Nancy Sondel's Pacific Coast Children's Writers Workshop
15th Annual    September 22-24, 2017    Master Class to Masterpiece
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  • “An innovative, engaging format, and a lively, dedicated group of writers make this workshop memorable. Stimulating on many levels. I enjoyed every action-packed minute.”
    — Deborah Noyes Wayshak, novelist; executive editor, Candlewick Press
  • “PCCWW has helped me hone my craft and make contact with esteemed editors and agents. Constructive, inspiring. This workshop is a definite 10.” — Annemarie O’Brien; debut author
    of Lara’s Gift (Knopf) (Annemarie landed her contract with our workshop editor.)
  • “I’m impressed by how in-depth the masterclass critiques were. I was totally revved up by
    the end of the workshop!” — Heather Tomlinson, author of The Swan Maiden
    (Henry Holt) (Heather landed this debut contract at our workshop.)
  • “PCCWW combines the support and camaraderie of an educated, informed critique group
    with a rare opportunity to connect with editors and agents in an intimate setting.”
    — Joni Sensel, author of four youth novels (Holt; Bloomsbury)
  • “The most valuable writing event I’ve ever attended. Presenters were generous and
    genuine. The insights I received from each one on my manuscript was invaluable.”
    — Mary Cronk Farrell; author of the award-winning Clarion novel, Fire in the Hole!
  • “Well-organized, interactive, informative, congenial. The Pacific Coast Children’s Writers
    Workshop is one of the best I’ve attended.” — Cece Meng, former winner
    of the Writer’s Digest contest (Children’s Fiction category)

WRITERS: In-depth, editor or agent critique on your whole novel—or editor and agent critiques on your partial. Concurrent teen workshop benefits youth and adults. Contact us now!


Envision and Edit Your Story with the Pros

Are you a skilled writer, published or aspiring, looking for something “different” in a fiction workshop? Our intensive seminar offers editor or agent feedback on selected whole-novel manuscripts, including two in-person consults with your mentor. Or maybe you’re ready for editor and agent critiques on your polished, opening chapters. Whichever stage you’re at, here’s how we assist goal-oriented writers like you:


    Annemarie O’Brien relishes faculty tips
    before signing with our next year’s editor.
    Photo: Marsha Diane Arnold
  • At our intimate event, you’ll have continuous close contact with a supportive, top-notch editor and/or agent. Our open clinics, aka master classes, will allow you to learn from advanced colleagues, as well as from faculty.
  • To maximize your benefits, you may critique peer manuscripts before the seminar—then, at our event, compare your assessments with those of the pros. Our collegial format provides behind-the-scenes glimpses that reveal, in depth, what agents and editors really want.
  • Top-notch faculty:

Stacey Barney, Senior Editor at Penguin/Putnam Books for Young ReadersStacey Barney, Senior Editor at Penguin/Putnam Books for Young Readers, acquires middle grade, young adult, select nonfiction, and picture books. Stacey’s publications include the #1 New York Times bestselling The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh (a lush, hypnotic re-imagining of the “Arabian Nights” framing story), and the 2015 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award-winning Firebird by American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland, illustrated by Christopher Myers.

Stacey has also edited Ellen’s Broom by Kelly Starling Lyons (a Coretta Scott King Honor Award winner); Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan (a YALSA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults); Boys, Girls & Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman (the New York Times bestselling author of Queen Bees and Wannabes, the book that inspired Mean Girls); Ask Elizabeth, a self-help book for teen girls’ parents by accomplished actress Elizabeth Berkley (a New York Times bestseller); and award winners Sparrow Road by Sheila O’Connor and The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine.

Stacey also edited Unlocking the Truth, the memoir of an African American, Brooklyn-bred, eighth-grade heavy metal band that signed a $1.7 million recording contract with Sony, and The Secret Hum of a Daisy, a debut middle-grade novel by Tracy Holczer, our very own workshop alum. It’s the story of an orphan left with a grandmother she resents in a town that holds the secrets of her family’s past.

Stacey’s recent and upcoming publications include Free Verse, a tale of a girl who loses her family and then her voice to the coal mines of West Virginia; The Reader by Traci Chee, a fantasy set in a world where reading is unheard of; and Our Chemical Hearts, a story of unrequited first love.

Stacey’s rock star list doesn't end here. She’s still on the lookout for “rich and memorable stories with pacey plots and writing that sparkles and shines.” Stacey certainly has helped bring many such books into the world.  We’re thrilled to have her join us!

Brianne Johnson, Senior Agent at Writers HouseBrianne Johnson, Senior Agent at the prestigious Writers House since her internship in 2007, was recently chosen as a Publishers Weekly Star Watch honoree. She’s cultivating a largely omnivorous list in young readers’ books—everything from historical fiction to magical realism, and “fresh, beautiful, fun, thoughtful stories that make that first real step into adulthood seem brand-new, all over again.”

In older readers’ books, she’s seeking “exciting, high-concept, gobble-down-in-one-sitting  novels that keep me up way past my bedtime (I love creepy/horror/suspense… and creative fantasy in general), as well as beautiful, literary works that explore the coming-of-age theme from a truly original angle and beg for multiple re-readings.”

Brianne has also sold Cheryl Klein’s The Magic Words, an outstanding guide to writing for children and teens.

We’re delighted to welcome Brianne Johnson to our 15th annual event; she, in turn is eager to connect with potential new clients. One of her memorable quotes for writers: “I want unforgettable characters that I’d follow anywhere, who burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” — Jack Kerouac

bullet  Read more about Stacey Barney and Brianne Johnson in our April faculty interviews. See our previous esteemed faculty interviews, including what their authors reveal about them.

  • Savvy teen enrollees give adults target-reader feedback within their own, concurrent workshop. The intergenerational exchanges prove mutually stimulating—and fun. Our teens edit adults’ novels for editor-agent submissions; some manuscripts have resulted in published books. Come see what an objective young reader will say about your story!

    Teen enrollment is partly funded by our TeenSpeak Scholarship Fund. To support
    teens passionate about writing, contact us
    year-round. Indicate an author or individual
    you wish to pay tribute to; we'll add the name
    (plus web link) to our “Treasured Authors and
    Friends” page.
    “I'm thankful that I have been able to talk to thousands of [young] students about my love of writing—and I'm thankful for being able to believe that I may have inspired some of them to follow their dreams, and perhaps even become fellow writers.” — Elaine Marie Alphin, blog: "Thoughts on the Writing and Reading Life"
  • Our Novel Writer’s Personal Retreat offers solitude in a serene coastal setting. Immerse yourself for up to four days: hone your craft, intermingle with advanced/published peers.

Creating a marketable novel is a multi-layered challenge. Join us for a working retreat or seminar—learn fiction-crafting with the masters. Pinpoint the tools you need to propel your novel from page-turner to published success!

For a compact view of the workshop, see our flyer.

Opportunity    Camaraderie    Craft

“This workshop played a huge role in my success. My novel improved largely due to
faculty and peer critiques, which led to my first sale. Outstanding seminar.”
— Tracy Holczer, The Secret Hum of a Daisy (G.P. Putnam); Stacey Barney, Editor
bullet  INQUIRE EARLY for maximum critique options and lowest fees on full novels or partials. See schedule, interviews, masterclass critiques. Integrated teen event. Enroll now or CONTACT us.
© 2003 - by Nancy R. Sondel. All rights reserved.