OCCBWW Evaluations from Summer 2003 through Summer 2016
(The people below have given consent for you to contact them if you seek more information or feedback about the course.)
Click buttons below to check out our companion websites:
“Totally brilliant. The course surpassed my expectations. Inspiring, encouraging, amazing, interesting, friendly, happy, delightful — so many tools to improve the craft and this adventure I have embarked on.”
“This course keeps getting better and better. This workshop blew all my expectations away! Even my dream scenario for a children’s writing workshop did not come close to what this workshop delivered. An absolute must if you’re even just thinking about writing for kids. It’s amazing we get so much one-on-one time. I especially like the 8am-9am time. Gives you time to revise and meet the next morning.”
“The course met my expectations and then went beyond. I didn’t expect so much individual attention. It was invaluable. What a brilliant collection of instructors. Although they worked in different ways, I found useful information from all of them.”
“Excellent. The variety of perspectives and lectures supported my writing in ways I didn’t know I needed! Each instructor gave valuable insights and excellent feedback — answered the questions I had. It was OUTSTANDING!”
“A Master’s course, in a matter of 5 days. Learned a lot. Loved it!”
“A++. Very informative & enjoyable. The course gave more than I expected. Each and every instructor taught me something valuable. I think I will be a better writer for having attended.”
“Unique, stimulating, very informative, head spinning, hopeful now, comments kind but helpful. It was well beyond my expectations in a very positive, helpful, and technical way. Handouts invaluable.”
“The course exceeded my expectations. I learned so much from the critiques of others’ first pages. My stories have already improved from the informative lectures and clear feedback during the one-on-one sessions.,The instructors were Fabulous! Wonderful! They gave clear, powerful lectures. They covered a wide range of topics. They gave feedback and support. They were smart, funny, open, available.”
“The course was excellent. I appreciated the high caliber of the speakers. I also appreciated how thoughtful and kind they were.”
“This has been an extremely valuable experience... I’ve learned a great deal and I’ve also been exposed to facts about business I’ve never considered before.”
“This course is WONDERFUL! The instructors are knowledgeable, positive, approachable, smart & warm. The location is inspiring... The course met and exceeded my expectations.”
“It was great, surprising, revealing and forced the aspiring author to really dig deep and go places that maybe weren’t expected.”
“The first-page critiques are supremely valuable. The one-on-one time with authors plus agents/editors is an incredible advantage to this course. I’d consider attending again for this alone. I leave this workshop energized and excited to keep writing. Again, I cannot overstate the value of meeting one-one-on with authors agents, and editors.”
“This year was the best ever! I have been here several times. They have all been great. But they shot the moon this year!”
“This course is extremely valuable to anyone regardless of where they are in their writing journey. The course greatly exceeded my expectations. I loved the opportunity to meet amazing instructors. Their availability and realistic encouragement was beyond my expectation.”
“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was delighted by the entire course.”
“Excellent staff and the first page comments showed the vast spectrum of knowledge and experience. The beachside was incredible!”
“I keep coming back. You must be doing something right.Year to year my personal expectations change and have always been met. There is a good balance between encouragement and practical, realistic critique.There is something here for everyone. The course works for new writers taking that enormous first step, but it also works for those working to get published.”
“So well done and very well organized. The time was used efficiently. Learned so much. Exceeded expectations. The first page critiques were so helpful! The content of the lectures was excellent.”
“This was a wonderful opportunity. I appreciated the diversity of instructors/instructor viewpoints, opinions and learned an enormous amount. My expectations were met (and they were high!). An impressive and generous group of instructors. They all provided insightful comments /commentary. The first page critiques provided excellent and often unexpected learning opportunities.”
“I have never attended this kind of workshop before. I didn’t know what to expect — It was so good. The speakers were spot on. There was a natural synergistic flow of energy between the instructors. You got the feeling they liked and respected each other. They had a ‘what can I do help’ attitude.”
“I attended last year and knew I wanted to come back because I had learned so much. It was, once again, a wonderful experience. I learned even more about the many aspects of children’s literature. OCCBWW is a wonderful opportunity to learn so many aspects of writing... The instructors are marvelous, helpful, and very objective in their one-on-one meetings with you.”
Lynette Vargyas Buchser
“Wow! Great combination of information, inspiration, and feeling warm and safe in the company of writers. The course was all I hoped it would be. The instructors were extraordinary. They made a great team in their responses to the First Pages. What a great idea to have them all participating in the feedback.”
“I liked that the course gave unprecedented access to the presenters/editors/agents. The multiple opportunities for feedback were invaluable as were the out-of-class consultations. I am very pleased with the workshop. All of the presenters were very knowledgeable, personable, and gave clear, well-organized presentations. They were approachable and gracious.”
“I was impressed with how generous the instructors were with their time. Very helpful feedback.”
“Exceeded my expectations! The instructors were great — smart, helpful, generous. They knew their stuff.”
“I loved it. The course was wonderful. The instructors were well-informed, and generous about sharing information. I thought the location was wonderful.”
“Excellent. Very helpful. Very, very helpful. I loved the variety and depth of expertise in the instructors and the individual consults. Such a positive learning environment! It’s rare to have such critical but still supportive feedback. Really a great experience in a beautiful place.”
“It looked like an amazing course when I went to your website. In actuality it far surpassed expectations. Staff gave 150% with enthusiasm and interest. I loved the experience.”
“A+. This course has gone beyond any expectations that I might have had.”
“This course completely changed my view of how to write a children’s book. It was a real eye-opener! Although this may sound corny, it was a life changing experience.”
“This is truly the best workshop I have ever attended... This year was even better than before. I had a great aha! and am so excited to work at my new ideas for writing.”
“This was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. It was worth every penny.”
“The class exceeded my expectations. The quality and quantity of information was remarkable: Comprehensive, nitty gritty, reality-based while also encouraging. Exceptional instructors: generous, unpretentious, full of professional expertise. No instructor / student wall of intimidation. Warm and gracious, organized, the course cultivated a climate of friendliness and sharing among all participants.”
“Loved it. It was fun and informative. It surpassed my expectations.”
“It was wonderful. This was my second workshop... and it didn’t disappoint me... It exceeded my expectations.”
“My thoughts were that this course would revitalize my writing. It had been 6+ years since I last wrote a story. IT DID. I had a great time and felt that I have improved as a children’s writer... The mix of authors and editors and agents was fantastic.”
“Well worth the money — big bang for the buck. [The course] met my expectations and beyond.”
“Excellent balance and timing. I hoped to be given ideas to improve my writing. I was delighted with the suggestions.”
“It is the best in the Northwest, no in the U.S., no probably in the world. No rough edges. The staff gave gentle suggestions. Outside the class setting the faculty was open, warm, and on an equal human footing. The participants all connected. Although they were at so many levels, there was a healthy support and not a competition.”
“I really enjoyed this course from start to finish. I got a lot of inspiration for the future and solid skills to improve my writing. I thought there was a nice balance of lecture and then time with instructors and free writing time... The instructors were absolutely fabulous.”
“This course continues to exceed my expectations, even after five years... I learn something of extreme value every year. This year’s particular staff was excellent. Every person I met with provided excellent, thought provoking feedback... The location is spectacular.”
“A great week!”
“Exceptional. The course went above and beyond my expectations.”
“Great course! Well organized and structured. I loved that the schedule ran on time. The course exceeded my expectations.
“Loved it! First page critiques were super helpful — loved hearing the different points of view from everyone. Helped to develop my own internal editing voice. The location was better than I imagined!”
“Agree with pitch that the amount of 1-on-1 is what differentiates this course from others. Thumbs up!”
“The best workshop I have ever attended regardless of genre.”
“Informative! There were quality speakers. Time was managed well and everyone was friendly. I had a great time... The course met all of my expectations. The location is perfect.”
“Excellent, engaging, dynamic. Very nice pace — my head went from open to entranced to hair blown back many times this week. What a wealth of information and feedback. I was thrilled at the quality and depth of information presented. Loved the daily consults — 20 minutes!! Priceless.”
“I liked the balance of the talks and the writing time. This allowed me to take things in and reflect upon them... The instructors were great and insightful. I enjoyed my time with them... The town is magical. It was perfect... I highly recommend this course.”
“Excellent. Quite useful. Worth the cost. Met my expectations 100%. The instructors were all very helpful in working with me at any step in the writing process... Wonderful setting!”
“The course met my expectations. I loved the flexibility and writing time... All the faculty were very accessible and very helpful. I got great advice.”
“I really enjoyed the lectures. I learned something new in every one. Not only did they make me a better writer, they made me a better reader... The instructors are very knowledgeable and did an excellent job sharing their expertise with the students. They were all quite accessible and excited to help students.
“I know that this workshop is getting me closer and closer to my goals.”
“I’m very impressed and so glad I came. The class and instructors were very informative and helpful. I really enjoyed the one-on-one time and the real comments. The course fully met my expectations. I very much enjoyed how different all the instructors were and feel they all really brought something to the table.”
“Terrific! What a delightful immersion into the craft of writing. I learned so much. The setting was glorious and absolutely perfect — a photographer’s paradise.”
“It was great. I liked everything about it. The talks were helpful, the instructor consults gave me perspective on my writing and showed me ways to improve, the first page critiques provided endless writing tips, and I loved the chance to meet other writers. I like the quick quotes David read. I have never felt so at home at a conference!”
