Canceled Beachside Nonfiction Workshop with Candace Fleming & Jennifer Swanson



Unfortunately, we had to cancel the 2021 Retreat due to COVID 19.  Silver lining…

We are selling ten critiques and one scholarship critique is being offered from Katie Heit, Editor Cartwheel/ Orchard Books, Scholastic Inc. Please click this link for more details. 



Beachside Nonfiction Writers Workshop


Candace Fleming & Jennifer Swanson    

plus Special Guest Authors 

Lesa Cline-Ransome and Sarah Albee and Author/Illustrator, Eric Rohmann. 


March 19-21, 2021


on Amelia Island at the Omni Amelia Island Resort



Featuring Seven (7) Acquiring Editors:

Simon Boughton, Publishing Director, Norton Young Readers,

Kathy Landwehr, Vice President and Associate Publisher of Peachtree Publishing,

Hilary Van Dusen, Executive Editor of Candlewick Publishers,

Alyssa Mito Pusey, Executive Editor, Charlesbridge Publishing,

Pam Bobowicz, Senior Editor at Workman Publishing,

Katie Heit, Editor Cartwheel/ Orchard Books, Scholastic Inc., and

Elizabeth Stranahan, Assistant  Editor at Crown Books.


Price:  $525 for the In-Person Workshop
*****If we are not able to have this in person due to covid and/or travel restrictions, we will switch to an Entirely Online workshop. The online workshop will happen the SAME WEEKEND as this one.*****
The price will be split into two payments. 
  • $300 down at signup — this is NONREFUNDABLE and saves you a spot at the in-person workshop. It is also  your entry into the online workshop if we must switch to online. You will STILL get your critique even if the workshop goes online. 
  • $225 balance — this MUST be paid by January 15, 2021. We will confirm by February 1st that  an in-person conference will proceed. If you do not pay this amount, you will not be allowed to attend,the in-person workshop.  IF we elect to have an online workshop, and you have already paid the $225 balance, the $225 will be refunded.  
Please note: This conference will either be ALL in-person or ALL online. A hybrid will not be offered. 
What this includes: 
  • Access to seven (7) high-level workshops given by the editors
  • An All-editor panel with Q and A hosted by Eric Rohmann
  • 1 15-minute face-to-face critique with an editor or faculty member (sign up early enough, get your chosen editor)
  • 2 breakfasts
  • 2 lunches
  • Entrance to the outdoor Friday night reception with the editors
  • Choice of two Breakout Workshop Sessions given by Candace Fleming, Jennifer Swanson, Lesa Cline-Ransome, or Sarah Albee

Optional Add-Ons for Retreat Attendees  

  • Dinner with the editors and faculty Saturday night, there is an additional cost of $100. Limited seats available.
  • You will have the option to purchase additional critiques  with the editors and faculty at the price of $100 when you register, provided spots are still available. These will go fast!
  • FRIDAY Intensives – 3 hour workshop with our Featured Faculty (sign up before November 12th, 2020, get 15% off Intensive pricing)
    • $269 – 1-4pm Friday Intensive – Candace Fleming, Eric Rohmann, and Simon Boughton,
    • $269 – 9am -12pm  Friday Intensive – Lesa Cline-Ransome, Sarah Albee, and Kathy Landwehr. 
    • Details to come.
2021 Nonfiction Schedule coming soon.
To accommodate social distancing, a maximum of 75 participants is allowed in the LIVE event and our two evening events are scheduled in outdoor areas.

Hotel Information:

aiprst-omni-amelia-island-plantation-resort-pool-overview-guest-balconyLocation: Omni Amelia Island Resort, Fernandina Beach, FL

Room rate: starting at $199 a night plus tax for double occupancy (We encourage roommates!)

When you register, you will get the code to give the hotel for the discounted room rate we have listed above.


Critique Information for Workshop Attendees:

When you register, you will get to pick the person you will have your one included critique with.

