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Master Class in Writing Nonfiction for Children & Young Adults 2018 | July 15 – July 19, 2018

Work with our talented group of mentors to explore factual writing!

Nonfiction matters.

Publishers crave it.

Teachers and librarians need it.

Nonfiction connects our children to the world. Stories about real people, real places, and really interesting world events are more important now than ever.

Our master class explores nonfiction from many angles: the editorial, the business, and, most importantly, the art of telling true stories. Work with our talented group of mentors to explore factual writing through a range of topics, including nonfiction voice, biography, memoir, nature writing, science writing, and narrative nonfiction. Your mentor will help guide you in your revisions or explore story ideas during daily one-on-one sessions.

Additional opportunities include:

  • connecting with acquiring editors;
  • developing necessary research and interview skills;
  • exploring today’s magazine and trade-book markets; and
  • investigating visual design through illustration and photography.

Faculty blog posts:
Peter Jacobi: On Conducting Interviews
Peter Jacobi: The Hard-but-Satisfying Work of Creative Nonfiction
Rich Wallace & Sandra Neil Wallace: Create Compelling, Believable Characters

Sample schedule from last year’s workshop:
Day 1
Arrival and check-in
Hors d’Oeuvres and Dinner
After dinner: Faculty Introductions and Welcome
The Accidental Nonfictionist, Larry Dane Brimner

Day 2
Morning
Breakfast
Understanding What Readers Want — They Know. Do You? Well, You Better, Peter Jacobi
One-to-one sessions with mentors

Afternoon
Lunch
Hands-on Sessions
»»Mining Your Memories, Rich and Sandra Wallace
»»The Art and Craft of Narrative Nonfiction, Susan Campbell Bartoletti
»»Writing Inspiration: Using Mentor Texts, Gwendolyn Hooks
»»Structuring History to Grab Today’s Young Readers, Larry Dane Brimner
»»People Like to Read About Other People, and Young Readers Definitely
»»Are People, Your Best: The Art of Biography, Short Form and Long, Peter Jacobi

Evening
Appetizers and book signings
Dinner
After Dinner: My Life, My Writing: Gwendolyn Hooks

Day 3
Morning
Breakfast
Using Investigative Journalism to Research Your Story, Rich and Sandra Wallace
One-to-one sessions with mentors

Afternoon
Lunch
Hands-on Sessions
»»Turning Real Life into Nonfiction: Mining the Memories of Your Past, Don Tate »»The Art and Craft of Narrative Nonfiction, Susan Campbell Bartoletti
»»Writing Inspiration: Using Mentor Texts, Gwendolyn Hooks

Evening
Dinner picnic at Fox Hill Farm

Day 4
Morning
Breakfast
The Extreme Sport of Research, Susan Campbell Bartoletti
One-to-one sessions with mentors

Afternoon
Lunch
Hands-on Sessions
»»Mining Your Memories, Rich and Sandra Wallace
»»Structuring History to Grab Today’s Young Readers, Larry Dane Brimner
»»People Like to Read About Other People, and Young Readers Definitely Are People, Your Best: The Art of Biography, Short Form and Long, Peter Jacobi
»»Secrets to Breaking into Print, Laurie J. Edwards

General Session, Calkins Creek editor, Carolyn P. Yoder

Evening
Appetizers and book signings
Dinner
After Dinner: S’mores and readings

Day 5
Morning
Capturing the Minds of Young Readers, Don Tate
Faculty Q/A

Afternoon
Lunch
Optional tour of Highlights and Boyds Mills Press editorial offices

Please note: we are still confirming faculty for this workshop!

Faculty & Special Guests