“This course has been like skiing for a week. I started out on the bunny hill, and now feel confident to tackle the intermediate blue diamond slopes. I’ve a looong way to go before I tackle a black diamond, but at least I know what I need to work on. I learned so much. The instructors were incredibly helpful in reviewing students’ work.”
“I have been to other workshops on other subjects but I have never attended a workshop that was so meaningful and value added. After the workshop finished, I dreamt about it for the next 4 days. The workshop defined my work and how to proceed in the future.”
“The workshop was perfect! It exceeded my expectations! There was something for everyone. I appreciated that the lectures had a wide scope, covering writing style and structure as well as publishing and marketing. The instructors were both insightful and incisive, and I had the sense that we were all working as a team to create something wonderful.”
“Great course! Super talks and I love the time with faculty, and the sense of community.”
“The course was wonderful. I learned so much and aspire to put my new information to work. It surpassed my expectations.”
“Exceeded my highest expectations... This course was excellent. The content was enormous in a good way. Organization, execution, presentation, follow-through — fantastic... The instructors were all extraordinary — their expertise, their command of their own positions and skills, their kindness and patience, their ease, and, above all, their generosity, not only of their time, but also of their knowledge! The location and facility were perfect!”
“Very positive, unique, and helpful.”
“It was a great week! Perfect blend of fun, work, listening, writing, laughing. I felt challenged, inspired and only slightly terrified! Instructors were great — casual, friendly and knowledgeable. Snacks were great!”
“It’s outstanding with a variety of practical and inspiring information. Content of workshops was immensely helpful. Exceeded expectations!!!”
“The course was strong and personal. I appreciated the efforts by the staff to help you... All instructors were strong and well prepared.”
“Met my expectations and beyond! Too many strengths to list!! The location of the cute, quaint town is fabulous, gets the writing juices flowing!”
Marcia Sielski O’Grady
“The course was great. I learned a tremendous amount and it has helped to focus my writing. It exceeded my expectations. I have been to other writer’s conferences, but never had as much contact with instructors one on one. That really was helpful.”
“It was excellent. I loved how the focus was on learning and not schmoozing/selling to an editor/agent. I really came here to learn and found great teachers. All of the instructors were wonderful — really. This by far was the most helpful class on writing I have ever been to.”
“This has been a wonderful week of learning how to make my writing better. The amount of individual contact time with instructors was much more than I expected.! It exceeded my expectations in every way!”
“I have been to SCBWI conferences. Certainly worthwhile, but very large and little or any 1-on-1 time. To have the opportunity to meet 1-on-1 with published writers, editors and an agent was amazing. It inspired me to write more than I would have thought possible in such a short period of time... not much sleep, but feelings of accomplishment!! I was blown away by the experience.”
“Fantastic — very personal — very inspiring! It exceeded my expectations especially in the area of accessibility to faculty. It was a very nurturing, caring environment. It encouraged growth and taking risks in a safe structure.”
“This has been a ‘mountaintop week’ for me. I feel that it has transformed my writing life. The course exceeded my expectations. Top notch staff. I received so much valuable information about both writing and publishing... Thank you for the staff you brought together. The contagious energy and passion for the craft of writing touched me. The top notch and professional presentations and critiques informed and inspired me. I will long remember my week in Oregon.”
“The course is philosophically and operationally on target. It met my expectations extremely well — Community forms very quickly under Greenberg Family leadership. It’s a world class course.”
“My intention for this workshop was to become more informed about the inner workings of the children’s book publishing process in the U.S. The program has fully met that... and BEYOND! I felt I had done my homework’ in knowing the line-up of faculty. That being said, the number of presentations from all was truly impressive both in quantity and quality. AWESOME. The format of presentations that all attendees receive all the speakers (without having to choose one, miss others) is very successful. Further, the direct access and very personable atmosphere of dialogue amongst faculty and writers is very effective and much appreciated.”
“I have been delightfully overwhelmed!! I was thrilled to be educated, encouraged, and inspired! Everyone was so kind, experienced, helpful. A great variety! I just loved the realness, kindness, sincerity, friendliness, happiness, loveliness, specialness. Thank you so much!”
“The course exceeded my expectations even though last year was great.”
“I truly enjoyed my time here, but more importantly I learned a great deal and I was very encouraged to continue writing. It also helped me discover my audience. The course exceeded my expectations. The instructors did an amazing job of giving lectures that complemented each other’s. They also kept my attention and inspired me greatly. Overall, I loved the atmosphere and the community that the workshop inspired and it’s casual, professional feel. Thank you so much for everything. I had an amazing time.”
“I have been delighted with it! Wonderful location — great talks — fabulous staff! The face time with the instructors was priceless. I was so amazed by their willingness to meet and work with so many people. Thank you so much for this wonderful week.”
“It was so fabulous and on track that I want it to continue. This is my first workshop, so didn’t know what to expect. But, it has set the bar for every future event. The bar is high. Every instructor’s vision, voice, and perspective was a gift.”
“A+. It exceeded my expectations.”
“Excellent. It exceeded my expecations. Amazing opportunity for feedback and revisions. The latest market knowledge.”
“This is excellent. I hope you know how special this time is for me. I will call on it all year as a source of proof that I am a real writer. This course is my blessing. NEVER stop! Too many strengths to write.”
“Overwhelming. Like drinking from a fire hydrant.”
“The consultations especially exceeded my expectations — all of them were useful. That’s never happened before at a conference/workshop. I appreciated the seriousness and professionalism of the instructors and the effort they brought to the consultations and their presentations. I was impressed by the caliber of the instructors.”
“I thoroughly appreciated the small group feel, even with almost 50 people. So many amazingly talented instructors... made it much less intimidating. The workshop absolutely met and exceeded expectations.”
“I really appreciated the sense of camaraderie and support without one-upmanship or competition. People were kind, generous and hard working.”
“Very helpful, well organized and authoritative but human... I was encouraged in my writing by your honest yet kind appraisals!”
“Excellent. Lovely people, great chemistry among all, excellent teaching. Lots of fun.”
“The course was exciting, motivating, maddening, encouraging, exhausting, and fun!”
“I thought the caliber of the presenters and the one-on-one consults was exceptional. I felt well supported and hopeful! The workshop surpassed my expectations.”
“The course met and exceeded my expectations. A wonderful experience and week. The curriculum was excellent.” Anne Favoloro
“The course lays the foundation to be a writer and builds the skills necessary to grow... This year the instructors were wonderful — accessible, positive, knowledgeable... Oceanside is like heaven.”
“This course was a very positive experience. To get honest feedback from so many people on my work was invaluable. From the experience and imagination to the instructors I was able to make my writing much, much better.”
“I gleaned more information and I ever expected.”
Annie Laurie Glasco
“I enjoyed it thoroughly. I think it was well organized and well paced, with an effective balance of presentation, discussion, and consultation. I felt like it served its purpose — or perhaps my purpose — which means, in general, it was perfect. The setting was ideal.”
“This is my fourth year in a row. Every year is a new learning experience. Every year I end with a submittable manuscript! I don’t know if this is usual for others, but it is certainly beyond my expectations. The biggest value of the course is the amazing availability of the instructors. The 8AM-9 AM sessions are easily the most valuable time for me. You can concentrate on one instructor’s help and make major progress on your manuscript... Great value for the money.”
“Absolutely eye-opening. It allowed me to go deeper into all of the lessons I have learned over 17 years of conferences. I got more feedback in this week than in all the conferences and workshops I have attended since I started seriously writing in 1995.”
“It was enthralling. I came here knowing nothing about the children’s book world. I feel more knowledgeable, encouraged, and among compadres. The course exceeded my expectations. The week flew by and I felt fascinated and fulfilled after each lecture. Real, practical knowledge. Inspiring.”
“Superb! Complete! I now have hope! I loved Margriet Ruurs. She opened so many doors for me!”
“Excellent resource for blossoming and fluent writers and extremely helpful as a teaching refresher. Thank you!”
“I didn’t know what to expect, but enjoyed every moment.”
“David and Susan, thank you for the beautiful evening in your home. It was memorable.”
“I really liked meeting with someone everyday. A lot of expertise was shared.”
“Very informative class. Well worth taking. I learned more than at many other workshops.”
“Outstanding beyond words! The instructors are all very caring and positive — they offer constructive criticism at its finest. They are honest, but always offer hope.”
“The course was very valuable in providing the needed insight for the current trends in children’s publications. It was outstanding to receive such insight from many perspectives and to become acquainted with other writers who were on the same pursuit as myself. This course exceeded my expectations. All of the instructors were able to shine in the areas of their expertise with candor and a human touch. The location is stunning. The price is a bargain!”
“Excellent format, a nice mixture of instructor presentations, one-on-one consults, first page critiques, and individual writing time. The course surpassed my expectations! I feel this course had something for everyone. There were a variety of genres and experience represented, and I think you did a good job of offering a wide range of information... David Greenberg is a delightful person! I thoroughly enjoyed his presentations, sense of humor, but most of all his passion for the craft and the people who write it. He went out of his way to be accessible to anyone who wanted to talk with him, even offering to follow up via email.” Kathie McMahon
“Intense... lots of information... helpful... encouraging... good variety... creative.”
“Excellent... I was especially impressed with the advanced material we received. There are suggestions I will continue to try, exercises I’ll do, and books I’ll read... The instructors were all approachable. They offered specific things I should do to make my pieces more effective.”