** Please note:

  • Critique picks are on a first come, first serve basis
    • We ask that you rank the list from top choice to last choice
    • The earlier you register, the more likely you will get your top choice

Critiques will be 15 minute – “on the spot critiques”

You will turn in 5 pages of your manuscript and a 2-paragraph synopsis when you arrive at the workshop, during registration. The editor will read your manuscript for the first 5 minutes and then will discuss it with you for the last 10 minutes. This is a real-life critique and mirrors how an editor would typically review your submission. Bring your BEST work!

Travel information:

Nearest airport is Jacksonville International Airport (JAX). This airport is served by many different carriers including Delta, American, United, JetBlue, Southwest and others.

You are responsible for your travel from the airport to the hotel and back.

Submissions***:  All of the editors will accept ONE submission from attendees after the workshop. Details will be handed out at the workshop.

This high-level workshop is open to just over 75 people and is on a first-come, first-served basis. We are working to add many extras for attendees, so stand by for more details.  


The Faculty:

Simon Boughton


Publishing Director

Simon Boughton joined W.W. Norton and Company last year to start his own imprint devoted to children’s and young adult literature. Previously he was senior VP and director of publishing at Macmillan, having started Roaring Brook Press as well as helping launch First Second.

Simon had wanted to get into publishing since his time at university, his first job was at Kingfisher Books which is how he ended up getting into the world of children’s publishing specifically.

He loved working with the design, illustration and production of children’s book, the craft of putting books together, which is not an element you get to do much of when working in adult trade books. So Simon went on to search for jobs in the children’s field when he moved to America.

Norton is almost 100 years old, but is wholly owned by its employees. It’s never had a dedicated children’s imprint, and Simon is excited to be at a publisher that has grown up in the 20th century and has a strong and integrated educational publishing wing.

Simon says his skill set is more for picture books and nonfiction, though the imprint will have a wide ranging program that spans a lot of categories including YA and even graphic novels. He is not interested in pre-school or commercial YA, though.

Kathy Landwehr


Vice President and Associate Publisher 

Kathy Landwehr is the Vice President and Associate Publisher of Peachtree Publishers. She graduated from Emory University with a degree in English. After brief stints at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Susan Hunter Publishing, she joined the staff of Peachtree Publishers in 1990. Initially hired as publicist, she became marketing and publicity manager in 1992. In 1995, she moved over to the editorial and production departments and eventually became Associate Publisher and then Vice President, proving that if you hang around long enough, they’ll have to promote you. Her responsibilities include acquiring and developing manuscripts, from picture books to young adult; overseeing the development of the company’s lists; negotiating contracts; and supervising the work of the other editors.

HBV headshot 2

Hilary B. Van Dusen


Executive Editor 

Hilary B. Van Dusen is an executive editor at Candlewick Press. She is the editor of award-winning nonfiction titles including Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickels by Tanya Lee Stone; Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgill, illustrated by Francis Vallejo, The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure by Martin W. Sandler, Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Eric Velasquez, and Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin. She is the editorial lead on Candlewick’s two new imprints with MIT – MIT Kids and MITeen – concentrating on STEM titles for children of all ages. She heads up the paperback fiction publishing program and coordinates the Candlewick on Brilliance Audio imprint.

Alyssa Mito Pusey

Alyssa Mito Pusey


Executive Editor 

Alyssa Pusey is Executive Editor at Charlesbridge. As an editor specializing in nonfiction, she firmly believes that there is nothing as astonishing as real life. Almost any topic, from black holes to mummies, can hook her—as long as it’s approached from an unexpected angle. In addition to nonfiction, Alyssa edits the occasional fiction title with strong school and library hooks. In both nonfiction and fiction, she looks for innovative structure, clarity, and a distinctive voice. Humor is a plus!

Recent and upcoming nonfiction books include Super Gearby Jennifer Swanson, Samurai Rising by Pamela S. Turner, A Black Hole Is NOT a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano, The Inventor’s Secret by Suzanne Slade, and Old Manhattan Has Some Farms by Susan Lendroth.

Pam Bobowicz

Pam Bobowicz


Senior Editor 

Pamela Bobowicz has worked for numerous publishers, and on fiction, non-fiction and licensed projects for all ages. In her current role at Workman Publishing, she looks for non-fiction books for children ages 0-14 that see the world through their eyes and offer a perspective that meets kids at their level. She is looking for children’s titles from board books to teen, including graphic novels, with an interest toward history, social issues, leadership, and tough topics. In her free time, she writes, tries to catch up on her to-be-read pile, and runs by the ocean.

