R133B. Learning the Craft of Children’s Literature in an Adult World

Gold Salon 2, JW Marriott LA, 1st Floor
Thursday, March 31, 2016
10:30 am to 11:45 am


As more writing programs add children’s and YA tracks within larger pools of MFA students, it’s not easy to figure out how best to teach—and learn—the craft of writing for younger audiences. Where are the traditional MFA program structures useful to those writing for children, and where are they potentially a challenge? How do we keep the highest standards for writing for children, all while defending it against those who would consider it simpler?



Eliot Schrefer is a two-time finalist for the National Book Award. His New York Times bestselling books have been named to the NPR Best of the Year list and the ALA best fiction list for young adults. He has also won the Green Earth Book Award and Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award.

Donna Freitas is the author of five novels for children, including The Possibilities of Sainthood, which received five starred reviews among other accolades. Her newest novel is The Tenderness of Thieves, and the first book in her sci-fi trilogy is forthcoming in 2016.

Rebecca Chace is the author of Leaving Rock Harbor (novel), Capture the Flag (novel), and Chautauqua Summer (memoir). She is director of creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She was awarded a 2014 Grace Paley Fiction Fellowship from Vermont Studio Center and she is a 2015–16 Wertheim Study Writing Fellow NYPL.

Kathi Appelt is the New York Times bestselling author of more than forty books for children and young adults. In addition to writing, she is on the faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a sought-after speaker at national and international writing conferences and workshops.

Rene Steinke


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center