“Interestingly I don’t consider it a course! Course implies everyone being on the same journey and arriving at the same destination. The OCCBWW allowed me to learn and use as much as I wanted to the degree that I wanted. It was superb. I’m already planning a return visit. Thank you! I’m a better writer than I was last week. I’m not sure you could ask for more than that.”
“It has been a profoundly rich week! An adventure ripe with information and examples that at times evoked emotional as well as intellectual responses. Sometimes treacherous territory but the flow of the week and sometimes my own swimming for my life, brought me to better shores with my writing...
This course is life-enhancing in ways I see now and in ways I am certain to discover over time! The daily schedule was a perfect pace! The variety of independent/group activities in this conference was very well balanced. I wouldn’t mess with the schedule at all.”
“Excellent format; well-chosen faculty; informal atmosphere conducive to discussion; open contact times; well done! I received personal feedback on four different pieces of writing.”
“I really enjoyed the course. The structure provided enough diversity that I never got bored with or tired with an activity. The presentations were the right length. It never felt I was continually bombarded with information... I came away feeling that I really can write and write well. It was a great validation of what I’m trying to do.”
“Thanks so much for a bountiful meal and the most beautiful view ever. My experience in Oceanside has been enhanced by the graciousness of your family, your faculty, and the wonderful community of writers and leaders. God is smiling on this workshop and this creative group of storytellers.
Your efforts will provide ripple on top of ripple in our lives, and the lives of those we touch ad infinitum. Blessings.”
“The course far exceeded my expectations... It was a lot of fun and very informative.”
“I loved the first page reviews — a wealth of writing do’s/don’ts emerged and I enjoyed seeing what other attendees are writing. In class consults were very helpful. The setting was wonderful.”
“Excellent, entertaining, interesting, very informative, very helpful. Thank you! Very strong instructors who know their craft and present it very well. Great location!”
“Amazingly wonderful. Everyone & everything has been wonderful... Loved, loved, loved it!.. Instructors were great — helpful — available. Extra evening sessions were a bonus! The Greenberg’s hospitality was most gracious.”
“I thought the course was extremely valuable to anyone embarking on a career in writing children’s books.”
“It was awesome. A+. It exceeded my expectations. I wasn’t expecting to have the opportunity to meet one on one with so many of the Faculty.”
“The course was extremely helpful. It went beyond my expectations.”
“Intense, high expectations mean we rise to the challenge. David and Susan’s hospitality sustains me in my deepest blahs, in the loneliness of not having had a critique group. I’m sure others feel such sustenance as well.”
“This is my third year. It seems no matter how often I come I am flooded by new connections and revelations. This course continues to exceed my expectations. The low instructor/student ratio means there is ample opportunity for consultation and more if you take advantage of the unscheduled morning time. Awesome setting, caring, committed instructors.”
“How well did the course meet your expectations? ‘Surpassed’.”
“Higher quality presentations than most conferences.”
“Wonderful, excellent instructors, topics, presentations. I was very interested in specific re. voice and for the most part I wasn’t disappointed.”
“Outstanding! Very different from any other conference I’ve attended and incredibly personal. I loved having the instructors here all the time! It exceeded my greatest expectations!! I was beyond impressed with how approachable, caring, and encouraging all the instructors were. I also appreciated constructive criticism at its finest.”
“The course exceeded my expectations. I really enjoyed the experience. At moments I felt inspired, terrified, excited. A lot of windows feel open in my mind.”
“I didn’t know what to expect, but I’m so happy I came and am graeful for the experience.”
“Wonderful — a lot of useful information. Exceeded my expectations. I appreciate the honesty of all the instructors. Each has been an enormous help.”
“I loved this course. It exceeded my expectations. I didn’t realize we would have so much individual help available with quality authors. I loved the encouragement, honesty, and expertise of the instructors.”
“I loved the whole experience! It was the first time I have ever done anything like this and it opened up numerous doors of opportunity and understanding for me... The instructors were outstanding... I expected to be challenged, enlightened and involved. I didn’t expect to be entertained and delighted! I didn’t expect to be touched and socially involved with so many interesting people! I didn’t expect to learn so much... ”
“Collecting literary giants under one roof... What a concept. How can there be enough room? There was so much to ponder and consider and like after the Thanksgiving feast, one must sit, rest, and digest. The presentations were illuminating. The feedback was genuine and compelling.”
“Fabulous and engaging and so very prepared... The critiques were so interesting to see unfold.”
“It was fun, educational, and, most importantly, very supportive.”
“David & Susan are excellent hosts, arrangers, and caring pleasant people. This flavors the whole experience. Instructors were excellent, knew their stuff, and sympathetic to writer’s efforts and gave positive criticism... You get a great value!”
“Excellent! Far exceeded expectations! Each instructor was personable, caring and their critiques were honest, thorough, and most helpful — given with utmost respect and consideration.”
“How did the course meet your expectations? ‘Hugely well’... The range of expertise from your speakers was incredibly useful. Whether it was my genre or not, I was able to learn from each topic.”
“The course was enjoyable and quite strong. The presentations by instructors were sharp, but what was most valuable were the one-on-one critiques. They helped me realize what my picture books needed. And the location is spectacular.”
“Very useful. It was helpful to have so many consults from different opinions. That way I could weed out the subjective opinions and get to what could really be improved in my ms (by noting the feedback I heard more than once)... Instructors... were so consistently kind and generous with their time and expertise..”
“Excellent course for those wishing to learn more about writing, the writing process, or how to publish. Excellent instructors throughout.”
“Gained lots of ah hah moments, ideas that I did not expect to have.”
“Excellent and very much worthwhile. It exceeded my expectations. I feel that I now have a concrete map with which to make necessary changes.”
“Overall thought the course was excellent. Interesting, talented faculty. Good combination of topics. Nice way to break up the day with individual consults, writing time, one-page critiques... I appreciated the broad perspective. Loved the casual, friendly atmosphere.”
“Inspiring, informative, very full days. I loved the variety of activities.”
“Found something useful from each instructor. Each one had something wonderful to offer. The editors were very approachable and supportive... Perfect place!”
“Excellent!!! Very satisfying. Instructors cared about the students. Wonderful location.”
“#5 was my best workshop experience — ever! It just gets better every year. I always learn something new and unexpected. I love the fellowship at this workshop and the two dinners. I can’t think of anything to improve this workshop.”
“I judge the workshop to be the best I’ve attended. I do attend SCBWI workshops, but this one outshines them.
[How well did this course meet your expectations?] Spot on.
While the liberal one-to-one consultations are great, I particularly like the first page critiques. I learn more from the critiques than whole books... The optional evening presentations are a nice feature. The location is superb.”
“So valuable and delightful. Exceeded my expectations, which were high. The balance and pacing of activities is perfect. The time for writing and consultations is such a gift.
[The curriculum] is pretty close to perfection. That’s coming from a picky person.
[Instructors]: Dynamite, insightful, perceptive first-page evaluations, respectfully, gently offered. Thank you, David, for attracting this stratospheric level of excellence for us. I recommend [this course] with gusto.”
“I felt the presentations were stellar.”
“Wow! It exceeded my expectations, which were fairly high already. It had all the good parts of a SCBWI conference — authors discussing their books, first pages, opportunities to mingle with other writers, editors, agents, and illustrators. But all of these were better at OCCBWW. And then there were the fabulous critiques and one-on-one feedback tailored to your needs and desires.”
“This workshop is amazing. I am so sad that it is ending today (Friday). I learned so much about writing and how I need to change my own writing; as well as how to evaluate my own writing.
The course completely exceeded my expectations. I did not anticipate how much I would love it.”
“I loved it. It was a mixture of learning and being able to write. The speakers were amazing.
It went over and beyond my expectations. The closeness of the class and the beauty of the location was a perfect match.
The course really touched on all the categories for children’s book writing and left time for writing. The instructors were all very helpful and personable, and David made it stress-free and comfortable.”
“Exceptional. 20 on a scale of 1 — 10, 10 being the highest.”
“Outstanding presentations. Material presented was very helpful. Faculty were accessible, friendly, helpful, many going out of their way to make contacts with attendees. Strengths: careful mix of input, breaks, first page critiques, [writing] exercises, chances to write and rewrite, in-depth discussions about writing issues and what will strengthen the story. [No weaknesses listed]
Location is lovely. Its relative remoteness is, in my opinion, valuable for keeping the focus on writing and away from distractions. It’s pricy but there is good value.”
“Excellent. Very professional. Chock-full of useful, meaningful material. Surprisingly interactive. Stretched my creativity. Opened my thinking. Kept me up way too late revising. Location kept my sanity and cleared the confused mind sending me on with a new inspiration.
[How well did the course meet your expectations?] Delightfully exceeded.
Excellent diversity in instructors. Course was structured so even first-timers didn’t get lost along the way.
I really liked the small, personal feeling of this workshop. The social opportunities helped to bring people together and allowed it to be ‘okay’ to put your writing out there — very scary for some of us new to the process. LOVED the first pages [critique] process — outstanding opportunity to see others writing and an amazing look inside how professional writers, agents, editors work!
One more comment on instructors — I think their long day (and evenings) — their willingness to seriously consider our work — their honesty — kindness and excellent professional advice — was exemplary! Thanks to them all.”
