Online Native Children’s and YA Writing Intensive
Date(s): Thursday, August 13, 2020, to Sunday, August 16, 2020
Cost: $100. Proceeds from the program will support future Native Writing Intensives.
Registration scholarships are available. Most participants will receive scholarship support.
The Native Children’s and YA Writing Intensive will offer an opportunity for reflection, conversation, celebration, and manuscript and career development.
We’ll be sharing information, resources, and contacts related to children’s and YA writing, Native books, and the surrounding publishing world.
We’re committed to community building, nurturing new voices, supporting working literary artists, and serving kids and teens while centering the needs of Native youth.
Up to 12 participants will be invited to participate in the program, including group discussions of manuscripts in progress.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, beginning May 18. The deadline to apply is June 30.
Scholarship priority will be given to early acceptances. As part of your application, please be sure to indicate whether financial assistance would be critical to your participation.
APPLICATIONS: Please fill out the application form here.
Who Should Apply for the Native Children’s and YA Writing Intensive?
- Native/First Nations writers seeking a weekend devoted to deep study, craft and conversation, manuscript feedback in workshop, and career mentorship.
- Apprentice/beginner, agented, and/or published children’s and YA writers who are Native/First Nations/Tribal citizens/members or recent descendants who are active in their community.
- Native writers, including those who are elders, 2SLGBT+, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians, Black Indians, people with disabilities, urban/rez/’burbs/rural/small-town Indians, Native veterans, etc.
Native/First Nations writer-illustrators are welcome to apply, though the program emphasis will be on writing rather than illustration.
- The opportunity to read and participate in the discussion about the creative submissions of your peers.
- Group feedback, on up to 12 pages (on one longer project or no more than two picture books) in standard manuscript format.
- For all participants, an assigned 12-page critique (on one long project or no more than two picture books) in standard manuscript format or a career consultation with faculty. (Typically, you’ll chat one-on-one with one of the authors and either the agent or editor. For assignment purposes, you’ll indicate on the application whether you’re already agented, etc.)
Please fill out the application form.
Thank you to the Writing Barn for their ongoing support and flexibility and to Rainbow Weekend Intensive for permission to model our language on theirs.
About Cynthia Leitich Smith [she/her]:
Cynthia Leitich Smith is a New York Times bestselling author of fifteen award-winning and highly acclaimed books for young readers and the author-curator of the Heartdrum imprint at HarperCollins. Her debut picture book, Jingle Dancer, is widely considered a modern classic and a groundbreaking title of contemporary Native children’s literature. In addition, she was named a Writer of the Year by Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers for her debut novel, Rain Is Not My Indian Name, and she won the American Indian Youth Literature Award for her most recent novel Hearts Unbroken.
Exhibiting noteworthy range, her writing spans age markets and genres as she is successfully published in the picture book, chapter book, middle grade novel and short story, young adult novel and short story, speculative fiction, realism, children’s poetry, young adult narrative nonfiction and graphic format.
Her Cynsations blog is among the most popular and respected in the children’s book industry. She serves on the core faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults and on the International Board of Advisors of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Cynthia is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. Cynthia makes her home in Austin, Texas.
About Traci Sorell [she/her]:
Traci Sorell writes fiction and nonfiction books as well as poems for children. Traci’s lyrical story in verse, At the Mountain’s Base (Kokila, 2019), illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre, celebrates the bonds of family and the bravery of history-making women pilots, including Millie Rexroat (Oglala Lakota). The book received a 2020 American Indian Youth Literature Award Picture Book Honor and three starred trade reviews (School Library Journal, Booklist and Shelf Awareness). Her middle grade historical fiction novel, Indian No More (Tu Books, 2019), with Charlene Willing McManis, explores the impact of federal termination and relocation policies on an Umpqua family in the 1950s. It won the 2020 American Indian Youth Literature Award for Middle School Book and starred reviews from School Library Journal and Booklist.
Traci’s debut nonfiction picture book We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga (Charlesbridge, 2018), illustrated by Frané Lessac, won a 2020 American Indian Youth Literature Award Picture Book Honor, a 2019 Sibert Honor, a 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book Picture Book Honor and a 2019 Orbis Pictus Honor. It also received four starred reviews (Kirkus, School Library Journal, The Horn Book and Shelf Awareness) and a 2020 Odyssey Honor Award for the audiobook produced by Live Oak Media in 2019.
A former federal Indian law attorney and policy advocate, she is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and lives in northeastern Oklahoma where her tribe is located.
About Rosemary Brosnan [she/her]:
Rosemary Brosnan has worked at HarperCollins for twenty years and recently took the helm at the new Quill Tree Books and Heartdrum imprints. Throughout her career, she has been committed to publishing diverse voices. She has published picture books, nonfiction, chapter books, graphic novels, and fiction for all ages. Authors and illustrators Brosnan has worked with include Elizabeth Acevedo, author of Boston Globe/Horn Book Award winner, National Book Award winner, Michael L. Printz Award winner, and Pura Belpré winner The Poet X; American Indian Youth Literature Honor Book author Christine Day; Newbery and Carnegie Medalist Neil Gaiman; Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine; Newbery Honor author Norma Fox Mazer; National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Walter Dean Myers; Carnegie Medalist Patrick Ness; New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver; National Book Award winner Neal Shusterman; New York Times bestselling and American Indian Youth Literature Award-winning novelist Cynthia Leitich Smith; Newbery Honor author Stephanie Tolan; and Newbery Honor author, three-time National Book Award Finalist, and Coretta Scott King Award winner Rita Williams-Garcia.
About Linda Camacho [she/her]
Linda Camacho graduated from Cornell with a B.S. in Communication and has held various positions at Penguin Random House, Dorchester, Simon and Schuster, Writers House, and Prospect Agency. She's done everything from foreign rights to editorial to marketing to operations and received her MFA in writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Now at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency, Linda is looking for middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction across all genres (especially upmarket, women's fiction/romance, and literary horror); she's also seeking select picture book and graphic novel writer-illustrators.