The Native Children’s and YA Writing Intensive offers an opportunity for reflection, conversation, celebration, and manuscript and career development to Native/First Nations writers.
Location: The Writing Barn, Austin, Texas. If necessary, due to local COVID-19 restrictions, the Writing Intensive may move to a virtual format.
Date(s):Thursday, June 8, 2023, through Sunday, June 11, 2023
Registration Cost: $100. Proceeds from the program will support future Native Writing Intensives.
Registration scholarships are available. Most participants will receive scholarship support.
Lodging expenses during the intensive will be approximately $400. Lodging scholarships are also available.
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 insights, information, resources, and contacts related to children’s and YA writing, Native books for young readers, 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 14 participants will be invited to participate in the program, which will include discussions of manuscripts in progress.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning on Feb. 6, 2023.
Scholarship priority will be given to early acceptances. As part of your application, please be sure to indicate on the application form whether financial assistance would be critical to your participation.
If you have any questions about the application, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrea L. Rogers is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and writes fiction and nonfiction for young people and adults. She grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but currently attends The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville where she is a doctoral student in English. Andrea graduated with an MFA from the Institute for American Indian Arts. Andrea taught both Art (all grades) and English (HS) in public schools in Dallas-Fort Worth for 14 years. Her books include MAN MADE MONSTERS, winner of the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature, MARY AND THE TRAIL OF TEARS: A CHEROKEE REMOVAL SURVIVOR STORY and the short stories: "Hellhound in No Man's Land" in HOWL, "My Oklahoma History" in YOU TOO?, "The Ballad of Maggie Wilson” in ANCESTOR APPROVED. She has two forthcoming picture books, WHEN WE GATHER and CHOOCH HELPED.
Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee citizen) is a New York Times bestselling, award-winning author for young readers. Her 2023 release is Harvest House, an Indigenous YA ghost mystery. Her most recent previous books are ANCESTOR APPROVED: INTERTRIBAL STORIES FOR KIDS, which was an ALA Notable Children’s Book; SISTERS OF THE NEVERSEA, which received six starred reviews; and HEARTS UNBROKEN, which won an American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Award. She also is the author-curator of Heartdrum, a Native-focused imprint, and a member of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA faculty. Photo by Christopher T. Assaf
Leslie Widener is an author and illustrator of books and stories for children. She has illustrated six Choctaw-related picture books, including CHUKFI RABBIT’S BIG, BAD BELLYACHE; THE TURKEY WHO LIKED TO SHOW OFF; WHY THE TURTLE HAS CRACKS ON HIS BACK, and others. A member of Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Lesie lives in McKinney, Texas with her husband and artist Terry Widener.
Author and filmmaker Brian Young is a graduate of both Yale University with a Bachelor’s in Film Studies and Columbia University with a Master’s in Creative Writing Fiction. An enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, he grew up on the Navajo Reservation but now currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. As an undergraduate, Brian won a fellowship with the prestigious Sundance Ford Foundation with one of his feature length scripts. He has worked on several short films including Tsídii Nááts’íílid – Rainbow Bird and A Conversation on Race with Native Americans for the short documentary series produced by the New York Times. He was a participant of the 6th Annual Native American TV Writer’s Lab with the Native American Media Alliance, where he learned to write Television Scripts. Brian's books for young readers include HEALER OF THE WATER MONSTER and HEROES OF THE WATER MONSTER.
Varian Johnson will be joining the writing intensive for a special evening presentation. Varian is the author of several novels for children and young adults, including THE PARKER INHERITANCE, which won both Coretta Scott King Author Honor and Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor awards; THE GREAT GREENE HEIST, an ALA Notable Children’s book and Kirkus Reviews Best Book; and the graphic novel TWINS, illustrated by Shannon Wright, an NPR Best Book.
Varian was born in Florence, South Carolina, and attended the University of Oklahoma, where he received a BS in Civil Engineering. He later received an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and is honored to now be a member of the faculty. Varian lives outside of Austin, TX with his family.
Rosemary Brosnan is Vice President and Publisher at HarperCollins Children’s Books, where she has worked for twenty-two years, and recently launched two imprints: Heartdrum and Quill Tree Books. 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. On the Heartdrum list, Rosemary has published books by Indigenous authors Christine Day, Jen Ferguson, Dawn Quigley, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Brian Young. Other authors and illustrators Brosnan has worked with include Elizabeth Acevedo, Kwame Alexander, Jodi Lynn Anderson, the Blackout team (Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon), Ernesto Cisneros, Jerry Craft, Saadia Faruqi, Neil Gaiman, Sheba Karim, Gail Carson Levine, the late Walter Dean Myers, Patrick Ness, Neal Shusterman, Melissa Sweet, and Rita Williams-Garcia. Photo by Kate Morgan Jackson
Elise McMullen-Ciotti is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, an editor with Lee & Low Books and an author. The books she’s edited include INDIAN NO MORE by Charlene Willing McManis with Traci Sorell, JULIETA AND THE DIAMOND ENIGMA by Luisana Duarte Armendáriz, BLACK WAS THE INK by Michelle Coles, and THE SHADOW PRINCE by David Anthony Durham. The books she’s authored for young readers include KANUCHI DAY, illustrated by Morgan Thompson; HEDGE OVER HEELS; and the short story, “Cannibal at the Door” in CALLING THE MOON.
Sara Crowe is a Senior Agent at Pippin Properties, where she represents books for children and adults. She began her career at The Wylie Agency, and worked in foreign rights for 8 years. Her clients include Newbery and Printz winners, New York Times Bestselling authors, and debut authors. She loves finding new talent to champion, and nurturing and developing careers. Pippin Properties, Inc. has spent the past 20 plus years helping build careers for authors and artists whose work stands the test of time, many of whom have become household names in their own right.