2013 Writing Novels for Young People Retreat
Friday, March 15, 2013 - Sunday, March 17, 2013
A working weekend for the serious writer of middle-grade and young adult books.
The VCFA Writing Novels for Young People Retreat is limited to 25 serious writers of middle-grade or young adult fiction. Each participant will choose between a critique track or a writing track. Critique track includes informal small critique groups where participants read and critique other members’ work. Critique track participants will receive a one-on-one critique with either Cynthia Leitich Smith or Lauren Myracle. The writing track will give participants the stimulation of lectures, chunks of time to use for writing, and the opportunity to network. All participants are welcome to take part in scheduled sessions with the three presenters. Evenings will include a Q&A session and an open mike session.
For an additional cost, 13 participants from either track can put their first chapters (up to 10 pages) under the editorial microscope and have a critique with Andrea Tompa. We fill these critique slots by the order we receive applications. Please don’t hesitate if you’re interested.
The fee includes accommodations (double occupancy) in the dorms at Vermont College of Fine Arts for Friday and Saturday nights. Meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch will be prepared by the New England Culinary Institute.
This year's retreat will feature faculty Cynthia Leitich Smith, Lauren Myracle, and editor Andrea Tompa.
Cynthia Leitich Smith is the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-selling author of Tantalize, Eternal, Blessed, and Diabolical (Candlewick). Her first graphic novel is Tantalize: Kieren’s Story, illustrated by Ming Doyle (Candlewick). Her award-winning books for younger children include Jingle Dancer, Indian Shoes, Rain Is Not My Indian Name (all HarperCollins) and Holler Loudly (Dutton). Cynthia's website at www.cynthialeitichsmith.com was named one of the top 10 Writer Sites on the Internet by Writer's Digest and an ALA Great Website for Kids. Her Cynsations blog at cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/ was listed among the top two read by the children's/YA publishing community in the SCBWI "To Market" column. Cynthia has served on the faculty of VCFA’s Writing for Children and Young Adults Program, and appeared as a featured author/speaker at schools, conferences and festivals all over the country.
Lauren Myracle is the author of squillions of books for tweens and teens, including the best-selling Internet Girls series, horror novels Bliss and Rhymes with Witches, the coming-of-age series, The Winnie Years, and Shine, winner of the 2012 Walden Award for YA fiction. Lauren considers writing for young people to be her life’s work, and with over a million copies of her books in print, she feels amazingly lucky to be able to reach such a large audience. Her realistic portrayal of the issues middle school and high school students deal with, however, brings Lauren negative attention as well as positive. Her novel ttyl was one of the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2007, and Lauren herself was one of the top ten most frequently challenged authors of the same year. But Lauren prefers to focus on the positive. She takes great pleasure in the response of her fans, who call her books "awesome" and "soooooo good," and she cites the following as her favorite compliment ever: "I can't believe it was written by a--cough, cough--grown-up!"
Andrea Tompa is lucky enough to be an editor at Candlewick Press, where she has worked for the past nine years. She edits a wide range of books: picture books, including Nothing Like a Puffin by Sue Soltis and The Black Rabbit by Philippa Leathers; middle grade novels, including The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo and Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri; and young adult novels, including A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan and Personal Effects by E.M. Kokie.