Kathy Heit



Katie Heit is a picture book editor at Scholastic Books where she edits nonfiction picture books and chapter books, as well as select fiction picture book titles. She works with many nonfiction authors, including Sandra Markle, Dean Robbins, and Nick Seluk, among others. She is drawn to books that approach nonfiction in a unique, kid-friendly way and is especially on the lookout for nature and STEAM topics.


Elizabeth Stranahan


Assistant Editor 

Elizabeth Stranahan is an Assistant Editor at Crown Books for Young Readers, a division of Random House Children’s Books. At Crown, she is building a list focused on Young Adult titles that are filled with quick-witted banter that challenges teens with life’s big questions like Alexa Donne’s The Ivies, middle grade titles brimming with heart like Elle McNicoll’s A Kind of Spark, and nonfiction titles that make complex concepts accessible and relatable like Tom and Leila Hirschfeld’s It’s Up to You series. She is drawn to characters with fresh perspectives and sharp voices and has a weakness for wry wordplay


Candace Fleming



Candace is the author of more than forty books for children, including picture books, middle grade novels and biographies. Among her nonfiction titles are Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart, The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion and the Fall of Imperial Russia, Giant Squid and most recently Strongheart Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen. She is the recipient of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington D.C.’s Nonfiction Award given for her “substantial body of consistently high quality nonfiction books for children of different ages,” as well as the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and she is a two-time recipient of the ALA Sibert Honor Award, as well as the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Nonfiction, and the Society of Book Writers and Illustrators Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction.

Among her other honors are the Orbis Pictus Award, and the Charlotte Zolotow Award.  She has twice been a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award finalist.

Candace lives in Oak Park, Illinois with one dog, two cats and her partner and sometimes-collaborator, Caldecott medalist Eric Rohmann.  




Jennifer Swanson



Science Rocks! And so do Jennifer Swanson’s books. She is the award-winning author of over 35 nonfiction books for children. A self-professed science geek, Jennifer started a science club in her garage at the age of 7. While no longer working from the garage, Jennifer’s passion for science resonates in in all her books but especially, BRAIN GAMES (NGKids) and SUPER GEAR: Nanotechnology and Sports Team Up (Charlesbridge) which was named an NSTA Best STEM book of 2017 and an NSTA Outstanding Trade Book 2017. Jennifer’s book, Geoengineering Earth’s Climate: Re-setting the Thermostat (Lerner Books) received a Green Earth Book Honor Award. She has presented at National NSTA conferences, the Highlights Foundation, and also the World Science Festival. You can find Jennifer through her website

Lesa Ransome, Author

Lesa Cline-Ransome



Lesa Cline-Ransome’s first book was the biography  Satchel Paige, an ALA Notable Book and a Bank Street College “Best Children’s Book of the Year.  She later created Major Taylor: Champion Cyclist, Young Pele,  Words Set Me Free,  Just a Lucky So and So:  The Story of Louis Armstrong and Germs:  Fact and Fiction, Friends and Foes, Game Changers:  The Story of Venus and Serena Williams,  The Power of Her Pen:  The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel Payne,  Not Playing by the Rules:  21 Female Athletes Who Changed Sports and Overground Railroad.  Her verse biography of Harriet Tubman, Before She Was Harriet received five starred reviews, was nominated for an NAACP image award, and received a Coretta Scott King Honor for Illustration.  Her debut middle grade novel, Finding Langston, was the 2019 winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction and received the Coretta Scott King Award Author Honor.  The sequel, Leaving Lymon released in Spring 2020. 

Lesa’s books have received numerous honors and awards including NAACP Awards, Kirkus Best Books, ALA Notable, CBC Choice Awards, two Top 10 Sports Books for Youth, and an Orbis Pictus Recommended Book. She lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York with her husband, and frequent collaborator, James Ransome and their family.  Visit her at


Sarah Albee



Sarah Albee is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 100 books for kids, ranging from preschool through middle grade. Some of her nonfiction titles include Accidental Archaeologists: True Stories of Unexpected Discoveries; North America: A Foldout Graphic History; Dog Days of History; POISON: Deadly Deeds, Perilous Professions, and Murderous Medicines; Why’d They Wear That? Bugged: How Insects Changed History; and Poop Happened: A History of the World from the Bottom Up.

