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Writing for All Young Readers: Board Books through MG Series 2018 | October 7 – October 9, 2018

This workshop is for anyone looking for ways to break in or expand upon a career in writing for children, from board books to middle grade series.

Crystal Allen, Kelly Starling Lyons, Kristy Dempsey, and Gwendolyn Hooks met at the Highlights Foundation’s Chautauqua Workshop over a decade ago. Their friendship was forged over works-in-progress, critiques, and the drive to publish great books for all children. Fast forward to now, and between the four women, they have over 30 books published for readers of all ages.

They’ve designed a workshop to share with you all that they have gathered over years of their journeys, including:

  • Ways to break into the industry
  • Turning passion and ideas into a career
  • How to work in multiple genres and for varying ages
  • Where to find work-for-hire opportunities

This workshop is designed to help writers uncover the possibilities offered in the children’s book industry as well as discuss ways to make the most impact on children of all ages.

Along with daily lectures and discussions, there will be hands-on writing exercises and chances to meet one-on-one with the faculty. Writers will not need to provide writing samples prior to the workshop but are encouraged to bring writing to the conference for peer review.

This workshop is for anyone looking for ways to break in or expand upon a career in writing for children, from board books to middle grade series.

Faculty blog posts:
Faculty Interview: Kristy Dempsey, Crystal Allen, Gwendolyn Hooks, Kelly Starling Lyons
Faculty Interview: Kristy Dempsey and Kathryn Erskine
Kristy Dempsey – Taking a Leap

Preliminary schedule:
Day 1
Afternoon
Arrival and check in
Welcome and introductions

Evening
Appetizers and dinner
After dinner: Turning Passion into a Career, with Crystal Allen, Kelly Starling Lyons, Kristy Dempsey, & Gwendolyn Hooks

Day 2
Morning
Breakfast
Begin by Beginning–Ideas/First Lines, Gwen and Crystal
Board Books and Picture Books,Kristy
Humor,Crystal
Non-Fiction and Historical Fiction, Kelly and Gwen

Afternoon
Lunch
Early Readers with Gwen, Chapter Books with Kelly, and Middle Grade with Crystal
Writing Time/One to One meetings/Group Sharing
Characters: Sweetie Pies and Smart*sses, Kristy
Special Guest: Editor Jessica Echeverria, Q/A moderated by Gwen

Evening
Appetizers and dinner
After dinner: Fireside chat and book signing

Day 3
Morning
Breakfast
Plot, Pacing and Paging, Kristy
Voice, Emotion, and Language, Kristy and Kelly
The Business of Publishing, Kelly and Q/A with all faculty
Goal setting, Gwen
Final remarks, Kelly

Afternoon
Lunch, followed by an optional tour of Highlights magazine and Boyds Mills Press

Faculty & Special Guests