Intros, and Group Discussion: Where are you stuck? What stage of the process is most often sticky?
Journaling: Active introspection as a tool for getting unstuck: a discussion with Julie

Day 2
Romeo at the Balcony: Persistence and Optimism in Pursuit of the Ideal: A lecture by Chris
Character Development: Discussion and workshop with Julie

Lunch. Possible discussion: craft book recommendations
Play and Improv: A workshop with Chris

Free Writing Time
Also: 20-minute Individual Manuscript Critiques with Julie and Chris

Appetizers & Dinner
After Dinner: Writing and Publishing: Self-moderated panel discussion and Q&A with Julie, Hannah, Chris

Day 3
Plot and Outlines: A workshop with Chris
Chapters and Scenes that Propel the Reader: A workshop with Julie

Lunch. Possible discussion: fiction book recommendations
The Writer’s Toolbox, Strategies for Getting Unstuck, Part I: A workshop and discussion with Chris and Julie
Free writing time.

Appetizers & Dinner
After Dinner: Movie Night: Bird by Bird with Annie followed by a group discussion

Day 4
Revision: A panel with Hannah, Chris, and Julie
The Writer’s Toolbox, Strategies for Getting Unstuck, Part II: A workshop and discussion with Chris and Julie

Plot Meets Character: finding the intersection between plot structure and character development to optimize your story: a lecture with Guest Editor Kate Prosswimmer from Sourcebooks
Free writing time
Also: scheduled one-on-one “Ask the Editor” consults

Appetizers & Dinner
After Dinner: Student Readings: optional but strongly encouraged! Participants may read aloud up to 750 words from their work in progress.

Day 5
Q & A with Kate Prosswimmer from Sourcebooks
Writing Prompts
Also: remaining one-on-one “Ask the Editor” consults
Goal-setting: Group discussion

Lunch and goodbyes.


Chris Tebbetts

Chris Tebbetts is the author and co-author of many books for young readers. Titles include the #1 New York Times…
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Julie Berry

Julie Berry is the author of the 2017 Printz Honor and Los Angeles Times Book Prize shortlisted novel The Passion…
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Hannnah Barnaby

Hannah Barnaby worked as a children’s book editor, independent bookseller, and book reviewer before becoming the first children’s writer-in-residence at…
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Kate Prosswimmer

Kate Prosswimmer is an Associate Editor at Sourcebooks, where she has worked for more than four years. She acquires across…
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All-Inclusive Event Cost: $1,299.00

All-inclusive means we provide transportation to and from the airport, lodging and all meals.

workshop information

Begins Sunday, November 4 with dinner, and ends on Thursday, November 8 with lunch, followed by an optional tour of Highlights for Children and Boyds Mills Press.