Conferences and Courses for Writers

Here are some of the conferences, courses, and blogs I recommend. Clicking the titles will take you to websites for more information.

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Member badges2

This professional organization helps writers improve their craft and build community. It sponsors local, regional, and national conferences. I have been an active member since 2011. If you can join only one writing organization, I’d start with this one!



Institute of Children’s Literature

When I began writing for children, I enrolled in a mentoring program with the Institute of Children’s Literature. The course provided a valuable introduction to the business of children’s publishing.

They also offer a convivial podcast hosted by Katie Davis!


Highlights Foundation Workshops

I attended a Highlights workshop on crafting picture-book biographies. I met friends there who have enriched my literary life. The setting is               idyllic, and the food is phenomenal.


WELCOME TO NF FEST!Nonfiction Fest

A group of writers called the “Nonfiction Chicks” hosted Nonfiction Fest in February 2020. Throughout the month, they posted a new article each day by a nonfiction author, agent, or editor. These posts are a wealth of inspiration and information!



The Writing Barn

I attended a weekend intensive at The Writing Barn. During the class, I enjoyed meeting other authors and publishing professionals. The talks were meaningful, and the setting was unique and convivial.


12 x 12 Writing Challenge

This online program challenges authors to write 12 manuscripts in 12 months. Each month, there are webinars and discussions to encourage and support writers.

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Beachside Nonfiction Retreat

Authors Candace Fleming and Jennifer Swanson teamed up to offer this new writing conference in May 2019. It attracted a large flock of nonfiction fans! We enjoyed focused presentations and inspiring speakers.

Midwest Writers Workshop

This conference includes lectures and workshops on all types of publishing. I met several friends there who became trusted critique partners.

Blogs about Nonfiction Books for Kids

Celebrate Science

Melissa Stewart writes and celebrates nonfiction for kids. She knows that many young readers gravitate to true stories and enjoy fun facts. Her award-winning blog helps teachers and parents find books these kids will love.

Archimedes Notebook

Sue Heavenrich blogs about science and science-themed books for kids. On Fridays, she reviews nonfiction titles she’s discovered. On Wednesdays, she blogs about details she notices in nature.