Nancy Sondel's Pacific Coast Children's Writers Workshop
16th Annual    September 28-30, 2018    Master Class to Masterpiece
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  • “I enjoyed the first annual Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Workshop...
    already a success. A pleasure to work with this small, savvy group of writers.”
    — Lisa McGuinness, former Chronicle Books editor
  • “The Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Workshop is a well-organized, educational
    event. Fabulous, A-plus!” — Andrea McAfee, former First Place winner
    in the Win-Win Writer’s contest for a YA novel
  • “I have never in all my years of attending professional workshops and conferences seen anything as well organized as this one. And I’m not just saying that to be nice!”
    — Bobbie Pyron, author of The Ring (WestSide Books)
  • “Extremely practical, fun program—offered great manuscript suggestions and help with the submission process. I enjoyed the writers and appreciated the quality of their manuscripts.”
    — Sally Engelfried, alum


Critique-Based Enrollment

Since 2003, our workshop has offered a collegial event for writers at various stages in their development. We’ve focused on craft, the foremost tool that makes the sale. In recent years, many of our alumni have become highly skilled and/or published children’s book authors. Now, in addition to offering masterclass (open clinic) critiques on partials, we offer selected writers an editor or agent critique on their entire novel.


Based on a manuscript-selection process. Fees on the left reflect our May 20 Early Bird discount. All fees include sessions, lodging, most meals.

Group A  Whole-novel Critiques by editor or agent (written, plus two in-person consults); critique is additional fee based on number of manuscript pages; a few peer critiquers observe the consults. Fee: $789/819, plus critique ($450 to $750 for 150 to 250 manuscript pages)

Group B  Partials Critiques by editor and agent. Brief written, plus in-person critique (on 15 manuscript pages, plus synopsis) in an open clinic setting. Group discussion follows each critique. Fee: $789/819, plus $90 for both faculty critiques.

Group B-Plus: additional, paid critique on up to 250 pages by faculty author.

Group C  Teens’ critiques (of prompts, fiction, personal essays) by adjunct faculty. Browse our Teen pages. Fee: $499/549

Whole-novel Group A critiques provide continuing feedback on the seeds planted in early chapters; i.e., those most often “workshopped.” These chapters serve multiple purposes—they present a hook; they introduce a dramatic question to be developed and resolved by The End; they make or break a formal submission.

It’s invaluable to examine these opening chapters, which we also do in Group B.
A third track, Group C, are enrollees in the TeenSpeak Novel Workshop. While engaging in their concurrent event, they also join adults to give these writers fresh feedback from target-age readers.

All faculty critiques (Groups A, B, C) are both written and in person. The three tracks converge for novel-crafting focus sessions, as well as for observation of each others’ faculty consults. Regardless of which group you enroll in, expect a smorgasbord of educational and networking delights!


All of our standard critiques are in masterclass (open clinic) format. Master classes are not traditional at children’s writers workshops. We’ve adapted this collegial format to allow our entire group to observe faculty critiques. These manuscripts are available to read before the workshop.

Read more about master classes.


These are three-minute, public critiques by our editor-agent combo; designed for teens and/or adults who receive no other core faculty critiques. Maximum one manuscript page per writer, available for all to review before the workshop. Available to six writers, or as time permits.

See your story
spring to life!


Most of our manuscript submissions are contemporary or historical realistic novels. However, depending on our faculty, we may offer critiques for well-crafted, character-driven fantasy novels, “older” chapter books, and stories in verse. Writers of multiple genres can benefit by exploring the character, plot, and theme issues we address at the workshop.

Also see our annotated table of fees.  For an in-depth look at each enrollment group, click here.

“If you cannot see clear action objectives that lead your character
through the scene, cut it. Believe me; it will be boring.” — Brandilyn Collins,
Getting into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn from Actors
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.