< Return to Workshops

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

Work with our talented group of mentors to explore all facets of factual writing.

"The faculty was outstanding in every regard. Their insight, kindness, generosity, approachability, and availability was beyond anything I’ve ever experienced at a writing conference."

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.

Workshop sessions
The faculty and guests will be leading daily workshop sessions like these:

  • Understanding What Readers Want–They Know. Do You? Well, You Better!
  • Writing Inspiration: Using Mentor Texts
  • Structuring History to Grab Today’s Young Readers
  • The Art of Biography, Short Form and Long
  • Secrets to Breaking into Print
  • The Extreme Sport of Research
  • Turning Real Life into Nonfiction: Mining the Memories of Your Past
  • The Art and Craft of Narrative Nonfiction
  • What Are Acquiring Editors Looking For?
  • Using Investigative Journalism to Research Your Story
  • Capturing the Minds of Young Readers
  • Exploring Photography and Visual Design

Attendees will submit a picture book manuscript, or the first chapter of a longer piece of nonfiction (2,000 words max), or a book or magazine proposal. (Note: proposals must include sample writing.)

On day one of the workshop, I knew I had made the right decision. With insights from expert presenters, incredible feedback from a dedicated mentor, inspiration from other attendees, and just enough time to write and reflect, I came out of the workshop with not only new insights into how to polish my current manuscripts, but also a new picture book idea and first draft. Read more about attendee Erica Swallow’s experience at the 2017 Master Class in Writing Nonfiction.

Some faculty interviews from around the web:

Nonfiction faculty book covers

Faculty & Special Guests

"Master Class in Nonfiction was taught by the best professionals in the field, who are committed to their craft and genuinely care about teaching and sharing their expertise. The curriculum was very well structured. The one-on-one meetings were tailored to fit individual student needs. The class size was small and intimate. The Highlights staff is always welcoming, friendly and supportive. Overall, I learned a lot and continue to benefit from the knowledge I gained at the workshop. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning how to write nonfiction from practicing professionals in the industry."—Mindy Yuksel, 2017 attendee