“AMAZING! Fantastic opportunity with diverse opportunities to learn, write, consult, rewrite — repeat! It has a very relaxed feel and atmosphere which I really appreciated. LOVED getting to work with editors/agents as a part of our consultations.”
“You and Susan are supremely well organized. That was hugely important to me. I appreciate the communications you had with the participants before the workshop. You were warm and helpful. I’m amazed how well you work with diverse personalities, ages, and levels of expertise.”
“I thought the course highly valuable. I learned so much that it’s hard to know where to begin. I would and will recommend it to anyone who wants to be a writer.
It exceeded all my expectations. I hadn’t expected such a dedicated, patient, and personable faculty. I hadn’t expected the professionalism shown by all, at least not to the amazing degree I experienced.”
“The class was a helpful, eye-opening experience. I had no idea how to self-edit, but after listening to so many 1st page critiques, I learned how to edit my own work.
The instructors offered specific advice for my piece making it an engaging piece completely different from what I began with. They know how to build character, setting, plot.”
“Great course; very informative. Didn’t know what to expect (1st writing event) but I was very impressed. Strengths: lectures with relevant content, first page critiques, individual consults on a daily basis. No real weaknesses to speak of. All instructors were excellent.”
“Very effective — I especially liked the opportunity to do consults, view first pages, and work on my writing.
This course more than met my expectations. I have never spent an hour one-on-one with an editor from a major publishing house before this class.
Love the mix of editors, authors, and agents.”
“[What is your opinion or evaluation of the course] Best in 5-6 years.
[How well did the course meet your expectations?] Right on!”
“Great. It just gets better each year. The instructors were great — kind and helpful — as a group — better than ever before. People were so positive and didn’t dash one’s hopes and dreams.”
“Wonderful! The student to teacher ratio provides lots of one-on-one opportunities with editors, agents, writers — amazing! Strengths: David’s personal energy and support, the design of the course (very interactive, broad interest interaction with editors/agents!
This course helped me solve a problem about how to start my novel that I’ve been wrestling with for years. Amazing laser-focus critiques were insightful/pragmatic and inspired.”
“I give it a ‘1’ — yes ‘1’ being the highest! I like the small group feeling and the lack of outrageous competition. Of course, David G is a wonderful host and Susan’s organization has tightened the experience.
Once I trudged through my emotional garbage, I was able to benefit from the workshop. Plus I was ‘maybe’ able to set a course for my own writing.
The faculty is wonderful — the snacks were sensational. The party in your [David & Susan Greenberg’s] home connected the class members. The cook was awesome.”
Dr. Cheryl Willis
“This has been an excellent course — one of the best I have attended. [How well did the course meet your expectations?] Exceeded it.
First page [critiques] are a unique way of approaching a manuscript — often if there is a problem in the writing is is at the beginning, so examining the first page is crucial. I also like the anonymity.”
“This is, for writers, a well-paced, balanced workshop. There is lots of feedback from instructors, but also ample time to write and to et to know other participants. The evening lectures and social gatherings offer an informal chance to schmooze.
The course more than met my expectations. I had some difficult questions and issues about the direction of three manuscripts and I’ve left with clarity about my next moves for each.”
“Excellent (as always). Less organized chaos each time I come. I can see Susan’s practiced touch smoothing out the wrinkles throughout the program. BRAVO!
A good mix of show and tell. I gained so much understanding of the how-to’s of researching a historical novel, how a book is put together, and a peek into the publishing world.”
“Excellent! I like the pacing — the instructors were all very approachable as well as — most important — pointed with their critiques.
[How well did the course meet your expectations?] Perfect.
Having access to so many professionals — editors, agents, writers — is a unique opportunity. I like the fact that the workshop runs five days so there’s time to learn, think, and then rewrite and still get feedback. So many workshops you go to, you do the rewrites, but have to wait for the next conference to get feedback. Meanwhile 6 months have passed.
Really enjoyed the week. It feels like it has given me the opportunity to improve my craft. Like the handouts.”
“Excellent. High quality instructors and well organized for the most part.
[How well did the course meet your expectations?] Very well.
Each instructor complemented each other and amplified each other. They respected each other’s differences. Location in Oceanside is wonderful.
The every day consults are exceptional!!!”
“This is the third time I have attended. I still feel this is the best experience I have had at a writer’s workshop.
[How well did the course meet your expectations?] It really hit on what I wanted to know about at this stage of my learning curve.
Editors were by far the best at helping me understand what editors look for.
Great location. One of the reasons I come back.
I love the extra meeting in the evening.”
“As I’ve attended now for two years and have managed to edit and rewirte my way to two manuscripts, that some very accomplished authors have told me mustbe published, I am very impressed with the workshop.
The format is excellent, but beyond the basic format, the 8-9 AM sessions are just not to be missed.
[How well did the course meet your expectations?] Beyond my wildest expectations. In two years I have become a goodwriter, from a complete novice.”
“Excellent. Really impressed with the intensity and expertise.
This is a beautiful and inspirational setting. It creates a backdrop that elicits from one’s imagination. Your presentations deepened the process. The consults helped refine the work. Perfect experience. Thank you!”
“Very helpful. Excellent staff & presentations.
[How well did this course meet your expectations?] This was exactly what I was hoping for and more. I picked up many fresh ideas for teaching my 4th graders as well as improving my writing. Thanks.”
“My eyes/senses have been opened to this new possibility in my life! I love the blend of author, poet, editor, agent, and especially the individual consults.
My only expectation in coming was to see if this might be a hobby I would want to pursue, and I found out it can be/should be soooo much more!
Each instructor was outstanding! They had compassion for the beginner and the right amount of nudging/critique for the rest. I felt they were all honest, a quality I grew to trust. I was amazed at their brilliance and passion for the art.
Loved the surprise treats!
It was very helpful to me as a beginner for David to remind us to expect ‘critical scrub brushes.”
“Excellent. I was pleased with the scope and with how all my questions seemed to get answered in the lectures and I didn’t need to ask anything.
“This course is exactly what I needed to move forward as a writer. This format (of the course) creates an environment that encourages self-reflection, generates ideas to expand my thinking and provides an incredible supportive ‘place to be’ for an entire week! The connection with instructors and fellow writers was essential in my choice to attend. I have not been disappointed. I will return!!!
The course surpassed my expectations. I have found a visceral comfort level as a writer, the ‘connections’ have filled my soul, affirmed me as a writer and helped me ‘relax’ into being who I am and telling my story. Thank you!
Strengths: Everyone approachable. Everyone listened — met me (and others) where we are nowand helped me/us move forward.
Strengths: Ongoing energy of instructors — I never sensed any hesitation from any instructors when I approached with questions. The mix of instructors was very good. I learned so much about my writing and business of writing.
Please do not change a thing — the location could not be more perfect — even with the misty days. I actually like the close quarters — feel cozy and intimate — encouraging conversation. Easier to connect with everyone and feel included (I’m here alone, but have not felt alone!)
I think the curriculum is the perfect mix.
I will forever be grateful for this, my first, immersion experience in writing. I loved that I had time to write, to apply what I heard immediately and, of course, to change it again the next day after being challenged with yet another way to look at my writing. Each day was fresh and refreshing. I cannot thank you enough.”
“Outstanding. I was so thrilled with the content of the course and the quality of the instructors... Instructors were supermen and superwomen... They were so generous with their time, energy, and passion. The course would be tough to improve. The outstanding feature of this course is the accessibility of the experts for immediate feedback on numerous manuscripts. Most conferences you are lucky to get feedback on one and it usually costs extra money. The willingness of the instructors to share of themselves is amazing. The quality of the presentations was stellar!!”
“I enjoyed spending five days immersed in a positive, inspiring, educational, and professional expertise arena of the publishing world. It enabled me to grow in my writing skills and my ability to be vulnerable and share my work easily and without fear... Having fifteen minutes designated to speak with instructors each day is really helpful and honoring.”
“It was fantastic! So much fun. So informative. Definitely exceeded my expectations! Molly’s ‘real world’ examples of what works were fantastic and useful. Honestly, I found all the presentations to be great. I appreciated the balance of encouragement and cold, hard truth.”
“I really enjoyed the workshop (But my head is about to explode with so much information.) It was all important for me to hear... It covered many of the things I am struggling with in my writing. It was good for me.”
“Great! By far the most helpful event I’ve ever attended. Met and exceeded my expectations. The instructors were fantastic — gave and gave of their time and expertise. Beautiful location... Want to really thank and compliment all the instructors for their magnanimity and approachability. They were easy to talk to and they seemed eager to help.”
“The strength was the well-rounded perspectives represented: publishers, agents, authors of all genres — I learned so much! Another strength: The critiques of 1st pages.”
Mary Ellen Anderson
“So helpful, informative, fun, interesting. Going home with a wealth of knowledge — full of ideas & what I need to do to write a spectacular piece... The workshop was more than I expected... I loved the range of topics. The instructors were so creative and eager to help, suggest, inform in a positive, constructive manner.”
“Excellent! It was a wonderful, worthwhile and inspiring course. All of the instructors were knowledgeable, prepared, friendly, and nurturing. All were approachable.”
“Excellent. I appreciated the availability of the instructors and their feedback/guidance/suggestions.”
