We just concluded December 2017 workshop. Thanks everyone!

“I loved this weekend. I feel I absolutely got my money’s worth.”
“Thank you from the bottom of my manuscript!”
“It was a very positive, helpful experience.”
“Best part was getting gritty about one’s writing.”
“Walking away with a great first chapter.”
“Great conference–really impressive faculty–appreciate the direction.”
“I will recommend this conference to others…this has been the most useful
children’s writers conference I’ve ever attended–hands on, inexpensive and
“Have never learned so much at a single conference.”

“I love this group, some even made their own beds!!! They are so clean! Please come back often.”
Head of Housekeeping

Note 1:  Please e-mail if you would like to get on the list for next year.

Note 2: The landslides to the south and the bridge collapse in Big Sur valley have been very challenging for Big Sur and, of course, the Henry Miller Library (please visit our fundraising campaign HERE).

Here are three reasons why ours is the best workshop in the known universe!

Listen here to what our Director Andrea Brown thinks:

1.  Andrea Brown Literary Agency is always on the lookout for new talent, and every year, the workshop provides it. Many writers come and some up starting fruitful relationships with the ABLA or make great contacts with editors who have gone on to publish those writers. See previous publishing deals here. You could be next!

2.  Small-group and one-on-one feedback to help improve your work.You know those “workshops” where you sit in a conference room with 200 other people? That’s not us. We have a five-to-one participant-to-faculty ratio, which makes for intimate and personalized feedback. Read countless testimonials from satisfied alumni here.


3.  Work with the greatest YA and children’s writing faculty around. Yep, the industry’s best agents courtesy of Andrea Brown Literary Agency, editors from publishers included Chronicle, Philomel, and HarperCollins, and internationally renowned children’s and YA authors. Check out the faculty for the December workshop here!



4.  (Bonus reason) Make friends for life! (Could be the very best reason) Mix and mingle: registration includes meals, cocktail hour, and more – all while steps from the Big Sur River, the famous Pfeiffer Falls and of course the rest of the majesty of Big Sur within reach.




Designed for Writers by the Experts

For eighteen years writers have come to the Big Sur Writing Workshops for a hands-on intensive weekend designed to ready their manuscripts for publication.   It’s like writing boot camp, except there are no push-ups.  (Well, maybe just a couple…)
listen to Eric Elfman, a veteran faculty member……it’s worth it!

The workshops are designed for writers with finished or partially-finished manuscripts that need critiquing, revising, and general editorial guidance.  Our workshops provide participants with the tools needed to prepare their manuscripts for submission to agents and editors. In today’s competitive marketplace a tightly-written, polished manuscript is essential. … hear what Laura Rennert, senior agent at ABLA, has to say about it in an interview with Magnus Toren, co-director of the workshop:

But Laura Rennert is an agent, what about someone who actually came to the workshop? Well, here she is, Tamara Ireland Stone, alumni, bestseller and faculty member! Hear what she says in an interview about Big Sur:

Work closely with agents, editors, and authors

The format of the weekend program is unlike that of other conferences and workshops.  Writers meet and work closely with at least three faculty members throughout the weekend.  The ratio of faculty-to-writers is five to one or better, and no two writers have the same experience.

Faculty are established book professionals who are dedicated to helping new writers. The unique nature of our workshops has made them so popular that many attendees return year after year.

A track record of fantastic successes!

We are proud of more than a dozen success stories arising from the Big Sur Writing Workshops, including Jeff Stone’s half-million dollar deal with Random House for the Five Ancestors series, and Christina Meldrum’s two book, six-figure deal with Alfred A. Knopf.   Agents attend in search of new, compelling material.  And more often than not, they don’t leave disappointed.

What makes the Big Sur Writing Workshop so unique?

Glad you asked.

First, the format of the weekend is different from other conferences and workshops. Writers will meet and work with three faculty members throughout the workshop.  Ratio of faculty to writers is five-to-one

Second, the weekend admits a limited amount of writers – just enough people to share valuable information and not too many so each writer feels special.

Third, the weekend is packed with critique groups, lectures, rewriting time and meals. Writers devote the entire time to focusing on their writing.

Fourth, the faculty are all children’s book professionals, and wonderful people, who know how to target the weak spots and help writers polish their manuscripts.



The Big Sur Children’s Writing Workshop is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference without a refund at the discretion of the conference organizers. Click here for our full anti-harassment policy.