Nancy Sondel's Pacific Coast Children's Writers Workshop
16th Annual    September 28-30, 2018    Master Class to Masterpiece
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“I loved this workshop’s craft focus and retreat—perfect for honing my writing
as I indulged in quiet beach walks and camaraderie.” — Tracy Holczer,
author of debut novel, The Secret Hum of a Daisy (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)


Like our in-depth workshop, the enrollment process is multi-layered. As an intro, read our application excerpts. These include practical questions about your novel—in themselves, a helpful, thought-provoking tool. Review fees, then contact us to request an application.

Who Should Apply to This Workshop?

Our seminar is designed for intermediate to published applicants about whom the following statements are true:

  • Your manuscript is a polished, character-driven novel (or novel-in-progress) that offers readers “something to chew on.”
  • You have received professional manuscript critiques at workshops, in class, and/or from book doctors, including in a public format. You are equipped to be “on stage,” critiqued (respectfully, but perhaps rigorously) by faculty and/or peers—without arguing.
  • You will commit to providing a thoughtful written critique of at least one Group A (whole novel) and four Group B (partial) peer manuscripts of your choice, before the workshop. Group B-Plus manuscripts are privately critiqued by our story consultant or faculty author.
  • You have basic email and wordprocessing skills, or will get outside help if needed, for your application and manuscript submissions.


If the above prerequisites describe you and your manuscript, read our timeline below. (Teens’ due dates are on the TeenSpeak pages.) If possible, submit before these deadlines. When all else is equal, the earliest applications receive priority for desired critiques. Also, an early deposit holds your place. We may accept materials past the dates shown here; contact us for details. You need not have a completed novel or be a published author to enroll.

Step 1: Submit Application

May 1  Deadline to submit your application and 50 percent deposit for Early Bird discount. Group A (and Group B-Plus) applicants submit up to 30 manuscript pages. Group B applicants submit up to 14 pages, plus one-page ynopsis. Include your synopsis and one- or two-sentence plot summary per guidelines. Contact us to request your e-application.

June 11  Deadline to submit manuscripts for priority consideration, especially those applying for Group A. (Sample pages are selected by faculty for whole-novel critiques).

Step 2: Receive Notification of Status

June 24  We’ll invite you to enroll in either Group A or Group B (or B-Plus), mostly based on faculty choices. If a manuscript submitted for Group A is not selected for Group A, it will automatically be considered for Group B or B-Plus, unless the writer has indicated otherwise.

If you requested Group A and your manuscript isn’t a match, our panel will offer several sentences to indicate why—and/or a suggestion to strengthen the submission. No further manuscript feedback will be offered at this time.

Step 3: Submit Registration Fee and Most Manuscripts

June 28  Deadline to email your manuscript for faculty (limited exceptions). Any balance on your registration fee must be postmarked on this date—or whenever you enroll beyond this date. In exceptional cases, split payments may be allowed, incurring a processing fee.

We may accept later applications and manuscript submissions into August, if space permits. Staggered due dates through August may be available for some Group A manuscripts. It may be possible to submit Group B manuscripts in August, but late fees will apply. Inquire!

Step 4: Pre-Workshop Prep

Early July  Begin pre-workshop Home Study: our web pages and optional course manual with dozens of articles about craft and submissions; plus, enrollees’ manuscripts to choose for critiquing (along with an annotated peer roster).

Step 5: The Workshop and Beyond

In September, enjoy our beachfront seminar. Then enjoy occasional alumni newsletters and online dialogues throughout the year.

ocean photo

“Amazing, extraordinary, enlightening, inspiring, and fun! I’m so glad
I was part of it all.” — Helen Pyne, teens’ instructor and adult enrollee

fee table »

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.