Nancy Sondel's Pacific Coast Children's Writers Workshop
16th Annual    September 28-30, 2018    Master Class to Masterpiece
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“The faculty and masterclass critiques were excellent. Fabulous writers.
I was awed and inspired by it all!” — Lorraine Krilanovich, school teacher


Below, each of our enrollment/critique options is described.

Which book(s) will
carry your name?

Many agents and editors have closed their doors to submissions, except through personal referrals. These include queries and manuscripts from writers they’ve met at workshops. So, regardless of which critique group you enroll in, meeting our editor and agent will open networking doors. For some of our alumni, these contacts have resulted in contracts!

As our enrollee, you’ll participate in focus sessions, manuscript critique clinics, keynotes, and Q&A. Additionally, you may enjoy our:

  • Pre-workshop manual, home study worksheets, and peer-manuscript anthology

  • Access to our website’s private bulletin board

Who Should Apply to This Workshop?

Our small seminar is limited to published and not-yet published applicants about whom the following statements are true:

  • The writer has submitted a timely application. Where all else is equal, writers submitting the earliest application are given priority for critiques of their choice.

  • The writer has attended workshops and/or educational programs that have developed his or her writing and critiquing skills to a high degree.

  • The writer’s manuscript is a polished, character-driven novel that offers readers “something to chew on.”

  • The manuscript contributes to a balance between the quantity of middle grade and young adult novels at our seminar.

GROUP A: Whole-Novel Critiques


Critique with editor or agent on your full manuscript. The following minimum enrollment conditions apply:

  • You have completed a draft of a novel.

  • The manuscript, or portions of it, has been critiqued by peers and/or professionals.

  • You are willing for approximately three peers to silently observe one or both consults with faculty, if peers sign up and provide critiques on your manuscript.

  • You have revised and polished the manuscript, and are ready to consider other suggestions (you are not attending the workshop solely to sell the novel).

  • You will commit to providing a thoughtful written critique of at least four Group B manuscripts (mainly, you choose which samples to critique). All Group B samples are in our pre-workshop anthology for everyone to read.


  • Your editor or agent mentor, unlike most book doctors, will choose your manuscript to critique because it appeals to him or her.

  • At the workshop, you will meet for two consults with your faculty mentor; one is a follow-up after you’ve had time to revise and/or think of new questions.

  • Your editor or agent mentor, unlike a book doctor, can offer you a contract on the manuscript critiqued—and help you get it into publishable shape.

GROUP B: Masterclass Critiques


Critique with editor and agent on up to 15 manuscript pages, plus up to one-page synopsis (350 words). Selected writers may receive a critique on 30 total pages, for additional fee. The following minimum enrollment conditions apply:

  • Our panel deems that “workshopping” your manuscript will offer educational benefits for all attendees in the open clinic setting. The manuscript may demonstrate that even very accomplished writing can benefit from constructive feedback. Or, the manuscript may offer some element, perhaps unusual but of common interest, to round out the rest of the manuscripts in this group.

  • You have received professional manuscript critiques (at workshops, in class, and/or from book doctors), preferably in a public format. You are equipped to be “on stage,” rigorously team-critiqued in our faculty master classes—without being argumentative about faculty or peer feedback.

  • Your manuscript genre is realistic (contemporary or historical), or may occasionally be fantasy or magical realism if a well-crafted, character-driven story.

  • You will commit to providing a thoughtful written critique of at least four other Group B manuscripts (mainly, you choose which samples to critique). All Group B samples will be in our pre-workshop anthology for everyone to read.

Read more about our masterclass critique clinics.


Group B writers can compare two professional points of view—those of editor and agent—regarding their manuscript’s strengths and weaknesses. Group B writers also receive written critiques from knowledgeable enrollees. Group B writers may apply for Group B-Plus to receive (for additional fee) a faculty author critique of any length manuscript up to approx 250 pages.

GROUP C: Teen Critiques

Summary: Teens share their writing with peer enrollees as well as with adult enrollees for mutual critiques (and pleasure!). Look for more information in the TeenSpeak menu!

“A novel is... a whale of a dream. You have to go under for a long time
 into the dark waters of the mind.” — Natalie Goldberg

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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.
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