This past weekend I attended the Pacific Coast Children’s Writing Workshop for the second year. It takes place right here in Santa Cruz County, down at Pajaro Dunes. A wonderful editor, Regina Griffin from Egmont USA and equally amazing agent Fiona Kenshole from the Transatlantic Agency were the faculty and gave manuscript critiques. Two things are unique about this workshop, besides the incredible location. Writers have the option of having their whole novel critiqued by one of the faculty. And teen writers also take part in the workshop. They ranged from ages thirteen to seventeen and were already impressive writers. Recently published author Annemarie O’Brien gave a presentation and brought copies of her book, Lara’s Gift.
During breaks and even looking out the ocean-facing window during the workshop, participants were treated to an unusual display of marine life. Pelicans, gulls, terns and shearwaters dove and floated on the water while humpback whales spouted and fed, dolphins swam in and out of the waves, and gangs of sea lions leaped and dove. The occasional otter floated by on its back ignoring the anchovy feeding frenzy of the others.
Thanks to Nancy Sondel who organizes this workshop for children’s authors every year (this was the eleventh).