Native Creators’ Summer Retreat 2019

About This Event


A retreat for Native American book creators writing for and about children.

With a focus on mentorship and polishing a manuscript for submission, this four-day retreat includes one-on-one critiques, roundtable feedback, and lectures from celebrated authors Joseph Bruchac and Traci Sorell. In addition, writers will enjoy guided writing exercises along with submission and market discussions from editors Karen Boss and Elise McMullen-Ciotti along with agent Andrea Cascardi.

What You’ll Learn

Polish your manuscript for submission with the help of a mentor.

Hear faculty lectures on craft and market.

One-to-one manuscript critiques.

Guided writing exercises.

Participate in small roundtable peer critiques.

Editor feedback and Q&A sessions.

“In the Abenaki language, our word for thank you is Wliwini. It literally means “good returning.” That is what thanks is, returning good for good. And that, to me, is what mentoring is as well. I’ve been blessed over the years to have so much good given to me by mentors and teachers, that I welcome the opportunity to do the same for younger writers just starting their own journey. And this workshop in particular, is one that I feel especially blessed to be part of, helping to expand and strengthen the circle of Native writers.”—Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki), best-selling and award-winning author of over 130 books in multiple genres

“Time with fellow Native creators helps sustain me along this author’s journey. I look forward to a weekend together to share our stories, write and talk practically about how we navigate the publishing industry.”—Traci Sorell (Cherokee Nation), award-winning author of We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

“I can’t wait for the Native Creators’ Retreat in June. Publishing more children’s books written by Native authors should be everyone’s goal. It’s certainly one of mine.”—Karen Boss, editor, Charlesbridge

“I’m so honored and excited to participate in this unique retreat!”—Andrea Cascardi, senior literary agent, Transatlantic Agency

“I love working with writers, and I’m so happy to be able to work within my own Native community to help get more Native kids’ books out in the world! Highlights Foundation has been such a good ally!”—Elise McMullen-Ciotti (Cherokee Nation), freelance editor

Who Should Attend

This is a retreat for Native American book creators writing for and about children.


Workshop information:

Writers should have a finished first draft.

One month prior to the retreat, writers will submit pages for review (a full picture book manuscript or the first 10 pages of a longer piece of fiction or nonfiction).

Please note that this workshop is limited to 24 writers.


Video Interview with Joseph Bruchac

Joseph Bruchac on Telling Stories and Two Roads

Traci Sorell on We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

Horn Book Podcast with Editor Karen Boss

12 Picture Books That Showcase Native Voices

Dr. Debbie Reese’s 2019 May Hill Arbuthnot lecture, “An Indigenous Critique of Whiteness in Children’s Literature”


This is a new workshop, so we have no testimonials yet.

Cancellation Policy

100% deposit refund for cancellation 30+ days before event.
50% deposit refund for cancellation 15-29 days before event.
0% deposit refund for cancellation 0-14 days before event.
The remaining balance (total price minus deposit) is due upon arrival.
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