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Novel Beginnings: Building Strong Foundations for Your Novel and Your Career 2017 | March 16 – March 19, 2017

Please note: this workshop is full. Send us an email to join our waiting list!

Get feedback on your novel AND guidance about your writing career from two experienced authors with great teaching and editing experience.

This course is for you if:

  • You are interested in writing novels for children and want to know how to get started.
  • You have a novel in progress, and want expert feedback.
  • You have a finished novel, and want expert feedback.

Key elements of this course are:

  • You will be able to submit up to 50 pages of your manuscript, and faculty will give you both line comments and an editorial letter.
  • You will have a personal one-on-one critique with a faculty member.
  • Q&A session from guest agent Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown
  • Skype Visit with guest editor Andrea Tompa, Candlewick
  • Faculty and guest presentations on plot, character, conflict, the publishing process and how to avoid common mistakes.

Preliminary schedule:
Day 1
Optional tour of Highlights for Children and Boyds Mills Press
Hors d’oeuvres, meet-and-greet, dinner
After dinner show-and-tell presentation: Demystifying the Publishing Process

Day 2
Presentation: Getting to the Heart of Your Character
Presentation: Creating the Strongest Plot Possible
Skype Visit with Guest Editor Andrea Tompa, Candlewick
Individual One-on-One Critiques with Faculty
After dinner workshop: Character Speed Dating

Day 3
Presentation: Most Common Writing Mistakes & How to Fix Them
Presentation: What to Know NOW to Build a Strong Career
Writing Exercise: Writing Your Author Manifesto
Individual One-on-One Critiques with Faculty
After dinner: Q&A with Agent Ginger Knowlton

Day 4
Group critiques
Wrap-up Q&A

Print the preliminary schedule.

Get your questions answered!

  • Is your idea strong enough to sustain a whole novel?
  • Are the pages you’ve written thus far compelling, or do they fall flat?
  • How can you tell if you’re on the right track or wasting your precious time?
  • Are there choices you could be making now that might better set your book up for success?
  • How do agents and editors decide which book gets returned with a rejection letter and which submission translates into a sale?

Nothing is more important than laying a solid foundation. Invest now, and reap the results in all your future writing!


Faculty & Special Guests