“Beyond what I expected! I thought the course was organized very well — the outline of each day was easy to follow and broken up in such a way that it didn’t really feel as though were sitting... as long as we were... One definite strength of the course was the daily meeting with authors/editors. Had a blast!”
“I loved it! This course is very informative. I loved the size of the class and the fact that one could make personal connections with the authors and editors.”
“Very informative and full of realistic expectations from publishers and agents to keep us grounded. Authors kept us excited... Loved the atmosphere. There was support and caring from the instructors. Dinner at David’s great. I feel privileged to have been here and it will stay with me forever. Thank you for this opportunity.”
“Evaluation on a scale of 1-10 absolutely a 10 — or 15! or 20! The course was much more than I ever expected. It has been like a book — one that you wish for more when it says The End. The instructors were attentive, offered appropriate feedback, and managed their time well. I soaked in every word... The course opened a new world of writing to me. I have writing tools that I would never have found without their experience.”
“Strong course. Love the one-on-one consults and the intimacy of the instructors-students. I appreciated the direct feedback and clearly made suggestions. They helped us all improve regardless of where we are in our writing process... The first-page critiques were very useful. I was amazed to see how the writing improved just through this vehicle. Good teachers — quick learning!”
“This was a great week! The course more than met my expectations because of all the advice, help, variety... Love the first page critiques! All the speakers were helpful and interesting. Personal critique/writing time was valuable... This workshop was so much more powerful than I believed it could be. The speakers also became personal mentors and colleagues. It was an intense, busy week.”
“Thank you so much for a most amazing, frightening, fulfilling, powerful and empowering week. Every moment was ‘worth the time’ — the important talks by people who are successful, the critiques of 1st pages, the time to huddle with writers, editors, an agent, and each other. And time to write while the iron was hot. I loved how gracious and generous everyone was. Even when the writing was sub-par, nobody took unkind swipes, yet everyone was truthful and furthermore, helpful. I also loved the extras — the evening presentations, the potluck dinner the first night with family invited; and your kind dinner invitation to your lovely house with the gorgeous ocean view was the cherry on the top. Thank you for taking on the task of running such an affair.”
“There is an amazing amount to learn. I didn’t realize! Fantastic format. There wasn’t one presentation that wasn’t worth the allotted time and more... I came out of it with a publishable manuscript, I believe. Therefore I achieved more than I thought I would.”
“This continues to be the best writer’s conference in the United States! Personally, I find this setting and feedback to be a gift to my writing career... This course gives me what I need to know in order to reach my goals.”
“I have been to a great many conferences for children’s writing and this one has been by far the best. It is truly the perfect balance of informative lectures, critiques and writing time. It’s impossible not to get your creative juices going... This course exceeded my expectations. The instructors are very giving. Thanks so much for creating this amazing experience!”
“Excellent, focused, valuable! I really didn’t expect the one-on-one with instructors that we had. It was fabulous! I loved being able to show multiple pieces and get specific feedback.”
“This was wonderful!”
“I thoroughly enjoyed this week. I have learned so much. I’ve been inspired to write more than ever! Thank you!... I loved the consultations! This time was so valuable. The location was wonderful — charming — I like the Community Center. It was a bit crowded, but the cozy feeling had the benefit of good conversation.”
“I have loved it. It far exceeded my expectations. Got a lot out of it... Beyond, it has inspired me to keep going... Very clear and easy to follow presentations (all interesting). The instructors were very approachable.”
“I particularly liked first page critiques — extremely helpful to hear comments about many different types of writing not my own. In addition, the instructors were not only professional; they were courteous and kind in their critiques.”
“Enriching, fabulous, unique growing experience with WRITING. Totally worth it! It met all my expectations. I grew as a writer every single day, every single minute, during every presentation.”
Elsa Maria Crespo
“Loved the format, brilliant combination of lecture, critique & consultations... Loved the variety & the lectures based on experience rather than theory.”
“The course was an absolutely fantastic introduction to the industry and children’s writing. Everyone was accessible & helpful. Overall the course was great! I learned so much and really grew this week. Great Job! Excellent! The course met my expectations exceptionally well. All instructors were great. So helpful! Everyone had great suggestions & good information. The presentations were interesting and informative.”
“Fantabulous! I am clear to a finished manuscript — thank you all! Don’t mess with the course. It’s perfection.”
“Wonderful! Instructors clearly knew their subject matter and shared it with students as if we were equals. It would be hard to make the course better.”
“All instructors provided excellent feedback and teaching moments from the first-page critiques.”
Kristen Anne Hinton
“Intense, a bit intimidating, fabulous! Overall, the general outline & pacing of the course was just right. David set a great tone... The line-up was stellar. The tidbits and lectures — most helpful. The instructors — a treat!”
“Excellent — Lots of food for thought. Thank you for being warm and encouraging. The course exceeded expectations. I am very satisfied with the experience. Thanks!”
“Excellent! All instructors were very knowledgeable.”
“The course exceeded my expectations. As a beginning writer, I feel this course put me on the right (write!) track. I learned how to think as a writer should. I now feel equipped with the tools to approach my writing ideas. The course exceeded my expectations. The pacing was excellent. The presentations were thorough and informative. What a wonderful group of passionate and dedicated instructors! Thank you!”
“I enjoyed the course. I enjoyed the pace and variety of activities. The format: humor, lecture, work time/consultation was paced well with good variety. Perhaps the greatest benefit is the intimate size and format A strength is the variety of talents: poetry, picture books, non-fiction, historical fiction, etc.”
“As always, this workshop is exceptionally well done. Some of the little bumps from last year were smoothed out and the workshop flowed seamlessly from beginning to end. It clarified some of the mysteries of the publishing world and answered many of my questions about what an editor/agent does and does not do. I greatly appreciate the accessability and warmth of the various presenters. They critique (but gently) and show me how to improve my writing. I go home ready to write.”
“This course offers a terrific mix of opportunities for writers, from the presentations on craft to the discussions of genres and marketing possibilities to the individual consultations. The schedule is well-organized and I love the intensity and pace of the day with events (formal and informal), offered morning, afternoon, and night... LOVE the built-in writing time every day, to take an idea or exercise from a lecture and try it immediately. LOVE the opportunity for consultations with so many authors and editors — the variety of feedback and perspectives has been valuable... The Community Center has been a terrific place to meet — what could be better than the beach? I liked the tight quarters — it became a more intimate atmosphere with close access to the instructors... [I love] the mix of authors here — what an amazing group of people! They have been genuinely interested in our progress — I feel like they want to make room on the bookshelves to place my works next to theirs! That kind of response makes me want to write — and to be true to the stories in my heart!”
“I thought it was wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed it. You create such a sense of community. You should let prospects know that you get people from all over the world... It surpassed my expectations. I did not expect the sense of community between participants & faculty. The causal mixing was a real plus. I already knew a lot of basics, but I learned so many new things, or a new way to look at something. I liked all the guest speakers — a good way to stretch for more value. Thank you David. This experience is a memory I will treasure.”
“I was not expecting much — and have been blown away by the information, professionalism, and kindness of the instructors. The course was far above highest expectations! Full of useful facts & fun = ONE GREAT SEMINAR!”
“OCCBWW is the best conference/workshop I have attended in the past 18 years. The course was much better than I expected.”
“Absolutely fabulous. I’ve never seen another hands-on, one-on-one, week-long course of this kind.”
“A+ Outstanding. Exceededexpectations. A talented group of instructors eager to share their knowledge and inspiration. All the one-on-one attention was invaluable.”
“Fabulous. A new moon over a still ocean. The course surpassed my expectations. It was the cherry on top of the whipped cream.”
“More than surpassed my expectations... I really loved David’s presentation on how much the story changed for his book and the extra one on his novel.”
“The course exceeded my expectations. I only get 10 days vacation a year. I used 5 here and it still felt like a vacation... I appreciated all of the instructors lessons as well as their individual feedback on my work. Nobody stomped on my hope. Everybody was encouraging.”
“The course was far beyond my expectations. There was so much good information.”
Judith Nelson Curtis
“Instructionally, the course exceeded my expectations... The instructors were an extraordinary balance of perspectives. There was not a weak link amongst them... The first page comments were invaluable.”
“Excellent – presentations were very good; consults, both positive and negative, were ones I had to hear... All instructors are experts in their areas.”
“Over the course of five days, jewels of wisdom tumbled, rolled, and floated out. Beautiful! This was a wonderfully planned course. The sharing, conferencing and lectures were all helpful... The first page critiques were so helpful... Thank you so much for giving aspiring writers this opportunity!”
“You’ve done a really fantastic job with this conference. Thank you for all your enthusiasm and devotion to what is clearly a labor of love.”
“Interspersing Lecture/First Page Critiques/Writing Sharing/Consultations with instructors. This brilliant structure is eloquent – tells us you respect the students and believe in us. This course is Ace.”
“I was blown away by how focused each presenter was! The first page critiques were extremely insightful. Presenters were extremelyaccessible and knowledgeable! I thank you for this new, thrilling and supportive experience. Your generosity and loving manner is greatly appreciated.”
“The course was more than I expected. I was overwhelmed with the one-on-one evaluations and personal growth I experienced. It was amazing the way I can see my writing through such different eyes now... I thought the student-teacher ratio was great – better than I expected!”
