"I was a writer with no formal writing training who had never written a novel. I had the voice, the premise, and the ending. …A year later, I have a completed first draft at approximately 60,000 words, selections of which are currently with three agents from the Publishing and Editing Conference who expressed interest in my story. Reflections:
• I now have a comprehensive understanding of the literary industry and therefore
feel less intimidated by it.
• It is a beautiful thing to have your mentor understand and appreciate your art while still believing you can go further and showing you how.
• I've gained a new respect and appreciation for story and have developed a skill set that allows me to more effectually marry it with language.
• I've learned how to navigate feedback and determine for myself what to apply.
• I've learned that in spite of car accidents, moves, chronic pain, six jobs, etc., I can meet writing deadlines and meeting those deadlines provides me with a sense of strength, joy, and purpose.
• I now know I can write a novel." - Sarah Costantino, NY. - 2018 Fellow
"This program was so helpful in providing me exactly what I was looking for - mentorship and accountability. I arrived with a solid first draft, but over the course of the year-long program, I polished and edited in a way that I didn't even know I needed to do. Now, I have a manuscript that feels completely transformed into something that is ready to share with the world! I met great mentors and authors along the way, and I feel ready to navigate the business side of publishing now!" - Caroline Elwell, NY - 2018 Fellow
"If you are a children's lit writer ready to take your stories to the next level... if you are looking for high quality, professional mentorship and a community of like minded, supportive people, then the Children's Lit Fellows program is a must!" - Eva Petersen, Bridgehampton, NY. - 2018 Fellow
"This has been an amazing experience for me. I started with an old manuscript I had no intention of working on and an idea. One year later, I have a completed manuscript that is ready to go to agents. More importantly, I have a much better understanding of the factors that go into making a good story." - Ann Wilberton, NY, NY. - 2018 Fellow
"Becoming a Stony Brook Children's Lit Fellow has been a real game changer for me. The guidance, feedback and support that I've received through the program has far exceeded my expectations. Throughout the experience I've built some wonderful friendships with other writers who are also juggling very full lives. They are all incredibly driven, talented and diverse. Now as an alum, I'm so grateful for the resources that remain available to me and proud to be a member of this ever-expanding inspirational family." Alana Sanko, Westchester, NY - 2017 Fellow
"Before beginning the Children's Lit Fellows program, I wrote stories. Upon completion, I can now confidently say, "I am a writer." Jennifer Young, Long Island, New York, 2017 Fellow
“If you want to turn your dream of being a writer into reality, this is the program for you! With one-on-one mentoring from seasoned writers, this online program punctuated with live workshops and ending with an opportunity to pitch your work to agents and editors, is an exceptional experience.” Allison McLarty, Stony Brook University Medical Center, 2017 Fellow
"The most transformative experience of my writing life!" Dr. Susan Walker, Sag Harbor, NY, 2017 Fellow
"I have a bachelor's, a master's, a certificate in philanthropy fund-raising, a PhD, and now a certificate in children's literature. I can honestly say that my year-long experience as a Stony Brook University Southampton Children's Lit Fellow was the most exciting and most rewarding degree of all. The faculty and administrators were superb; they know what they are talking about; they know how to communicate; and they are beyond generous in their helpfulness." - Brian Quinn, Alfred State SUNY College of Technology, 2016 Fellow
"Being a Children's Lit Fellow at Stony Brook Southampton was a wonderful experience. Not only did I have an opportunity to work one on one with several talented mentors who gave me constructive feedback on my debut young adult novel, but I become part of an amazing community of writers. Being in the program kept me on track to complete my novel. It also provided me with valuable tools as well as the confidence to pitch my book. I am honored to have been in the program and recommend it to anyone who wants to continue to work on the craft while also learning about the business of writing for children." - Elisa Zied, New York, New York - 2016 Fellow
"The Children's Lit Fellows program at Stony Brook University Southampton not only prepares you for a submission ready manuscript at the end of the year, but also gives you a strong supportive writing community that you won't want to say good-bye to." - Stephanie Reese, Lake Ronkonkoma, NY - 2016 Fellow
"The Children's Lit Fellows program was an invaluable experience. From the writing mentors to my newly formed critique group of "fellow" writers and forever friends, the Stony Brook program is as good as it gets!" - Maureen Morrison, Williamstown, NJ - 2016 Fellow
