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2020 Children's Lit Conference

July 8-12, 2020 (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

    susan verdeSUSAN VERDE 's first picture book, The Museum, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, was a Bank Street Best Book of the Year - and was originally developed at the Southampton Literature Conference. Susan's other books include You and Me, I Am Yoga, The Water Princess, I Am Peace, I am Human, and  I Am Love, all illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds; as well as Rock ’n’ Roll Soul, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell; My Kicks, illustrated by Katie Kath; and Hey, Wall, illustrated by John Parra. Susan is a former elementary school teacher with a Master’s degree in reading remediation. In addition to writing books, Susan teaches yoga and mindfulness to kids (and adults) of all ages. She lives in East Hampton, New York, with her three children. Learn more at

  • Middle Grade and YA Fiction

    maryrose woodMARYROSE 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 MonitorKirkus, and others. They’ve been Junior Library Guild selections and received multiple starred reviews from  Publishers WeeklyKirkus ReviewsSchool 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.


  • Graphic Novel

    Matt PhelanMATT PHELAN is the award-winning creator of the graphic novels Snow White, The Storm in the Barn, Bluffton, and Around the World, and the picture book Druthers. He is also the illustrator of many books for young readers including Flora’s Very Windy Day by Jeanne Birdsall, Marilyn’s Monster by Michelle Knudsen, Xander’s Panda Party by Linda Sue Park, and The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, winner of the 2007 Newbery Medal.

    He has received the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction ( The Storm in the Barn), the Carolyn Field Award ( Around the World and Snow White) and the Jefferson Cup ( Bluffton). Matt has been nominated for five Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, including best writer/artist and best new graphic album for Bluffton.

    In 2014, Matt was awarded the Free Library of Philadelphia/Drexel University Children's Literature Citation.

    His most recent books are the picture books A Kite for Moon and  Pignic and the middle-grade adventure novel Knights vs. Dinosaurs.