“Excellent course in a beautiful setting. Very helpful for writers at various levels of the craft. The daily individual consults w/instructors – experienced writers, editors and an agent – helped me move forward on my current project with new vision... I especially appreciated the friendliness and openness of the instructors, and their willingness to give guidance on everything from writing to query letters to marketing... I think the broadness of the program was very helpful to me. I was able to consult with authors on three very different projects – one a picture book, one a YA novel, on a nonfiction book for teens.”
“This is my first writing workshop and it was a perfect beginning for me. I liked that there was a variety of points of view – the authors/speakers were individualistic in opinions – good... Every talk was valuable to me... The most helpful were the first page critiques. I learned a great deal listening to them and was able to write better, to find a first page and direction.”
“Molly was incredibly open to students and very generous of herself... She is the best. Ditto for Jill – These people were so encouraging and hopeful. How refreshing – We love them!”
“Instructors all very generous and knowledgeable – kind while being honest, providing practical, worthwhile information. Excellent critiques. A great line-up of people.”
“This whole week has been phenomenal for me. I have loved being here, near the ocean winds and the glorious offshore rocks, doing the thing I love most. I have learned something from every single instructor. They are all so different, but each had at least one gem that I took to heart. I’m so thankful for all of their time, wisdom, and heart.”
“It was a great jump start for me. I appreciate the intimate venue and the personal connections we made.”
“It was one of the best writer’s workshops I’ve ever taken. I found the individual consults so helpful and certainly worth the while. The first page critiques were great... ”
“I felt the student-teacher ratio was right on. I felt I had plenty of one-on-one time, and really appreciated the variety of input and opinion instructors gave... I also appreciated the balance between technical and conceptual advice and personal methodology, experience and emotion in the instructors’ presentations.”
“Wonderful, excellent! Very high quality instructors, workshops, consults. I especially appreciated the once-a-day consults with these quality instructors.”
“Loved it! Very likable instructors who appeared toreally care.”
“This is my third year here! Each year has been fresh and helpful. I feel that the course has helped me grow as a writer... David, it is obvious how much work you, Susan, and the instructors have put into this course. Not only that, but there is a sense of genuine concern that every student be made to feel they have grown as writers. This course not only instructs, but it nurtures every writer to grow. With sincere, and heartfelt appreciation!”
“Absolutely fabulous! All of my expectations were met – again! This year I started a brand new project for the course. I think the instructor’s critical eyes were particularly helpful during this phase... I met individually with each of the instructors. Every one was warm, open, and very helpful – so kind.”
“This is my third workshop here. I take away enough information each session to last me two years. I feel that my writing has grown enormously as a result of these workshops... Being able to talk with editors, agents, and published authors is a rare opportunity to understand the writing/publishing process. The one-on-one critiques are invaluable and enhance my ability to improve my writing.”
“Thank you for your patience and generosity. I felt challenged in a kind and very non-threatening way. Impressed with every speaker.”
“I loved this course – It made me understand I didn’t know much about writing and I left knowing with work I could definitely be a writer... This course answered questions and concerns I didn’t even know I had. It met my expectations and more... I would take the course again and recommend it.”
"The OCCBW Workshop exceeded my expectiations and then some. What a fabulous experience. I can't think of any changes I'd make to improve it. I'm still processing the information presented and am working to incorporate new ideas. You all blew fresh air and inspiration into my stories. The generosity and spirit of the instructors was obvious and appreciated. Thank you all!”
"This is the best workshop I have ever been to and as an elementary teacher I have been to lots. I learned so much and grew in so many areas in just a week. I am so jazzed to get to work on projects born out of ideas developed this week during the workshop... It exceeded my expectations. I learned there is so much to learn besides write, write, write. Inspires me to go on."
"I am wildly enthusiastic – torn between singing praises to my colleagues and keeping the whole wonderful secret to myself... I especially loved the consultations. That was the main reason I came and it is something truly unprecedented in my conference experience. I met with David Greenberg, Harold, Mel & Esther, and the wealth of what I got from all four was wonderful. A nice balance between encouragement and pushing me toward a more ambitious pursuit of excellence... The greatest compliment I can give is this: the work ethic of the faculty was amazing – that truly exceeded my expectations. Everyone was accessible, patient, and clearly dedicated to helping us produce our best work."
"The course exceeded my expectations, both in the quality of the experts and in the vast amount of usefulinformation... Since my first visit at the first workshop, it has improved a lot! More instructors! More one-on-one consults! The quality of students has also improved. Many serious, dedicated, excellent writers who both inspired and somewhat intimidated! Great!"
"This was the highest quality of workshop that I've experienced in the nine years I've been writing and attending workshops/conferences."
"This course rocks! All expectations were met and exceeded! The instructors were all extremely knowledgeable and available."
"A++. This was the best writing workshop that I have ever attended... Way more worthwhile than any SCBWI event. The opportunity to discuss my evolving manuscripts with eight different professionals over five days was a unique opportunity... All instructors were superb, presentations, personal critiques – right on."
"Excellent. The Best in the West! This is my third year attending and I want to come again. It is difficult to have your writing sometimes torn apart. But it is done in a constructive way. It is a wonderful course that makes you think and grow as a writer... The instructors were top notch. They always are the most educational entertaining instructors."
"I have attended other conferences including the Children's Writers Conference in Provo, Utah. This one is far better. I met one-on-one with almost all of the instructors. I really appreciated all of their input... I've been bragging about your conference. Two friends will join me next year. I have already reserved a room!"
"This is the first writer's function I've attended, and I'm afraid you've ruined it for any others I might attend. How could they possibly be any better?!"
"A+. A very heartfelt 'thank you' to you all. I love this workshop. Everything from the practical feedback to inspiration lectures to meeting great people to the fantastic party and food, make this week a gift that feeds my writer's soul. I appreciate your hard work and kind friendship. See you next year!"
"A+++. Really high standards in every sense... This has been a fun, funny, engaging, instructive, inspirational, thought provoking, educational, moving week – high quality throughout, totally engrossing and thoroughly enjoyable!!!!!!!!!"
"Wonderful setting. Mostly terrific instructors. Loved David's energy and enthusiasm and readings. Tom was excellent was excellent help with structure – the big picture, Harold with structure that wasn't working, Stacy with how to bring my protagonist's voice out more clearly, and David with words that could be improved. "Make it better," David said. I'm inspired to do just that."
"Outstanding! I've been to many (25-35) conferences and this is one of the best."
"... I love, love, loved last week! I've been writing like a mad-woman (no surprise there!) since! I had sooo much fun at your home too. thank you so much for organizing, presenting, mentoring, cooking, and laughing with me last week... Not only have I learned how to organize and tighten up a story, I discovered I was capable of taking a good idea and through collaboration, criticism, creation, and motivation, turning it into a 1st novel... Most lectures were extremely helpful, and I was able to discover specific keys to assist in my writing process. The consultations were personal, helpful, and highly supportive of my early stages of publishing/writing."
"This was my third time at OCCBWW and each time I've learned something new from both the instructors and my fellow students. Best, I always leave energized, ready to submit, patch up bullet-riddled manuscripts, and tackle the publishing world!"
"A great opportunity to learn more about the craft of writing and especially wonderful to attend a workshop totally focused on children's lit. A nice balance of instruction, work time, and consultation... I signed up because of the promise of 1:1 work with instructors. My expectations were well met in this area... The instructors were all so generous and helpful. I received a wide range of feedback – all of it insightful and precise. They each seemed to care deeply about the success of all of us. I'm looking forward to processing all this input as part of my revision work."
"Wonderful, talented and insightful instructors. Friendly atmosphere, inspiring atmosphere. A chance to make lasting friendships."
"At the beginning of the course, I would characterize myself as a good, but discouraged writer. My week at OCCBWW was just the right mix of inspiration and concrete help to take my writing to a higher level. It surpassed my expectations."
"Strikes the right balance between lecture and information, and honing of craft. This is one of the most well thought out, well organized, and well-run workshops I have ever attended. I got specific, practical input on my ms and expect it to be published... 100% input from faculty on my specific ms was invaluable."
"I think the course exceeded my expectations because I not only was able to get feedback on my writing, but also on my ideas for current and future projects... Overall this was a wonderful and very productive experience."
"As authors, editors and agents, I'm sure it must have been difficult to be deluged with so man "aspiring" writers... I very much appreciated all of your comments, suggestions, patience, and availability. You were all very gentle with our fragile egos. Thanks for that!"
"I am leaving with all my expectations met – with a little more."
"Very interesting, useful, practical. I thought it was great... Impressed by the quality of instructors and the strength of their advice, suggestions."
"It was great. Good diversity in instructors. Good breakup of time between lectures, 1st drafts, etc... The instructors were so good!"
"This was an incredibly enriching week for me as a writer and a person. I received so much valuable individual feedback on my writing, but I also was caught up in the warm glow of kindredship of writers. The instructors were so generous with their time and expertise. The strength of this course was in the instructors themselves. The staff was an incredible team of caring, knowledgeable, and dedicated writers. Topics were also relevant, practical, and engaging."
"Very good. Very informative. Fun! Good to meet other author hopefuls and make new friends... More then met my expectations; I learned a lot of important things that will help me with my writing."
"Excellent as always... Very strong instructors – all were wonderful!"
"Inspiring, delightful, and insightful! I had extremely high expectations and the course surpassed them... I felt it was a big splurge, but after the experience feel it was well worth it."