She especially loves writing about topics where history and science connect. Recent nonfiction titles have been Bank Street College of Education Best Books selections, Notable Social Studies Trade Books, and winners of Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Awards. 

Prior to being a full-time writer, Sarah worked at Children’s Television Workshop (producers of Sesame Street) for nine years. She played basketball in college, and then a year of semi-professional women’s basketball in Cairo, Egypt.

She lives in Connecticut with her husband, who is a high school history teacher and administrator, their three kids, and their dog, Rosie.


Eric Rohmann
Eric Rohmann



Eric Rohmann is the award-winning author/illustrator of thirteen books for children and in 2004 won the prestigious Caldecott Medal for My Friend Rabbit (Roaring Brook/Macmillan, 2003).  He was previously awarded a Caldecott Honor for his book, Time Flies (Crown/Random House, 1995).  His other books include the ALA Notable titles, Clara and Asha (Roaring Brook/Macmillan, 2005), A Kitten Tale (Knopf/ Random House 2008,) and Bone Dog  (Roaring Brook/Macmillan, 2011). He has also illustrated many other books, including the Sibert Honor winning Giant Squid written by Candace Fleming, and has created book jackets for a number of novels, including His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman and Bless This Mouse by Lois Lowry.  His artwork has been featured in various exhibitions and permanent collections throughout the United States. 

More information coming soon.




Limited spaces available!

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TESTIMONIALS – from 2019
If you’re looking for some concrete information on what Nonfiction is all about, then the NF Retreat is the place to be.  The line up was spectacular! outstanding! a rare gathering, and definitely well worth the money. Not only was it chocked full of fabulous nuggets, but we were able to meet, eat and talk with editors, well known authors and the agent. The fee also included a critique with an editor or agent of our choice :>) Super for avoiding the slush pile :>) I highly recommend attending. But know that it’s up to you to gleen what you want. Be prepared for early rising and a full weekend!  I loved it all :>) Patricia Saunders

What a fantastic event! The Beachside Nonfiction Retreat brought together an all-star cast of editors and experts, in a great location and with a supportive spirit of learning and encouragement. It was fascinating to learn the stories behind the creation of exemplary books in the field—and so helpful to learn about aspects of craft for initiating and revising nonfiction projects.  — Elizabeth Shreeve

I learned so much about the current state of the children’s nonfiction (particularly picture book) market! This combo of workshops and editor presentations embraced writers at all stages of their journey, but I especially appreciated the chance to talk shop with other published/publishing authors….Cheers, Sylvia

I highly recommend Edit and Get It’s Beachside Nonfiction Retreat with Candace Fleming & Jennifer Swanson. What a treat to attend incredible programs by Candy and Jenn and learn from the best names in our industry! If you love writing non-fiction, it’s a rare treat to find a conference dedicated exclusively to that genre. The retreat included a variety of programs presented by highly regarded editors in the industry–with a special appearance from the legendary Neal Porter, now with Holiday House. The talent at the program was top-notch and the beachside setting and fabulous hotel did not disappoint. Allyson Levitt did a great job coordinating the conference and thought of every detail to make our stay comfortable.    —–Eileen Meyer, conference attendee

The Edit and Get It Nonfiction retreat was the highlight of my year! This retreat provided advanced workshops designed to help experienced authors improve their craft. It was truly a next-level experience! As a published author, I am always looking for workshops that focus on craft and improving my skills. This retreat delivered!  If you are looking to advance your career, develop your craft, and connect with fellow writers – THIS is the retreat for you! I will be back.Thank you Jennifer and Allyson! — Stephanie Bearce

Held at a gorgeous beachside resort in the picturesque town of Atlantic Beach, the Nonfiction Retreat was everything I dreamed it would be. The editors on faculty provided terrific insights into, and the behind-the-scenes of, the publishing world.  –Teresa Robeson