"Oftentimes when you finish a program it feels like they forget about you, but that is not the case with Stony Brook Southampton's Children's Literature Fellowship. Every time I return to campus it feels like I have never left and am welcomed with open arms. The two day Mini-Conference that I attended this past July proves that when you become a Kid's Lit Fellow you are one for life! - Stephanie Reese, Lake Ronkonkoma, NY - 2016 Fellow
"If you are serious about getting into the world of children's literature look into the Children's Lit Fellows program at SUNY Stony Brook Southampton." - JG Dunn, NYC, 2015 Fellow
"This program will transform you from a "wannabe" writer to a true professional. An essential step on the journey to becoming published!" - Carolyn Keating, Brooklyn, NY - 2015 Fellow
"The Children's Lit Fellows program has helped me expand my writing career into YA fiction--my mentors provided me with excellent critique, and challenged and inspired me to take my writing to new levels." - Alexandra Siy, NY - 2015 Fellow
"This program has given me a foundation on which to build a career. Our mentors insist we consider ourselves professionals from the beginning. It's a powerful concept and much appreciated. Anyone interested in writing for children owe it to themselves to enroll in this program. There are no mentors who dedicate themselves more fully to their apprentices than those at Stony Brook Southampton's Children's Lit. Fellows program." - Dawn Costello Sellers, Paradise Valley, Arizona - 2015 Fellow
"Picture book writing is such a specific and often misunderstood art form, and the Children's Lit Fellowship is a place where this corner of the literary world is understood and valued. Not only did I learn how to become a better writer for children, but I was also taught that I deserve "a place at the table." I'm forever grateful to be a KidLit fellow." - Lauren LeBlanc Philadelphia, PA, 2015 Fellow
"There are several hundred positive things I could write about the program. I boiled them all down to the following: When I started I was not a writer--now I am." - Kurt Fetter, Johnstown, NY - 2015 Fellow
"If you are looking for a low-res, high energy graduate program in writing for children, Stony Brook Southampton Children's Lit Fellows is the place for you. I was matched with two mentors who had completely different styles but they worked with me to make my manuscripts the best they could be. I was challenged but able to remain focused throughout the year. It has been the best investment in my writing career." - Elizabeth Saba, Arizona - 2014 Fellow
"The Stony Brook Children's Lit Fellows program is as much about honing one's craft as it is about learning how to publish. It allowed me to take myself seriously as a writer and gave me the steps to pursue a passion." - Susie Weber, New Jersey, 2014 Fellow
"Hands down the most useful things I have learned so far about writing for children! If you can take this course, do." - Catherine Sparrow, Australia - 2014 Fellow
"I have participated in a large variety of programs, both as student and faculty. This one is a model for the best: the richness of the content, the one-on-one and group support (faculty/student, faculty/student group, students among themselves), the relationship with a range of writers (program faculty and students), the special surprises (dinners, informal chats, speech/presentation coach)...kindness and sensitivity throughout while focusing on skill building. Brilliant!" - Abigail McNamee, Connecticut - 2014 Fellow
"The Children's Lit Fellows program is unique because of its focus on the practical aspects of writing and publishing. It prepared me for the whole process of writing a book, from first draft to publication." - Jake Rideout, Los Angeles, CA - 2014 Fellow
"By the end of this program, you will be writing and thinking like an experienced children's author." - Timothy Horan, NY - 2014 Fellow
"The Children's Lit Fellows program gives you a full arsenal of tools that you need if you are serious about publishing a book--deadlines that force self-discipline; expert insight on writing craft along the way; and insight into the business of publishing, how the publishing world operates, and how to find your niche within it. The spirit of camaraderie that is created by participating in a program with like-minded people is something else you can't put a price on. I highly recommend this program to anyone who dreams of publishing a book, but thinks they don't have the time or energy to devote to it." - Cailin Riley, Southampton, NY - 2013 Fellow
"The mentors, staff, and all those involved with the Children's Lit Fellows program are the most supportive, open-minded, inspiring, and talented group of professionals that any budding or accomplished writer could ask for. You will never for one minute regret your decision to join this amazing program." - Jaime Mott, Sag Harbor, NY - 2013 Fellow
"Tie up your inhibitions, venture forward beyond your doubts, surpass and surprise yourself. It's a rewarding and absolutely wonderful experience!" - Julie Gribble, NYC, 2013 Fellow
"A most unique, focused, and meaningful opportunity to work one-on-one with some of the best writers in children's literature today. The program allows writers to focus on craft, but also learn the ins and outs of the publishing industry. You won't find a more balanced, ambitious, or supportive approach elsewhere. It is truly a one of a kind learning opportunity." - Anonymous, 2013 Fellow