"This was the best one yet. This is my third year and... these were the most helpful speakers yet! I learned a lot."
"Excellent. The setting is perfect. The presenters are knowledgeable and helpful. David is outrageously wonderful – It's worth every dime. I just keep coming back. It's fun to hear from attendees that they're being published!"
"I found this an engaging, productive and provocative course. It covered every aspect of writing and marketing children's books I could wish for... I found the instructors involved, attentive, and incredibly generous with their time and expertise. I'm amazed that they are still standing after 5 days of giving us their total attention. Each person I spoke to was able to focus on my work and my needs with energy and interest... I came to the course not knowing how to approach the business of writing for children. In the past week I've been given options, information, instructions, guidance and, most important, support. I have a much clearer view of how to proceed with my work. Furthermore, I now have resources to draw on. I know where to find the information I need, and how to approach ideas I want to develop. Like all good learning experiences, the course mixes real, solid information with lots of fun."
"A+ Excellent. You run a brilliant, dynamic, meaningful, life-changing workshop. And though books must not be message driven, your workshop is. And the message is this: You will not be the same after experiencing OCCBWW. The OCCBWW virus is contagious and long lasting. If you do not wish to be exposed, stay far far away from Oceanside each July."
"The course was phenomenal! It was so helpful to have such great, regular access to the instructors who were top notch. The course far exceeded my expectations."
"This is the best course I've ever taken. I had high hopes and the course exceeded them. It's incredible to have so many experts at our fingertips, all of whom are approachable and friendly. I've attended many conferences, but I find the opportunities for feedback here to be priceless. It's so nice that all the instructors read our work before we arrived and are ready to jump in and help during consultations."
"Overall I thought the course was 'beyond excellence.' I feel like I have personally made a huge leap as a writer, and, more important, I am completely inspired to write, write, write.!"
"It was amazing. I left feeling so much more confident about my writing and the direction in which it was going. I left feeling much more in control of my own writing process, and the conference offers a wonderful networking opportunity with not just the instructors but with all the other students who are struggling with the same creative issues as me and who hold the same hopes for their writing as me."
"Excellent. Particularly valuable for both "virgins" and seasoned book writers. I felt it was strong across the board. Particularly strong was the warmth, the humor, and the emphasis on voice and heart and patience."
"I thought it was a wonderful course. It was very informative, it was active - I felt it was something I participated in - not just lectured to. It was realistic and yet still empowering and inspiring. It exceeded my expectations."
"Excellent. It helped me to identify definite shortcomings in my writing and offered specific suggestions for improvement. I came with little idea of what to expect, but was delighted with what I found."
"Outstanding. This is the first time in my (long) working life that I've been to a conference where every single presenter was educational and forthright. I am an experienced writer, but new to the world of writing for children's literature publication. This program was rich with information about the craft and business of writing for children. The room was filled with serious writers, published and unpublished. There was a wonderful combination of presentations, anonymous critiques, individual consultations, and meeting with fellow writers. Every minute of this week was worth it."
Anne O'Brien Carelli
"Totally awesome! Loved the camaraderie and the wide representation of writing and people from the states. The course was above and beyond my expectations. The instructors were incredibly tireless. All were kind and made time for everyone. I liked the idea of sending in a 1st page and the reading of these. Comments from instructors about these were extremely helpful."
"I loved the accessibility of staff. Loved the 9-12, 1:15-4:15 schedule as well as the optional 8-9 segment."
"My goal was to have my work read by the instructors, to get feedback, and to learn from instructors and others. The course met these expectations. Great talks. Great feedback. 1st page critiques quite helpful. I liked the optional 8 AM-9 AM time with instructors. I got to see almost everyone."
"The course exceeded my every expectation! The instructors were helpful, approachable, and very knowledgeable. I cannot think of anything to improve. It was wonderful."
"The course was extremely helpful. A positive experience, largely due to the generosity of the instructors. I have no suggestions. I felt that the organization hit all needs. Most beneficial were the individual consults, the 1st page reviews, and the time to work with others. I felt that all instructors were gracious and generous. Their critiques were constructive, mixing strength and weaknesses with suggestions. I never heard a single person's work ridiculed or put down in any way. It felt like a 'safe' venue to share my work. I can't say enough about the instructors! And the party was awesome! Thanks."
"This was an excellent course. A wonderful week of enlightenment, encouragement, and instruction in a beautiful setting. This course went beyond my expectations. I had no idea I would develop lovely friendships, gain such valued perspective/insight, and be so inspired in my writing. The instructors were excellent. Each brought to the table something a little different to learn/ponder. Not one of them 'dialed it in.' They were approachable and insightful."
"Really helpful & constructive. I found this a really stimulating week. All the instructors made helpful suggestions, gave good advice. Seeing/hearing other writers a plus. The added bonus: am now inspired to look into possibilities of a totally new project, in nonfiction."
"It has been wonderful in so many ways. The structure of the workshop has allowed for lecture, first page critiques, workshopping with peers, and professional consults. The opportunities for growing our writing have been ample. The course exceeded my expectations. The instructors have been so magnificent. And their feedback has taught me to see my writing with new awareness. It has been wonderful to be listened to with such respect and careful attention to my work."
"Being an educator and having gone to many conferences, this is tops in my book. I was here last year and it was tops then, but you have topped 'tops' - No question, it surpassed my expectations. Having top instructors is one strength. Having top guest lecturers is another strength."
"Very informative. Great instructors. Well-structured. Gorgeous setting. It met my expectations and was, in fact, superior to a different conference I attended last year in Portland."
"Super! You changed my world. I have another path to travel, it's even better. Thanks to you!"
"Excellent! One of the best conferences I have attended."
"This is my second time attending the course and I intend to come again. The instructors are great. David Greenberg is marvelous. he is so inspiring and such a great teacher. At this workshop you are encouraged to keep writing. You also find out your mistakes so you can get busy correcting them."
"I learned more in this one-week workshop than from all of the writers' journals and how-to-write and how-to-market books I've read in the past year. David, inviting us into your home was the most gracious and the most heartfelt ingredient of this whole feast. Thank you and thank you."
"The course exceeded my high expectations. This was really a wonderful experience. I got a lot of ideas and enjoyed all of the speakers. The one-on-one sessions with published authors and real agents were invaluable. I would definitely love to come back and would encourage all aspiring authors to attend. It's a great learning experience and an excellent chance to get to know the field of children's book writing from experts."
"I am new to children's writing and after this week I feel as though I can move forward with my writing. I now know what I'm doing. I have never felt so encouraged as a writer."
"Fabulous!! I've loved the 'one-on-one' time w/all the instructors. The course exceeded my expectations. It's the 1st workshop I've attended where I truly had the opportunity to comfortably address authors and editors/agents which has positively influenced my writing. The 1st page critiques have proved to be very helpful. The individual consults were extremely helpful & I love that every instructor had read everyone's work ahead of time so that they were familiar with it when you spoke to them."
"It was great! I will recommend it to everyone in my critique group. I've appreciated having feedback on my writing so I can improve it."
"This is my first venture into this kind of workshop. So I did not have specific expectations. I decided after studying the website it would be valuable to me. I was not disappointed."
"It's a beautiful setting and a very supportive group. Instructors were most generous with their time and energy. Thanks to all!"
"It was just the shot in the arm I needed to get writing again! The course exceeded my expectations."
Gretchen de Castellane
"Top notch! Overall best workshop I've experienced for working on a well advanced mss with problems - that's why I'm here for the second time."
"I loved it! The combination of instruction, evaluation & writing time was perfectly spaced. The presenters were informative & interesting. They freely offered their time and expertise."
"Amazing, wonderful, excellent! At every turn, I was surprised by what we did. I LOVED 1st Page critiques! Every genre, every author, the artists, the business-folk (agents, editors, publishers)... were all GREAT!"
Amy Jayne Johnson
"Overall, it was the best conference/retreat I've attended, and I'm not just sucking up. The presenters were solid and personable, which doesn't often happen. They knew their craft and were able to be "real" people, too - a rare combination. The strength was in the personal attention given to us from the professionals. The one-on-one consults gave me so much feedback and a great deal of validation."
"A+, 10, Yowza!, Wowie Zowie! (there is no higher praise than Wowie Zowie.) You covered all the bases. Craft, imagination, write & write & write, tell your story, editor's job, agent's role, and lots of support & feedback. Met my expectations and beyond. Thank you for a wonderful experience."
"Great experience. Instructors were energetic, informative, and exceptionallyaccessible. I liked the tempo of the course, alternating lessons w/writing time. Instructors were amazing. The balance of writers, agents, editors was perfect - we were able to hear all perspectives."
"A really great workshop!!! Once again I'll go home full of enthusiasm with my head stuffed full of useful information. I plan to attend again next summer. The course rates 10 on a scale of 1-10. I found the sharp-eyed editing invaluable in tightening up the writing. I liked the first page critiques."
"Love it. This was my second time at OCCBWW and it did just what I needed it to do: it inspired me, encourage me, lit a fire under me, and connected me to a terrific community of writers, editors and agents. I worried if this course would be as beneficial the second time around - it was. In fact, I think I learned more - came away with more - this time around."
"Exceptional! The course far exceeded even my wildest (highest) expecations. The energy was phenomenal throughout the entire week. The camraderie that developed among the participants was also wonderful... I loved the individual perspectives of each instructor. They were all incredible!!... I have learned more this week than I ever dreamed possible."
