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2022 Children's Lit Conference

July 06-10,  2022 (5 days)

Workshops in Writing Picture Books, Middle Grade and YA Fiction 

"If you're dreaming of becoming the next J. K. Rowling, we've got the perfect place for you—the Southampton Children's Literature Conference." – School Library Journal

The Southampton Children's Lit Conference provides a unique forum in which to study and discuss the craft of writing for children.

World-renowned authors, illustrators and editors offer inspiration and guidance through workshops, lectures, group discussions and special presentations on the beautiful campus of Stony Brook Southampton, a stone's throw from the gorgeous beaches  and historic villages of the Hamptons. 

Writing workshops are the heart and soul of the conference experience, meeting every morning for a total of five 3-hour sessions, from Wednesday-Sunday. Enrollment is limited to 12 students per workshop. Remaining hours are devoted to electives - lectures, readings, and panel discussions featuring faculty members and distinguished visiting authors, editors, publishers, and agents. Participants also enjoy a rich schedule of social gatherings— author receptions, open-mic nights, breakfasts, lunches and dinners “under the tent,” and an issue launch of The Southampton Review. During free time, participants can draw inspiration from the Hamptons’ beaches or explore our charming nearby towns.

Apply by June 15.

PLEASE NOTE: As per university policy, all attendees, workshop leaders, guest writers, staff, and speakers must be vaccinated for COVID-19.

Click here for Fee information.

Apply Now!

 Feiffer Illustration

Workshop and Faculty

  • Picture Book

    Lesa Cline-Ransome’s first book was the biography Satchel Paige, an ALA Notable Book and a Bank Street College “Best Children’s Book of the Year.  She later created Major Taylor: Champion Cyclist, Young Pele,  Words Set Me Free,  Just a Lucky So and So:  The Story of Louis Armstrong and Germs:  Fact and Fiction, Friends and Foes, Game Changers:  The Story of Venus and Serena Williams,  The Power of Her Pen:  The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel Payne,  Not Playing by the Rules:  21 Female Athletes Who Changed Sports and Overground Railroad.  Her verse biography of Harriet Tubman, Before She Was Harriet received five starred reviews, was nominated for an NAACP image award, and received a Coretta Scott King Honor for Illustration.  Her debut middle grade novel, Finding Langston, was the 2019 winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction and received the Coretta Scott King Award Author Honor.  The sequel, Leaving Lymon released in Spring 2020. 

    Lesa’s books have received numerous honors and awards including NAACP Awards, Corette Scott King Honoree, Kirkus Best Books, ALA Notable, CBC Choice Awards, two Top 10 Sports Books for Youth,  and an Orbis Pictus Recommended Book. She lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York with her husband, and frequent collaborator, James Ransome and their family.  Visit her at

  • Middle Grade and YA Fiction

    Padma Venkatraman is the WNDB Walter Dean Myers award-winning author of  The Bridge Home, a 2019 Global Read Aloud;  Island’s End; A Time to Dance;  and  Climbing the Stairs. All her books have been featured on numerous best book lists, received a total of over 20 starred reviews, and won multiple honors (ALA Notable books, NYPL Notable, Kirkus Best Book, Booklist Editor’s Choice, SLJ Best Book, PW Flying Start, etc.) and awards (including two South Asia Book Awards, two Paterson prizes, a Julia Ward Howe Boston Authors Club Award, SCBWI Golden Kite award and many more).

    Padma’s latest novel,  Born Behind Bars,  about  a boy learning to fend for himself on the streets of an Indian city and fighting to save his incarcerated mother, is a Parent Magazine Book of the Month, Junior Library Guild Selection and was released in September, 2021 to starred reviews in Kirkus, SLJ, and Booklist. A beloved character from The Bridge Home reappears in  Born Behind Bars.

    Padma explored rainforests and coral reefs, led diversity efforts at a university, served as chief scientist on ships where she was the only female and only person of color, taught and directed a school in England, obtained a doctorate in oceanography from the College of William and Mary, and conducted environmental engineering research at Johns Hopkins University, before becoming a full-time author. 

    When she was nineteen, she left India on her own and is now an American. As a first-generation immigrant and a BIPOC woman with an invisible disability, she has been dedicated, for over a decade, to fighting for equity and diversity. She is the founder of Authors Take Action and Diverse Verse and her poems have been published in Poetry magazine.