For more than 20 years, Kindling Words has been the leading professional retreat for the children’s book world. Published authors and illustrators and editors hone the tools of their craft, engage in deep conversation with colleagues and fill the creative well with fresh ideas.

“I love KW so much—I love learning from, and just hanging out with and bonding with esteemed authors, illustrators, and fellow editors. It is so liberating to attend a conference like that and be there to learn, rather than teach and be pitched to.”
- Alvina Ling, Executive Editorial Director, Little Brown

Kindling Words meets twice a year

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KW-East is held in Vermont over a long winter weekend at The Essex, an exclusive culinary resort and spa.

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“If I only do one thing each year that is solely for my professional self, it is attending Kindling Words.”
- Gregory Maguire, Author, Wicked, Leaping Beauty, Egg & Spoon

“My first year at KW (’93 or ’94)…I met, for the first time, other people who did what I did, who sat alone in their offices dreaming up stories for children. On the day I arrived, I didn’t know any of them, but after three days of talking, talking, talking, at the dining tables, around the bookshelves, in front of the bonfire, I knew I’d made friends for life. And, maybe more importantly, I knew I had colleagues, people who understood what it meant to write for children. Kindling Words is, for me, the light in winter during which I define my hopes for the new year.”
- Ellen Wittlinger, Author, Hard Love, This Means War

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KW-West gathers for a full week in the spring, long enough to accomplish wonders, with silent working hours from 10-5 daily.

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“KW West is a nurturing and magical week for delving deeply into your work, in the best of company. With fabulous food, too!”
Nancy Werlin, Author

“Some of my favorite memories from Kindling Words are the meals—not because the food was so good (although it was), but because I, the writer-introvert, felt so comfortable to sit myself down at any table, with anyone… something I always craved but rarely got at larger conferences. I felt welcome…connected to a community of other writers, and by extension, more deeply to myself…sounds grandiose, what can I say? It was a grand experience!”
- Chris Tebbetts, Author, Stranded series with Jeff Probst; Middle School series with James Patterson

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