"The course was extremely helpful. I have been to the New York City and Los Angeles conferences and local chapters where they have a one day conference and this course has been the most helpful place for me. Two thumbs up!"
"I loved the flow of the class I also loved the variety of styles, speakers, and activities. The class was awesome in every respect! It met and exceeded my expectations... I got so much out of this course. It is actually hard to put in words how much I appreciated all of the instructors' unique styles, gifts, and vivaciousness. Their passion shines through."
"Wonderful! A week I will not forget. More than I expected!! I found such hands-on information that I can put towards crafting - it wasn't all just philosophy. The one-to-one feedback is awesome and way beyond what I thought we'd get."
"Excellent! Extremely beneficial. The course exceeded my expectations."
"For me, it was wonderful... My expectations were surpassed... The success of the program is because of dedication, devotion, and passion of the instructors. I appreciate this and thank you all very much."
"This was my first children's book writing workshop. My expectation was that I would learn something. By Friday I could not process any more information. I'm stuffed and it feels great!"
"The one-on-one evaluations and speaking to the agent and editor were very helpful. The course highly met all my expectations."
"Excellent. Money and time well spent."
Janet Sue Rhodes
"Fantastic!!! It surpassed my expectations and my expectations were high from having attended last year! I loved the enthusiasm, the professionalism, and the well rounded body of instructors who have the right knowledge and experience in their fields."
"I learned so much from the workshop. My stories aren't ready, but now I know how to fix them. The personal attention and suggestions were incredibly appreciated. The instructors worked so hard for us. Carmen really went through my manuscript thoroughly!"
"Very informative, interesting, and engaging. Particularly useful for me as a "new" writer and someone that is not familiar with the intricacies of the field. The course exceeded my expectations in every way. I really learned so much and am highly motivated to continue writing!"
No name on Evaluation Form
"It's a dream come true! I have learned so much being among a group of people who are so enthusiastic about writing. The instructors were wonderful."
"The course was stimulating, interesting, and creative. The interactions between all instructors and participants gave a feel of a week-long family. All instructors spoke well to many different subjects. The personal consultations were illuminating. I was thankful that there were authors for non-fiction as well as fiction and poetry."
"Phenomenal. Actually exceeded my expectations."
"Wonderful! I loved all the one-on-one between professionals and students and students and students. A warm learning environment. Met my expectations plus some. It was great."
"An improvement even on last year. Superb."
"The course was like constructing a book, exciting, scary, beginning, a roller-coaster ride with my consultations, and then a satisfying, hopeful conclusion. What a ride!"
"My first time at this workshop, but hopefully not my last. Thoroughly enjoyable - structured, but relaxed - seriously, professionally presented with humor and with consideration for personal feelings. A ++."
"Excellent - couldn't be better! This course exceeded my expectations. Whether a writer is a beginner or ready to send a manuscript, this course will push the writer to a new level."
"Best I ever took including two Institute of Children's Literature courses."
"FANTASTIC! The feedback is honest and encouraging. The fact that the opinions differ from instructor to instructor only strengthens the class. The course met, then surpassed my expectations."
"Beyond! I came in so green around the gills I didn't even know what I wanted to know. Day One I wondered why some of the writers would even consider coming back to the same workshop again. On Day Five I know."
"A great dissemination of accomplished author's wisdom with seriousness and humor. The personal guidance of individual manuscripts was indispensable. The lessons were a good base to learn from. The course exceeded my expectations. The group dynamics, the author consultations, the lessons given and the friendly atmosphere wre quite a package. The host/author (David Greenberg) was a perfect leader!"
"The greatest strength was the individual critiques and the willingness of the instructors to follow-up after our revisions."
"Excellent. What a great week! Your enthusiasm is contagious. Your encouragement and affirming comments on my manuscript were so helpful. I left with both direction and excitement. I got what I needed."
"I liked the varied background of the instructors. I especially enjoyed David's enthusiasm and his expertise with poetry. I liked that he kept the course on track as much as possible. I liked the one-on-one meetings. That exceeded my expectations."
"I needed a kick in the butt and this class provided it! I'm leaving with some solid direction. Thanks!"
"It was very inspiring."
"Warm and nurturing, especially for emerging writers. I like the limited attendance creating the open atmosphere for socializing and new friendships."
"As a beginning writer this class inspired me. I received so many useful ideas from everyone. It was a wonderful way to get started. Everyone was very supportive and sensitive to my needs."
"This was my first workshop and I feel I have learned so much. The lecture and critiques were very helpful and the fellowship and kindness of both lecturers and members made this workshop memorable."
"I had high, unrealistic expectations. Still the course exceeded them. There was a good balance of practical nuts and bolts along with motivating feedback."
"I found it much more useful and personal than the large seminars."
"Excellent. I was looking for a workshop that would allow me not only to receive feedback, but have the time to revise and get feedback on the revisions so I could really PUSH my manuscripts. This course did all that and more!"
"Better than expectations. I didn't realize how many chances we would have to meet one-on- one and with all instructors."
"Excellent! The course went beyond my expectations. I appreciated the expertise and focus of each presenter. As a beginner I found no weaknesses. I particularly liked hearing conflicting opinions. This allowed me to think out of the box."
"I thought it was top-notch from the location to the guest lecturers to the instructors' guidance. It surpassed my expectations in content, personal consultations, and the experience I've gained. I appreciated the diverse talents of each instructor. Even outside of genre, they are well informed about a tough business. Exceptional!"
"I loved the class and cried all of the way from Oceanside to Tillamook! It was a life changing week! Thanks again for such a fun time. I learned a ton and it was magical."
"Thank you again for the inspiration. I have never been so juiced over an experience like your writers' retreat. It has been a life altering experience for me."
"This course is beneficial to serious writers wanting to improve their craft & publish their work. David has an amazing ability to create a supportive writing community. You know, I didn't have a clear idea of what this would be like. I found the format to be very satisfying: workshop, writing time, group time, and time with instructors."
J. Piper Gallucci
"Outstanding! It exceeded my expectations. I came to it focused on one category of children's writing and was exposed to other exciting categories that would not have occurred to me but for the course. The instructors were open, insightful, frank, encouraging, and excellent editors. Their "lectures" were excellent."
"It was Beyond! It met my expectations and then some!"
"A wonderful course in a wonderful setting. I am so glad I came. The course exceeded my expectations."
"I thought it was excellent. I wish it could have been 10 days. The one-on-one consultations were very helpful. I was given an incredible amount of information that will certainly influence the way I write in the future."
"It has been WONDERFUL!!" I truly did not know what to expect. The course far exceeded my expectations."
"The lowest standard was excellence - THANK GOD! The course more than met my expectations. I didn't really know what to expect, but whatever expectations I might have had were blown away with the actual experience of being here."
"Excellent. David's generosity of spirit gave a festive tone to what became a week of celebrating creativity and children's literature."
"On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 20... The description of the course was right on... personal attention was definitely there... Constructive feedback very valuable... Loved the facility and the schedule... "
"It was a wonderful, life changing experience. The knowledge I received was extremely helpful... 'Overmet' my expectations... the diversity was great... I have enjoyed this week so much. The information I received was so helpful. I feel I have the foundation needed to move ahead on my own now. Thank you!"
"The best workshop I've ever been to - stupendous scenery helped of course, but the authors and presentations were excellent... The authors knew their stuff! The guests were excellent too. If you are interested in writing for children you won't find a better workshop!"
"It was life changing for me because I have progressed through my own process of writing in one week. I am a better writer because of this class... I thought the instructors were BRILLIANT! ... The personal consultations were the most helpful. A group of us would LOVE to come back and do this again... "
"Overall, I thought it was wonderful. I was inspired by the information we received AND the setting. I loved the mix of all three instructors... I liked how all of you worked to create a community of writers. It was a nice touch to have a potluck that first evening so people could mingle informally. The gourmet dinner was a treat. Thank you!"
"Just like the ocean never ceases to talk, neither did the enthusiasm and inspiration for words at Oceanside."
"Intense and copacetic! This class has been more helpful than anything I've taken and has propelled me further on the path to publication than any."
"I found this course very valuable, inspiring, touching, thought-provoking and, best of all, it has been the kick-in-the-pants I need... I enjoyed the different viewpoints of the instructors... The guest speakers were VERY helpful. Their perspective added a different dimension."
"I loved the experience. I loved hearing the personal experiences of each of the authors. It was inspiring, enlightening, and humorous. I greatly appreciated the criticism and suggestions related to my writing. I was challenged by the assignments... This workshop helped me clarify inner questions about where I really was with my writing. I came to believe that I really was an author! Patty Skelly - AUTHOR!"
"Super! We received lots of information on all different levels from starting out to what to look for in a contract. Location: PERFECTION! I think the creative atmosphere - the small town, little cafes, and the ocean/beach really set the mood."
"It exceeded my expectations... I feel so fortunate to have this experience! Each day was non-stressful with just the right amount of information and advice. I never felt rushed nor bored. I am so motivated with confidence. I don't know where this will lead me, but know you have positively affected me for the rest of my life... Each instructor has so much to offer. Your honesty and true enthusiasm for everyone's writings and thoughts is definitely the strength for each instructor... Thank you for making this such a special week in my life that I will never forget. You have inspired me, educated me, and encouraged me. I am so very grateful to you all."