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2021 Children's Lit Conference

July 14-18, 2021 (5 days)

Workshops in Writing Picture Books, Middle Grade and YA Fiction  
and Graphic Novels


"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.

Gathering in the quiet of Southampton has been integral to creating the bonds we have built over the years, but because of COVID-19, we've decided to run the conference virtually this year.

Don't worry, that feeling of community still exists and we'll still offer full days of programming including morning talks and lectures, afternoon workshops, evening salons, and nightly readings by today's top writers.

We're really excited to share our insightful lectures and workshops with attendees from across the globe, growing our community way beyond this beautiful spit of land we call home.

Workshops meet daily for 3 hour sessions. Enrollment is limited to 12 students per workshop. 

Apply by June 15.

We're located in Southampton, NY, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

(But this year you will find us on your computer screen.)

Click here for Fee information.


Apply Now!

  Feiffer Illustration

Workshop and Faculty

  • Picture Book


    From bus-driving pigeons to soul-searching spoons, there’s never a dull moment in picture books… if there is, you’ll lose your audience. The best authors in the genre are masters of economy and action. This workshop will explore the specific craft elements it takes to write for this fun and formative format, including thinking visually, showing versus telling, beginning in media res, read aloud-ability and more.


    EMMA WALTON HAMILTON is a best-selling children's author, editor, producer, and arts educator. She has co-authored over thirty children's books with her mother, Julie Andrews, seven of which have been on the  New York Times best-seller list, including the #1 bestselling series  The Very Fairy Princess. Emma’s own book for parents and caregivers,  Raising Bookworms: Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment, premiered as a #1 best-seller on in the literacy category and won a Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, silver medals from the Living Now and IPPY Book Awards, and Honorable Mention from  ForeWord Magazine's Best Book of the Year. Walton Hamilton’s most recent project is as co-creator, writer and executive producer of   Julie’s Greenroom, a children’s television program about the arts created for Netflix. Emma is a faculty member and directs both the  Southampton Children’s Literature Fellows program and  YAWP (the Young Artists and Writers Project). She is married to actor/producer/director Stephen Hamilton. More information can be found at

  • Middle Grade and YA Fiction

    maryroseThis five-day workshop offers writers of middle grade and young adult fiction an advanced course in the principles of storytelling and the tools of the writer’s craft. From  Charlotte’s Web to the Harry Potter series, enduring works of fiction for young readers embody the twin virtues that all good novels share: a great story, beautifully told. In this workshop we’ll explore what makes a story great, and learn practical tools for troubleshooting the structures of our own novels-in-progress. We’ll also dig deeply into writing craft and learn the “pro tips” of prose writing and revision that lift student work into the realm of the professional and publishable. There will be craft exercises, reading and discussion, writing prompts, and workshopping and revision of the students’ own work. 

    MARYROSE WOOD   is the author of   The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, the acclaimed middle-grade series about a teenaged governess and her three raised-by-wolves pupils, published by Balzer + Bray. Titles in the six-book series have appeared on “Best Children’s Books of the Year” lists from NPR,    Christian Science Monitor  Kirkus, and others. They’ve been Junior Library Guild selections and received multiple starred reviews from    Publishers Weekly  Kirkus Reviews  School Library Journal, and    Booklist. The series has a worldwide following and is currently being developed for television.

    Maryrose has also published seven novels for young adults, including    My Life: The Musical (Delacorte) and    Why I Let My Hair Grow Out (Berkley Books). Her personal essays and short fiction appear in    Recycle This Book: 100 Top Children’s Book Authors Tell You How to Go Green (Random House),    Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperCollins),    Who Done It? (Soho Teen), and    Starry-Eyed (Running Press).

    Maryrose started her career in the original Broadway cast of    Merrily We Roll Along, the cult flop-turned-beloved Stephen Sondheim/George Furth musical featured in the 2016 documentary,    Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened (now streaming on Netflix). She studied film and television writing at NYU, and comedy writing and improv with the Groundlings. Her work as a lyricist/librettist for musical theatre has made her a three-time winner of the Richard Rodgers Award, administered by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

    Maryrose coaches writers privately and as a guest teacher at writing workshops nationwide. She taught fiction writing at CUNY-Lehman College and NYU’s Gallatin School, and is currently on the faculty of the Stony Brook Children’s Literature Fellows program.